Owalabi - Mark

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EC Scholars Class of 2011

Mark Owolabi

Hometown/State: Asheville, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2007

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Guilford Family EC Scholars Award; Dowdy Student Stores EC Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Exercise Physiology B.S.

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

I chose ECU mostly because I was offered a great scholarship and a chance to be part of a select group of individuals. I've also aspired to go to ECU's Brody School of Medicine since high school, and I wanted to get as close to that institution as possible. Lastly, I've lived in western North Carolina, attended high school in central North Carolina, and I wanted to experience the final frontier: eastern North Carolina.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

It has given me the option to spend time volunteering with many great organizations on campus, instead of having to work a part-time job. It has given me the opportunity to interact with a lot of important people on campus, like the Chancellor, for example.

What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?

I've been involved with research since my freshman year. I've worked in departments from sociology to education, to physiology. I am currently engaged in my favorite research experience thus far. I'm helping a graduate Bioenergetics student analyze changes in the rate of fat burning in people, after consumption of a high-fat diet and subsequent exercise training.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

I like to encourage people to stay active, so a lot of my activities tend to revolve around that. I captained an intramural soccer team in my first year, and I frequently organize campus-wide pick-up soccer games each week. I also represented ECU's African Student Organization as Mr. IVASA at the annual IVASA pageant in the past. Lastly, I co-facilitated a bible study for males for multiple semesters.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

I will be attending the Brody School of Medicine in the Fall of 2011. From there I hope to complete a residency in pediatrics. My eventual aim is to work in a community clinic, not only treating patients, but coordinating diet education and fitness coaching. Good health revolves around more than simply visiting the doctor once a month, and I'd like to become a doctor who invests a lot more into my patients' lives.

How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?

I've been able to use my study abroad experience to connect with international students throughout their short terms at ECU. After returning from a study abroad adventure during my sophomore year, I returned to ECU with a desire to serve the international community. I knew what it was like being the foreigner in a new country, so each semester I would seek out all the international students that I could find and connect with them over games of soccer. From these games they would meet other Americans, leave their shells, and form community outside of the people that they interacted with in the residence hall.