First To Go – Faculty / Staff


There are faculty, staff, and administrators at ECU who were the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college or university.  We encourage you to use the list to reach out to them and learn more about their experiences both in college and at ECU.  We’ve included some of their stories below and hope they will inspire and encourage you to thrive as a first-gen student in Pirate Nation.

Are you a faculty or staff member who were themselves a first-generation college student and are willing to serve as a mentor to current first-generation students? Click here to join the list of contacts on this page and be connected with the larger first-generation community at ECU!

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Faculty / Staff Spotlights

Dr. Andrea Kitta:

Faculty, English

Dr. Kitta grew up in Western Pennsylvania where she attended Slippery Rock University. After graduation, she worked with AmeriCorps for a year, then worked as a temp in various offices in downtown Pittsburgh until she decided to apply for graduate school in Folklore at Western Kentucky University. After receiving her MA, she moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada for her PhD in Folklore at Memorial University. She moved to Greenville in 2009 to teach at ECU.

Tarrick Cox:

Director of Admissions, School of Dental Medicine

Tarrick is a native of Clinton, NC. He transferred to ECU from Sampson Community College. He earn both his undergraduate and master’s degree in Elementary Education from the College of Education. As a staff member, he advises various student groups and serves as a mentor to many. He encourages first-generation students to get involved on campus because through networking you may land your dream job.

Dr. Stacy Warner:

Faculty, Sport Management

Dr. Warner, a former student-athlete at Lock Haven University and NCAA postgraduate intern, earned her Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin.  Her research interests are primarily focused on the role that sport and sport culture plays in the lives of individuals through families, communities, work environments, and social networks.  She’s been a member of the ECU faculty since 2010, achieved tenure in 2016, and most recently was promoted to full professor in 2019.


Esmeiling Cabral:

Campus Living

Esmeiling was born in Miami, Florida to Dominican immigrants. Growing up her parents made education a priority for her and her siblings, even though neither of her parents attended college or understood the language. Her experiences and the encounters she had while in college served as her motivation for helping students. She encourages first generation students to get involved and know that staff/faculty are here for them.

Danielle Morrin:

Assistant Director of Development, ECU Pirate Club (ECU Athletics)

Danielle is from Charleston, South Carolina and is a four-time varsity letter winner and a 2015 graduate of ECU.  She is currently earning her master’s degree from North Carolina State University in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management.   A member of the ECU Athletics staff since 2016, she was elevated to her current role as Assistant Director of Development in 2021.

Justin Waters:

Campus Recreation & Wellness

Justin is a two time graduate of the Pirate Nation, Comic Book Nerd, Musical and Theater enthusiast, Sports Lover, and Mischief Finder.

Amanda McLellan:

Joyner Library

Amanda grew up in Ohio but has also lived in Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, and now North Carolina.  As a first-generation student, she never really realized how much she had to figure out on her own until she began working in higher education.  Some of her interests are traveling, visiting museums, playing video games, and playing with my dog.

Monique Barrett:

Pirate Academic Success Center

Monique is a native of Winterville, NC. She attended ECU where she earned her undergraduate degree in Business Education and a Masters degree in Vocational Education.Monique has been employed by ECU since 2005. In her current role as a Tutor Specialist she provides support for tutors and students at the PASC and also teaches COAD 1000. Helping Pirates succeed is her passion. This life long Pirate loves ECU!

Stacie Tronto:

Faculty, Accounting

Stacie has over 30 years of accounting and auditing experience.  Her interests include scuba diving, paddle boarding, and animal rescue.