Message From the President


This is a time of year I find especially gratifying. As our students graduate and enter their respective fields, it serves as validation for all we do at ECPI University. Their success is a direct reflection of the talent and dedication of our faculty, staff and, of course, the graduates themselves.

While earning a degree is an accomplishment for most anyone anywhere, I believe our students are special. Most hold full-time jobs and a great many are also raising families, all the while spending up to 20 hours a week in class. Yet, they still find time to help others. As you read this edition of eConnect, you will see myriad examples of students, faculty and staff joining together to help others in need.

I have no doubt that these graduates are going to make their mark in the world. They’ve already demonstrated they have what it takes to succeed. They’ve been inspired by the success of our alumni and have developed the confidence to make a difference, in the workplace and in the communities in which they live.


Mark Dreyfus

ECPI University’s Study Abroad Program Thriving

The Study Abroad program at ECPI University is alive and well!  Since 2000, our students have visited more than a dozen countries, 4 of the 6 inhabitable continents and both hemispheres.  This year, in the 8th term, the group is traveling to England and France, specifically London and Paris.

In London, among many stops, they will visit the Tower of London (built by William the Conqueror, home to Kings and Queens, and site of murders and executions), take a Jack the Ripper Tour (the serial killer from 1888 who was never caught) and have authentic fish and chips for dinner.  After a few days, they will take the Chunnel to Paris, and visit the Louvre (there will be amazement at how small the Mona Lisa really is), the Eiffel Tower (which Parisians wanted to tear down right after it was built) and take a cruise on the Seine (Napoleon requested to be buried on the banks of this historic river).

The program also offers COM205, Culture and Diversity, in coordination with the trip.  The curriculum includes the journey as part of the class.  The students go to school for two weeks, go overseas for two weeks, and return to class for the last week of the term.

The trip concentrates on the culture and diversity of the countries visited.  Culture can be defined as a group’s language, food, art, architecture, dress, dance and music.  The students observe and experience as many of those hallmarks as possible on the journey.  The students consider the trip eye-opening and always come back with a whole new appreciation of this country and its culture.  As Dr. Glenn Corillo, the Faculty Director of the Study Abroad program, often says, “Your education is not complete until you have traveled overseas and see how others live.”

The trip to Europe this fall is already closed and the Study Abroad program is looking at a journey to South America in 2013.

ECPI University’s School of Health Sciences Medical Assistant Department Assists Local Employer

ECPI University’s School of Health Sciences Medical Assistant Department recently provided some vital assistance to a local employer, Colortree in Richmond, Virginia.

Colortree’s human recourses (HR) department contacted ECPI with the goal of establishing a wellness fair for employees.  The HR department wanted their employees to have this screening to allow them to choose which health care insurance would be most sufficient. This opportunity led to nearly 200 employees of Colortree receiving wellness screenings and created synergy between both ECPI University’s Schools of Health Science campuses in Richmond (Emerywood and Moorefield).

Colortree was so impressed by the professionalism of the students that they have decided to make the wellness fair an annual event. This event has also sparked Colortree’s insurance company to request that ECPI University’s Schools of Health Science Medical Assistant Department conduct wellness screens with other companies/organizations.

Medical Careers Institute Volunteers Provide Dental Care to People in Need

For most people, going to the dentist is really not a choice. While they may not enjoy the experience, they know it’s necessary. But for some, it’s just not an option. Lacking insurance, money, or both, they allow small problems to become big ones over time. Fortunately, there is a group of caring people who come to the rescue. Recently in Suffolk, Virginia, dozens of dentists, hygienists and assistants, including many from ECPI’s School of Health Sciences,Medical Careers Institute, donated their time at Dental Access Days to help provide desperately needed care to about 145 people.

With limited time for each patient, treatment was limited to cleaning, fillings and extractions, with some patients receiving flippers, which are acrylic partial dentures used to replace a few missing teeth. Aside from the pain relief and cosmetic value, these treatments were about much more than simply making people feel better. Many times, people show up in the emergency room with serious dental problems, but hospitals can do little for these patients other than giving them antibiotics and painkillers.

Dental Access Days gave nearly 150 of those under-served patients a chance to improve their quality of life. This day of service provided yet another reminder to our students that it’s not just what you get, but what you give that makes all the difference.

Joshua Plata – From No Skills to No Limits

Five years ago, Joshua Plata found himself sitting in a Greenville, South Carolina homeless shelter weighing his options. They seemed few and far between. “All I knew was that something had to change,” says Joshua. “I had no skills and without an education, it seemed like I had nothing but fast-food jobs to look forward to.”

Then, Joshua saw an ad for ECPI University. “I had always liked computers, but only knew how to use a PC,” he says. In February 2007, he set out to change the course of his life and enrolled at ECPI to begin studying computer networking. “I had no idea what I was getting into. Right off the bat, I was amazed. It was like there was this whole world that I didn’t know existed…all this knowledge. Up until then, I guess I just didn’t know what I didn’t know!”

Going to school and working full-time, Joshua received his Associate’s degree in 2010, as well as his A+, Network+ and Cisco CCNA certifications. He quickly landed a job at internet service provider Windstream Communications. However, he says there was just one question during the interview that threw him off. “They asked me where I saw myself in five years,” says Joshua. “That was hard to answer, because five years before I was sitting in a homeless shelter and I never would have imagined that I could be where I am now.”

Joshua’s outlook has changed dramatically. He’s back at ECPI working on his Bachelor’s degree and has no doubt that he will finish up very soon because, as he puts it, “the only way you can fail at ECPI is if you stop trying. They believed in me before I was sure I believed in myself. Now I know I can do whatever I put my mind to.”