Black Alumni Chapter honors ECU graduates

Three outstanding East Carolina University alumni were honored with awards Saturday by the ECU Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Chapter (BAC).

The awards, presented during the Black Student Success Summit, celebrate individuals who demonstrate leadership, performance and excellence in three distinct award categories.

Ledonia S. Wright Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

Dr. Dominiquie “CJ” Clemmons-James ’16 received the Ledonia S. Wright Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award.

Dr. Dominiquie “CJ” Clemmons-James

Dr. Dominiquie “CJ” Clemmons-James

Clemmons-James earned a doctorate in rehabilitation counseling and administration from ECU. She serves as director of the Master’s in Rehabilitation program at ECU and is an assistant professor in the department of addictions and rehabilitation studies. Clemmons-James strives to mentor, guide and inspire new generations of clinicians.

She is also a licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor, certified rehabilitation counselor, master addictions counselor, licensed clinical addictions specialist and certified clinical supervisor. She is credited with being a founding member and coordinator of Aggies for Recovery, the first collegiate recovery community at an HBCU, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Clemmons-James is an advocate for dialogue regarding the current trends and topics in the field of addiction, recovery and substance misuse. She prides herself on bringing awareness to issues faced by people of color within the field. In her role as collegiate recovery champion, she provides consultation and expertise regarding innovative programming relevant to a diverse campus culture.

As an advocate for collegiate recovery at HBCUs, Clemmons-James is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience in the areas of addiction and recovery among people of color.

Her other professional interests are working with veterans, identity development, biofeedback training, relaxation techniques, lifelong recovery and wellness.

Laura Marie Leary Elliott Courageous Leader Award

Greg Hedgepeth ’08 ’12 received the Laura Marie Leary Elliott Courageous Leader Award.

Greg Hedgepeth

Greg Hedgepeth

He was born and raised in Halifax County and was a first-generation college student, earning a Bachelor of Science in economics and a certificate of advanced study in web development at ECU.

Hedgepeth serves as the director of marketing and communication for the N.C. State

University Graduate School and is the president and CEO of Substantial Media LLC, an award-

winning minority multimedia platform that seeks to amplify the voices and stories of Black and

brown communities, and bring awareness to issues that impact these communities on a local, state and national level.

While at ECU, Hedgepeth worked as a student worker at the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. After graduation, he worked in the Division of Student Affairs and in University Marketing and Communication.

Hedgepeth co-founded the African American Male Mentoring program at ECU to ensure other first-generation young men of color had access to opportunities and a supportive community that they could turn to. He received a 40 under 40 Leadership Award in 2017.

He has been in the field of higher education marketing and communication for more than 16 years, serving in leadership roles at the divisional and university level. He also works as an adjunct professor in mass communications and digital technology at Shaw University and guest lectures at North Carolina Central University.

Hedgepeth also serves on the executive board of the ECU Alumni Association and advocates for diversity and equity within Pirate Nation

Dr. Andrew A. Best Trailblazer Award

Dr. W. Timothy Orr ’88 received the Dr. Andrew A. Best Trailblazer Award.

Dr. W. Timothy Orr was honored with awards by the ECU Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Chapter.

Dr. W. Timothy Orr

He holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology from ECU. He received his master’s degree in sport management from the United States Sports Academy and earned a doctorate in sport management from Northcentral University.

Since 2018, Orr has served as an assistant professor and coordinator of the Sport Administration Graduate Program at Hampton University. In 2022, Orr was instrumental in Hampton University’s sport management department being selected as one of three programs in the nation to participate in the Little League World Series Residency Program.

His interests are in intercollegiate athletic administration and student athlete academic and support services. Orr has written several articles, including “Faculty Experience with and Perceptions of their role in Athletic Reform at a Division II University,” and an article in the American Football Monthly Journal titled “The Mental Aspect of Winning in the Trenches.”

Orr has directed an NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic program, served as assistant athletic director for compliance and as director of marketing and public relations for a Division II intercollegiate athletic conference.

Orr also has more than 20 years of football coaching experience on both the Division I and II levels.

He recently hosted a podcast titled “Beyond the Lights,” which provided current and former student athletes a platform to discuss current issues in sports, and conducts a speaker series, “Classroom Chat with Dr. Tim Orr.”

He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and 100 Black Men of America. He serves on the board of directors for the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation and the Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ men.

As part of the ECU Alumni Association, the BAC is committed to uplifting Black students, faculty, staff and alumni. The chapter is composed of alumni and friends who are interested in generating support for ECU and serving its constituencies.