Council of Endowed Professors

The Council of Endowed Professors serve as leaders of the ECSU community through their scholarly activities, community engagement, and grant-funded programs.


Ebere A Oriaku joined Elizabeth City State University in 1985 as an assistant Professor of Business and Economics. Presently Ebere Oriaku is an endowed professor of Economics.

Professor Oriaku had chaired the Department of Business and Economics for over ten years and introduced many programs. He served the University as Director Center for Economic Education, Director for Summer School. He had taken students to several competitions under SIFE, now Enactus. And had several regional, and national awards. Professor Oriaku has written numerous articles in his field and has been awarded grants in collaboration with others. 

He was appointed endowed professor in 2013 with a mandate to work with Dean Bejou to obtain international accreditation in Business for ECSU Business Program. That task was accomplished. He was also mandated to write a curriculum for MBA program with international dimensions and this was done waiting for funding from the UNC system.

Professor Oriaku serves as an external, Ph.D. examiner for many Foreign Universities such as India and Dubai. He serves

ETS CLEP as a syndicate, and as reader for AP economics for ETS. He continues to serve ECSU with efficiency and high dedication. He served   as a consultant in ECSU’s award winning Choir tour to Africa in 2006.


Dr. Kuldeep Rawat is Thorpe Endowed Professor and Dean of School of Science, Aviation, Health and Technology at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Dr. Rawat holds an MS in Computer Science, MS in Computer Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Center for Advanced Computer Studies, University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL). At ULL he conducted research into video compression techniques for applications in aerial surveillance platforms used for monitoring wetlands. He has more than eighteen years of combined Industrial and Academic Research and Teaching experience. Dr. Rawat is an International Air Transportation Association (IATA) certified Aviation Management Professional.

Dr. Rawat provides leadership and manages the School’s administrative operations. The School of Science, Aviation, Health, and Technology (SAHT) is home to four academic departments and fifteen academic programs:  Natural Sciences (Biology BS/MS, Chemistry, and Sustainability Studies); Health & Human Studies (Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kinesiology, Psychology, and Social Work); Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering Technology (Mathematics BS/MS, Computer Science, Engineering Technology); and Aviation & Emergency Management (Aviation Science, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Emergency Management), which includes over sixty full-time and temporary employees.  In addition, the SAHT houses Aviation Science, the institution’s signature program. The SAHT also houses Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing Research and Education, NC Math/Science Enrichment Network (NC-MSEN), and ECSU’s Khan Planetarium.

Dr. Rawat has served as the Principal Investigator/Project Director on multiple grants, including National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Hewlett-Packard, the US Department of Transportation, NC Division of Aviation, NASA, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the Golden LEAF Foundation. He has secured over $5 Million in external funding to support research, teaching, program development/enhancement, and outreach projects at ECSU.

He also serves as the Director of ECSU’s signature/flagship program in Aviation Science. As the director of state’s only 4-year collegiate aviation program, he is responsible for conducting aviation program needs assessment, purchasing aircraft, flight simulators and ATC lab equipment, avionics trainers, laboratory upgrades and developing a strategic plan to grow and sustain state’s only four-year aviation education program. Recently, Dr. Rawat led the efforts to establish BS degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems program at ECSU.

Other administrative responsibilities that he holds on campus are the Chief Research Officer, Campus Director for NC Space Grant Consortium, Activity Director for Department of Education/SAFRA project, Director of Unmanned Vehicle Systems Lab, and Director of Summer Transportation Institute and Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship program at ECSU.

His areas of interest are in designing embedded systems, PC-based instrumentation, mobile and aerial robotics, civilian applications of unmanned aerial systems, and innovative uses of educational technologies. He is one of the 10 recipients of 2009 HP Innovations in Education award to transform teaching and learning through innovative uses of technology.


Dr. Sharon Raynor

Sharon D. Raynor is the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Winnie Wood Endowed Professor of English and Digital Media at Elizabeth City State University. She uses her various platforms to share veterans’ stories. Raynor is the Executive Producer for the documentary film, In the Face of Adversity: The Service and Legacy of African American WWII Veterans, for the North Carolina African American Veterans Lineage Day Documentary Project in collaboration with the NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, NC Museum of History and NC Humanities. She is also a Co-Producer of The Silence of War, a transmedia and short film documentary in collaboration with The Imagination Project at Wake Forest University’s Documentary Film Program. She also collaborated with the NC Humanities on two grant -funded veterans oral history projects, with UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education with LEARNNC: North Carolina Digital History Textbook  to design lesson plans and with Cardinal and Pine to document “Hidden Valor: Remembering North Carolina’s Black Veterans on Memorial Day.” The website highlights the culmination of her veterans oral history projects.

Raynor is the co-editor of Teaching Race in Perilous Times: Racial Discourse in the College Classroom with SUNY Press and has a forthcoming book, Practicing Oral History with Military and War Veterans, with Routledge Press. She has dedicated publications to veteran issues such as: “Breaking the Silence: The Unspoken Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans,” “The First Saddest Day of My Life: A Vietnam War Story,”The Double Consciousness and Disability Dilemma: Trauma and the African American Veteran,” “African American Masculinity Performance in the Diaries of Vietnam Soldiers,” “The Tell-Tale-Listener: Gendered Representations in Oral History [with Vietnam Veterans],” “Welcome Home, Brother," “’Sing a Song Heroic’: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Mythic and Poetic Tribute to Black Soldiers,” and “Something He Couldn’t Write About: Telling My Daddy’s Story of Vietnam.” Other diverse scholarly publications are in the areas African American literary studies and narrative and trauma theory appear in The Oral History Review, History Now (Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, Australian Feminist Review and The Yancy Years 1994-2008: The Age of Infrastructure, Technology & Restoration, and 27 Views of Charlotte: The Queen City in Prose and Poetry.

She previously worked at East Carolina University, Johnson C. Smith University, Wake Forest University and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Raynor has been a faculty fellow for the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences at Duke University, Clark-Yudkin Research Fellowship for United States Air Force Academy, Humanities Writ Large Faculty Fellowship at Duke University and Center for Documentary Studies and the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., Fellowship at the W.E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and the Faculty Resource Network Fellowship at New York University. She has participated in international faculty study abroad programs with the UNCF/Mellon Faculty Seminar Program in Salvador, Brazil and Cape Town, South Africa, The Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria and the Council on International Educational Exchange in Dakar, Senegal and Cape Verde, West Africa. Raynor is a North Carolina native with degrees in English and Multicultural Literature (BA ’94, MA ‘96) from East Carolina University and a PhD in Literature and Criticism (‘03) from Indiana University of PA. She is the 2020 recipient of the Old North State Award from the NC Governor’s Office for her continuous work in the fields education and veterans advocacy in the state of North Carolina.

Dr. Eyualem Abebe

Eyualem Abebe, PhD

(Email:; Phone 252-335-3236)

Dr. Eyualem Abebe is Marshall A. Rausch Endowed Distinguished Professor & chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). He is a research-focused biologist, lifelong educator, mentor and a data-driven & results-oriented academic leader.

He has accrued more than 25 years of academic services at four higher education institutions in three continents: Africa, Europe and North America. Dr. Abebe started his career at a teachers’ training institute—Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, and during his tenure there, he served as Research and Publications Officer. After receiving his terminal degree from Gent University, Belgium, on full academic scholarship, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Gent University, Belgium. In his penultimate appointment at the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Abebe was a research faculty for four years. At ECSU, he has served as the Program Coordinator for Biology for a number of years, and since 2018 he is serving as department chair.

Dr. Abebe is a broadly trained organismal biologist and a globally recognized nematologist, who discovered 28 species new to science, two of them in North Carolina, and has published extensively (total 60 = edited one book, wrote 7 book chapters, and 52 peer-reviewed papers).

Since 2012, Dr. Abebe has widened his focus towards the implementation of effective academic interventions at ECSU to enhance minority student success in the biological sciences and reduce the impact of disparities in education. A pilot project funded by The National Science Foundation (NSF) [Application of Lessons from the Model Institutions for Excellence (ALEMIE)], followed by an expanded one funded by the Department of Education (DoE) [A comprehensive academic scaffolding to enhance retention of minority STEM students at Elizabeth City State University (CASER-ECSU)] provided academic support to 75 minority ECSU students.

Since he joined ECSU, he has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator on a number of grants and has secured more than $3.5 million funding for research, infrastructure and student training from national funding agencies such as the US Department of Defense, the NSF, and the DoE.

Dr. Abebe is well recognized by the scientific community: a species is named after him to honor his contribution, he collaborates globally, reviews for many professional journals and national and international funding agencies, is invited as keynote speaker at societal meetings, and serves as research advisor and external examination committee member for graduate students. He also has served as editor to a number of journals in his field of specialty and currently serves as the Editor of the Journal of Nematology (publication of US Society of Nematologists), Nematoda (publication of Brazilian Society of Nematologists), and Open Journal of Ecology.

He is keen on mentorship; he has mentored through research more than 40 ECSU students. In recognition of his efforts in teaching, mentorship through research and quality research, he has received several awards.  He is the recipient of the 2014 University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Gent University International Student Association Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement.

Dr. Abebe received his BSc and MSc degrees in Biology from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a second MSc and PhD degrees (both high honors) from Ghent University, Belgium. Dr. Abebe also received additional trainings on The State of Biological Diversity (the United Nations University) and on Curriculum Design and Research Management (Kassel University, Germany).