Tag Archive for alumni awards

Dr. Pories ’52 Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Walter Pories ’52, MD (Photo courtesy of East Carolina University)

Walter J. Pories ’52, MD, professor in the department of surgery at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University was selected as a 2012–13 recipient of the annual East Carolina University Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award.

He joined ECU in 1977 as chair of the department of surgery at the university’s medical school, which had just begun its four-year program. While here, he modified a type of weight-loss surgery into the “Greenville Gastric Bypass” and showed conclusively that not only does it result in durable weight loss but also causes a long-term remission of type 2 diabetes in patients who have diabetes and undergo the surgery.

A biology/chemistry major at Wesleyan with a strong humanities background, he earned his medical degree at the University of Rochester.

Among other honors, Pories is the 2001 recipient of O. Max Gardner Award, the highest honor given by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Pories retired from operating at age 70 but still follows up with former patients and has continued with research related to his Greenville Gastric Bypass and diabetes.

When asked to name “two or three highlights” of his career for ECU Today, he replied:

“Seeing a patient get better. That’s an incredible reward. You operate on a baby with a congenital defect, and you come back three or four hours later and the baby is hungry and wants something to drink. That’s amazing.

“Making a difference with students. There is great joy in restoring a student’s confidence, in broadening his outlook, in validating her capabilities to manage difficult concepts. Teaching is such a privilege.

“Making a difference in society. You get a whole lot more back than you give. When my mentor, Dr. (William) Strain (at the University of Rochester) and I discovered that zinc was an essential element for animals and man, we showed that two cents worth of zinc added to a ton of feed increased feed efficiency by 20 percent, brought broilers to market in six rather than 10 weeks and accelerated first egg laying by 45 days, we made a difference in food production around the world. That’s very rewarding and made the effort of testing that thesis very worthwhile.”

Kikoski ’90 Honored for Guggenheim’s Restaurant Design

Andre Kikoski ’90 (Photo by Peter Aaron)

Architect Andre Kikoski ’90 received the Institute Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects (the “AIA”), their highest recognition nationally for his creation of The Wright, the new restaurant in the Guggenheim Museum.

Kikoski’s work was selected from more than 700 total submissions and was one of only 27 recipients worldwide who will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C., in May.

The Institute highlights the award winners on their web site, including photographs and a discussion of the design elements that the architects considered and reasoning for their solutions, as well as comments from the jury.

Said Kikoski: “It was both an incredible honor and an exhilarating challenge to create The Wright, the new restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum, which is the first addition to the building’s iconic interior. We sought to create a contemporary response to complement the building with an extremely modest budget and 1,600 square feet in which to work.

“Our design solution references the building’s architecture, what Wright specifically called ‘the primitive initial,’ without repeating it. In the process, we transform underlying architectural geometries into dynamic spatial effects. The sculptural forms create a flared ceiling. The undulating walls become comfortable seating. The arced bar and communal table animate the space. The playfulness of these forms offers a dynamic experience for visitors.

Additionally, the jury called Kikoski’s project “sensitively handled and respectful of the essence of the original architecture.” Another jurist noted, “With the confined space and ostensibly modest budget, given those challenging constraints, this project is exceptional. Of special note is the programmatic flexibility,” and a third observe, “The design approach was controlled but playful, and complements the nuance of the museum overall movement and dynamic.”

Kikoski, an English major at Wesleyan, earned his master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University. His firm, Andre Kikoski Architect, PLLC, is located in New York City.

Jan Eliasberg ’74 Named Fox Writers Initiative Fellow

Jan Eliasberg ’74

Jan Eliasberg ’74, of Aquinnah Films, was chosen as one of 10 fellows for the Fox Writers Initiative, a highly selective four-month program designed to groom writers to run television series and write and direct features across all the divisions of 20th Century Fox.

The 10 were chosen from more than 350 nominations by representatives and arts organizations across the country. The initiative sought unique voices, as well as a diversity in backgrounds and life experiences.

In a company press release, Nicole Bernard, senior vice president of audience strategy for The Fox Group, said, “These 10 incredibly gifted writers represent the high-caliber talent we’re looking for at Fox, and we’re extremely excited to work more closely with them through this initiative.” She noted that tapping into a wide pool of talent was crucial to reaching their constituents, adding, “This is an important step toward ensuring that our film, TV and digital productions better reflect our broader audience, and we’re thrilled that so many writers and producers have signed on to lend their expertise.”

Eliasberg, who majored in theater at Wesleyan, is a graduate of the directing program at the Yale School of Drama. She has directed plays at Joe Papp’s Public Theatre, South Coast Rep, and the Royal Court Theatre in London. She has taught and guest lectured at USC School for Cinema Studies, the Sundance Lab, Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan Program for Writers, and the Art Institute of California.

Her television directing career was launched when she was selected by Michael Mann to be the first female director on Miami Vice. She was also the first woman to direct episodes of Crime Story, Wiseguy and 21 Jump Street.

Eliasberg has directed television pilots for all networks as well was hundreds of hours of award-winning television, including episodes of Blue Bloods, Parenthood, N.C.I.S.: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, Supernatural, In Plain Sight, L.A. Law, Party of Five,and Dawson’s Creek.

Writer/Scholar Jackson ’90 Wins Awards for ‘Indignant Generation’

Lawrence Jackson ’90

The Indignant Generation:  A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960, by Lawrence Jackson ’90, received two notable awards. In December the Modern Language Association awarded it the 2011 William Sanders Scarborough Prize, calling it a “magisterial narrative history of African American literature,” as well as “[b]eautifully written and rich in historical detail.” The citation noted that it “should quickly become a standard work in 20th-century African American studies and United States publishing history.”

In January, Jackson received news that The Indignant Generation won the Black Caucus of the American Library Association literary award in the nonfiction category. These awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors. Jackson’s work “offers readers rare insights into the lives of key players who contributed to the breadth of writing that flourished between 1934 and 1960,” they noted.

The book was also a finalist for the Hurston/ Wright nonfiction book prize.

Jackson is English and African American Studies at Emory University. His upcoming book My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War, is an exploration into his own ancestry and will be published by The University of Chicago Press in May.

Jackson talks about the research and discovery behind My Father’s Name in this video:

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