Leha Byrd 
ECSU Communications and Marketing          
Email or 252-335-8745      

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (April 8, 2024) – Two Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) students awarded for their work in a nationwide graphic design contest now have the chance to showcase their presentations at this year’s Undergraduate Research Week themed, “From Ideas to Impact.” 

Serenity Shipp and Sandria Dorsey participated in the Turner Duckworth Golden Duck awards and received a $2,500 scholarship along with one year of mentorship with Turner Duckworth, an international design firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, and London. As part of the contest, Shipp and Dorsey researched and rebranded Poshmark and North Carolina State Parks, respectively. Research Week at ECSU is April 8-12 and will involve all academic departments on campus, allowing Shipp, Dorsey, other students, and faculty to participate.  

The chance to celebrate student research and creative scholarship has been strategic in planning the week’s events, said Nicole Austin, ECSU undergraduate research director and education professor.  

“We want all facets of the campus community to be involved and represented throughout research week,” she said. “Our students have worked hard, and they’ve worked collaboratively with their faculty mentors, to reach the point where their research can begin contributing greatly to the current body of knowledge within their respective fields.” 

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creativity hosts the event every spring semester. It is designed to give undergraduate researchers the chance to delve into their findings and enhance their oral and analytical skills within their respective disciplines. In various buildings on campus and an online hybrid model, student commentary, research findings, and guest speakers are part of the week-long event.  

A panel discussion in the university’s Virtual Reality and ESports Lab is scheduled for Monday, April 8, at 10 a.m. to learn how to utilize the facility as a teaching tool. The event is open to the public, and faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. There will be rotating sessions for faculty and students to sign up for VR Lab sessions.  

Both Shipp and Dorsey are excited about sharing their work on campus. Music and Visual Arts professor John Stiles encouraged both ladies to participate and said he’s now excited their work will be featured on campus. 

“To emerge from that contest, among so many others, as winners and then be able to present their work back on the home front is encouraging,” Stiles said.  

“It felt great that the time I put into working on the rebrand case study paid off,” Shipp said. “I can take what I learned from them and apply it to my future projects.   

Who: The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creativity 

What: ECSU Undergraduate Research Week 

When: Monday, April 8, 2024, 10 a.m.

Where: ECSU Campus 

About Elizabeth City State University    
Elizabeth City State University provides students with a high-quality, affordable education. A constituent member of the University of North Carolina System, ECSU develops courageous, resilient, and empowered leaders through excellent student-centered, experiential learning. ECSU offers baccalaureate, professional, and master’s degrees across a wide variety of disciplines. Come to Discover. Leave to Conquer. Visit