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Maurice Carter: This University Studies Student Exemplifies ECU's motto - Servire

Carter student profile

Within minutes of meeting Maurice Carter, you will learn two things.  The first, is that he is one of the most involved students on campus and the second thing is that he is passionate about helping others.  A Greenville-native, Carter began his higher education career at Pitt Community College.  After completing his Associates in Arts degree, he transferred to ECU in 2014 with the intent to complete his degree in Middle Grades Education.  It was during Carter’s first semester at ECU that he began to question his fit in his major and found a sounding board in one of his professors.  “I began to talk to my Foundations of American Education professor, Dr. Sandra Seay, about my desire to help and advocate for minority students in the K-12 public educational system” he shares.  “I explained that none of the traditional majors at ECU fit what I wanted to do post-graduation or would utilize a lot of my transfer credits.  Dr. Seay was the first person to introduce me to University Studies and really encouraged me to find out more about the program.” 

Through the University Studies program, Carter has been able to utilize many of his accumulated credits, create a unique program of study, and support his future endeavors.  “The title of my thematic core is ‘Diversity and Social Justice’ and I am getting a minor in Ethnic Studies” shares Carter.  Within his thematic core, Carter has blended education courses as well as ethnic studies, human development and family science, women’s studies, sociology, and communication courses.  “With my University Studies degree, I have been able to select courses that will give me the exact knowledge I need to be successful as an advocate of integrated schools, diversity, equality, and marginalized groups” Carter states. 

In addition to the strong foundation his interdisciplinary coursework has provided, Carter is gaining real-world experience through his University Studies practicum (UNIV 4990).  UNIV 4990 is the capstone course of the University Studies program that is designed to provide students, like Carter, with a practical and professional experience and a critical connection between their unique thematic core and their post-graduation goals.  Carter chose to complete an internship with Intercultural Affairs at ECU for his UNIV 4990 practicum.  Through this 200-hour internship, he had the opportunity to help plan and present numerous programs in conjunction with the LGBT Resource Office and Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.  “I was able to help organize the Privilege Walk on campus, ALANA Ceremony, and Tunnel of Oppression” Carter says proudly.  “I also enjoyed co-planning a Cultural Cuisine and Chat program with ECU’s Indian student group, Pirate Raas, as well as a Multicultural Mixer event where minorities students could mingle with ECU faculty and make vital connections on campus” Carter shares. 

On top of his full-time class schedule, working two jobs, and completing an internship, Carter has made it a priority to get involved in student organizations.  “Being involved [in student organizations] is extremely important to me,” Carter shares, “because it allows me to meet people different from myself, learn about their culture/challenges/privileges, and prepare to work in a multicultural society post-graduation.”  Being extremely involved on campus has not affected Carter’s performance in the classroom.  Every semester since starting at ECU he has been on Honor Roll and the Dean’s List.     

After completing his University Studies degree, Carter would like to pursue a master’s degree in sociology, international studies, or even leadership.  “I value leadership and was honored to be a participant in Leadershape 2017 [a week-long camp that focuses on students’ leadership development],” he shares.  Carter is also a proud member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Golden Key International Honor Society.  No matter what Carter decides to do after graduation, there is no doubt he will be successful and forge his own path towards success-and the University Studies program is honored to have helped him along the way.    

For any students who, like Carter, have multiple academic interests, numerous academic credits, and can’t seem to find a traditional major that fits, take Carter’s advice, “don’t be afraid to design your own program of study and create your own journey.  If you do, you will find your own treasure at the end.” 



Joshua Karapetian:University Studies student is honored with the Audience Choice Award for A Vengeful Lullaby

On January 26th, Hendrix Theatre hosted the 2017 edition of the Campus Movie Fest, the nation's most prestigious "student-run" film festival. Various students from ECU's Film and Video Production program submitted work, competed, and were honored with awards. University Studies student Joshua Karapetian was honored with the Audience Choice Award for his work titled A Vengeful Lullaby.

Congratulations, Joshua!

Jequetta Thomas: University Studies student is awarded funding for research project:

Jequetta Thomas is a senior at East Carolina University majoring in University Studies with a thematic core in Women's Healthcare Advocacy. For the Fall 2014 semester Jequetta decided to complete independent research for her UNIV 4990 capstone project for the University Studies Program, on Women Beating Hypertension, at East Carolina University's Department of Health Education and Promotion/ College of Health and Human Performance, mentored by Dr. Monica Webb.

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) awarded Jequetta's research project $2,280 in funding. The 2014-15 URCA winners will be recognized and celebrated during a ceremony on Monday March 16, 2015 from 5:30-6:30PM in the Murphy Center.

Purpose and Significance of Research Project: Women Beating Hypertension

"The purpose of the study is to focus on helping minority women prevent heart disease by facilitating behavior changes to avoid hypertension. I want to help address these issues among African American women in Eastern North Carolina by providing them with health skills to prevent high blood pressure and avoid heart disease. Therefore, this study will specifically focus on educating African American women on the importance of checking their blood pressure and making healthy diet changes in order to prevent or control hypertension."

"This brief intervention will employ a pre- and post-test methodological design. Thirty African American women from Greenville Community Christian Church will participate in a four week study, designed to occur one hour a week. They will be educated on hypertension, risk behaviors such as: diet changes, blood pressure monitoring, and exercise. Specific focus will be placed on diet changes and skills relating to their self-monitoring of blood pressure. Pre- and post-test behavioral surveys and blood pressure scores will be recorded at the beginning and end of the study to evaluate the brief intervention."

Hometown: Thomasville, North Carolina BSUS Student Profile Jequetta Thomas

Favorite Class: Human Anatomy & Physiology (Biology 2140 and 2150)

Dream Job: Midwife and a Health Educator in North Carolina

Reason for choosing University Studies (BSUS): It was the perfect opportunity to graduate from ECU with all of the classes that I accumulated and to help me with my future goal of advocating for women and their health issues.

Significant lesson you've learned while at ECU: I have learned to keep going and endure no matter what and to overcome any obstacles. Perseverance is key .

Hobbies: I like to dance, volunteer, and explore other cultures and ethnic groups.

Your words to live by: "Live, Love, Laugh." "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right." Marilyn Monroe

Plans after graduation: Complete Master's degree in Health Education, and apply to nursing school at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).


Brooke Lee: University Studies is helping this student pursue her dreams

Lee brooke

As a third-generation Pirate, Brooke Lee is no stranger to ECU.  “I am the tenth person from my family to go to ECU,” Lee shares.  “In fact, my grandfather [Dave Thomas, 1957-60] played football at ECU and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.”  Despite Lee’s unwavering decision to attend ECU, she was unsure how to complete her undergraduate degree when she was not accepted into her original program of study.  “I didn’t get in my original major [due to a competitive selection process], was a junior, and was worried about the tuition surcharge if I took GPA-boosting courses in the attempt to re-apply for admission to my original program” Lee shares.  “In addition, I was worried about my delayed graduation and the fact that all of my credits were for my original major and did not transfer easily into another traditional major.”


As luck would have it, one of Lee’s friends was in the University Studies program and told her about the opportunities within the major.  “My friend described the thematic core portion of the degree and informed me that I could make my own [interdisciplinary] major that would still allow me to work in the health care field” Lee states.  Lee is currently enrolled in UNIV 2000 where she is receiving assistance from the University Studies staff with the preparation of her curriculum proposal for review by the University Studies’ Faculty Oversight Committee.  “I’ve titled my thematic core Health and Wellness Studies and have incorporated biology, chemistry, nutrition, health, psychology, recreation therapy, and health services management courses” Lee states. 


With hindsight, Lee now recognizes that changing her major to University Studies opened the door for her to be able to travel to Ghana in summer 2017 on a medical mission trip.  “If I had decided to stay in my original major I would have had to take summer courses in the attempt to boost my GPA.  Enrollment in summer school would have made it impossible for me to travel to Ghana with the Global Health Outreach program” Lee shares.  With her certified Nurse Assistant license, Lee checked the blood pressures, weights, and temperatures of all of the visitors to the clinic, triaged who needed to be seen first, and decided which physician to send each patient too.  In addition to the hands-on experience she gained while in Ghana, Lee will be shadowing a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse at Vidant Medical Center next spring.


In addition to being an ECU Ambassador, Lee serves as the University Studies student representative on the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Student Leadership Council.  As a representative on this council, Lee is able to communicate with Dean William Downs about issues of importance to University Studies students.  Lee’s leadership and campus involvements, combined with her interdisciplinary coursework, hands-on medical experiences, real-world observations, and international travel, will undoubtedly help her be successful in the future. 


After graduation from the University Studies program Lee will complete the RN program at Pitt Community College and then take advantage of the RN to BSN program at ECU.  Although this was not Lee’s original plan when she began at ECU, she has come to realize that things happen for a reason.  “Not getting into my initial major has ended up being a blessing in disguise,” Lee shares.  “Now that I am a University Studies student I am able to take a variety of courses that make me a more well-rounded student.  I was able to travel to Ghana.  I’m on the Dean’s Student Leadership Council.  None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t changed my major.”  With a smile Lee adds, “and I can still pursue my dreams.”       


University Studies Program Partnership with Fayetteville Technical Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College Wordmark

BSUS Student Profile Jequetta Thomas small

Jequetta Thomas

Jequetta Thomas is a senior at East Carolina University majoring in University Studies with a thematic core in Women’s Healthcare Advocacy.

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