Hometown/State: Mount Olive, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2007
Scholarship(s) Awarded: John M. and Gladys D. Howell EC Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Biology and Asian Studies
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
Coming from a small high school, it was really important for me to attend a college that could offer individual attention. During the application process, East Carolina almost immediately stood out from the pack thanks to helpful and friendly members of the faculty and staff. This experience helped me realize that at East Carolina, I would never be just another face in the crowd.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
Since my freshman year, studying abroad has been strongly encouraged by numerous EC Scholar faculty and staff members. Taking their advice, I have visited India and Japan on ECU faculty-led trips. The experiences I had abroad are some of the most exciting and memorable times of my life. I am very thankful for my scholarship, which provided some of the financial assistance I needed to actually make studying abroad a reality.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
During my sophomore and junior years, I worked with a fellow EC Scholar, Emilee Quinn, in Dr. Carol Goodwillie's lab. Although Dr. Goodwillie gave us opportunities to contribute to a number of different studies, the majority of our time was spent investigating the genetic diversity of a specific plant species found at the West Research Campus. Emilee and I presented our work at Research & Creative Achievement Week in March 2010 and won in the natural sciences category.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
East Carolina provides many leadership opportunities for students of all interests. As a freshman, I participated in the Emerging Leaders Program. Our group led a session about nutrition and exercise at a local after school program. I also took advantage of East Carolina's Primary Care Physician Shadowing Program to get a closer look at the different types of primary care medicine. I was a team captain for Relay for Life in 2010, and I have coached several volleyball teams for Pitt County Community Schools and Recreation.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
As a Brody Early Assurance Scholar, I plan to attend the Brody School of Medicine after graduating from East Carolina this May. Though I'm not completely sure what kind of doctor I want to be, I have always found Internal Medicine and Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (Meds-Peds) to be particularly interesting. From working part-time at a clinic in my hometown, I have learned the importance of good health care for a community. As a result, no matter what doctor I choose to be, I know that I want to work in a rural area. .
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
Volunteering is strongly encouraged at East Carolina, and there are plenty of opportunities to serve in both the university and Greenville community. During my freshman year, I joined EC Scholars from my class to visit Belvoir Elementary and assist in the classroom. Since my freshman year, I have volunteered at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in patient transport. Also, I volunteer with Pitt County Community Schools and Recreation as a head volleyball coach in both the fall and spring seasons. In March 2010, I joined a group of fellow Pirates for Alternative Spring Break to work with Habitat for Humanity of Russell County, Alabama. I have also participated in East Carolina's Relay for Life for the past two years.