N. Ruth Little, Ed.D., MPH

N. Ruth LittleAssociate Professor
office: ECHI 2221
phone: 252-744-3123
email: littlena@ecu.edu

N. Ruth Little (formerly N. Ruth Gaskins), a native of Pitt County, has devoted much of her career to rural health delivery throughout eastern North Carolina. She is a graduate of East Carolina University receiving her EdD in Higher Education Leadership in 2014. Dr. Little received her MPH and BS degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is one of the founding members of the Department of Public Health since coming to ECU in 2005. Previous positions in the department of public health include Director of Field Placement, Vice Chair of Operations, MPH Program Director, MPH concentration coordinator, founding program director for the DrPH Health Policy Administration and Leadership concentration.

Prior to joining our faculty she served as the Public Health Director for Jones County working with community partners to develop Grace Clinic for the uninsured with extended hours, family based counseling program, migrant outreach program, school based health education programming and certified Jones County Healthy Carolinian Task Force. She was employed as a nursing home administrator in facilities offering specialized rehabilitation services in addition to her experience as a county planner. She works extensively integrating long term care and aging into public health and partnering with communities targeting service delivery to underserved populations. Dr. Little is a two-time recipient of the Treasured Pirate Award at East Carolina University. Nationally, she serves on the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research planning committee, the American Public Health Association Aging Section Program Planner and the SAMSHA Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Research and Evaluation Advisory Council.  Dr. Little was appointed by Governor Perdue and Governor Cooper to the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators; she currently serves as vice-chair of the board. Dr. Little is on the board of the Northeastern North Carolina Partnership for Public Health. Together with the unanimous support of local health directors in North Carolina, Dr. Little collaborated with colleagues to establish the Aging Section to the North Carolina Public Health Association in 2019 where she currently serves as founding chair.


  • BS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Ed.D., East Carolina University
  • Certified Preceptor for Nursing Home Administrators in Training, NC 1998
  • Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, NC 1990

Areas of Interest

  • Health Care Delivery to Underserved Populations
  • Long Term Care Administration
  • Interdisciplinary Community Health Education
  • Access to Health Care
  • Health Care Management and Personnel Administration
  • Health and Aging

Courses Taught

  • MPH 6903/6904/6905 Internship/Field Placement Capstone Course
  • MPH 6040 Long Term Care Administration
  • MPH 6000 Public Health Administration
  • MPH 7010 Human Resources Management and Leadership
  • PUBH 8240 Human Resources Management and Leadership
  • PUBH 8571 Public Health and Aging

N. Ruth Little Curriculum Vitae (PDF)