Heather N. Ayers
Hometown/State: Bear Grass, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2007
Scholarship(s) Awarded: Dowdy Student Stores EC Scholars Award; Cliff and Ruth Moore EC Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: English Education, Secondary
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
I love the feel of East Carolinaâ€”feels like a small community of learners, but it has all the opportunities found at bigger universities.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
My scholarship has enabled me to attend East Carolina University without worrying about how I will pay for books, travel, and other expensesâ€”including tuition. It has also allowed me to create a network of connections with professors and community leaders whom I never would have met otherwise.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
I had the pleasure of completing a University Honors Project, where I conducted research with a professor. I also am involved with Planks, a group of undergraduate English Education students and professors who are currently conducting research to help improve 21st century research skills at a local rural high school.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
At the university, I have had the opportunity to be a member of the Pirate Tutoring Center, tutoring my peers in 1000 level courses and establishing connections with freshman. I have been involved with Planks as a student co-captain, helping to guide sophomores and juniors in doing research. This year, I am presenting at the 2010 Think-In with a fellow student about using technology to develop leadership and team skills.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
I am going to graduate in May 2011. I will then teach at a North Carolina high school for 4 years before returning to graduate school to achieve my masters degree in English Education. I hope to one day be a professor at East Carolina University in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, teaching others how to teach.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
At East Carolina University I have had the opportunity to engage in multiple volunteer and service-learning projects. My sophomore year I volunteered at Lucille Gorham Center (the Little Willie Center) on Fifth Street, tutoring at-risk students. While there, I also conducted a Read to Succeed Book Donation (we collected over 200 books) for the library at the Center. My junior year I volunteered at Farmville Central High School, working with students in the school's AVID program. My freshman year I volunteered to help students at Belvoir Elementary, an elementary school with a growing Hispanic population. I also have volunteered at the Pirate Tutoring Center on campus for three years. Now, I am working with an organization called Planks to help a local rural high school improve 21st century research skills.