Hometown/State: Goldsboro, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2008
Scholarship(s) Awarded: James H Maynard EC Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Biology, Chemistry
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
The moment I stepped onto the campus of East Carolina University, I felt at home. The faculty, staff, and students at this university were so friendly and helpful! I loved that East Carolina was a big university, but that it also had the feel of a small school at the same time.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
The EC Scholars scholarship has meant a lot to me. My first year, I had the opportunity to bond with members of my incoming EC Scholars class through courses about diversity and global issues. As a class, we also participated in volunteer efforts at Belvoir Elementary School in Pitt County where we worked with disadvantaged minority students. Volunteering at Belvoir was such a heart-warming experience, as I was given the opportunity to give a little extra attention to a child who needed a helping hand. The summer before my sophomore year, I used the funds from this scholarship to study abroad in London, England with the ECU English Department. As a Biology/Chemistry major who also has a love of English literature, I was given the opportunity to academically engage a side of myself that I do not usually have the chance to explore during the school year. I absolutely fell in love with the history and culture of this city, and cannot wait to return!
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
During my freshman and sophomore years, I worked with Dr. Carol Goodwillie of the Biology Department exploring genotypic diversity in a goldenrod plant species found at ECU's West Research Campus. This was a great opportunity for me to gain valuable lab experience and learn about the nature of real scientific research. With this research, another EC Scholar and I were able to give an oral presentation at East Carolina University's Research and Creativity Week. This summer (2010), I worked with Dr. Eb Pesci at ECU's Brody School of Medicine in the field of microbiology. In this lab, I have been given the chance to work a bit more independently, while expanding my knowledge of microbiology and gaining a great deal of laboratory experience along the way.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
As an EC Scholar, I was given the chance to serve as a student interviewer aiding in the selection of the Associate Dean of the Honor's College. Also at East Carolina, I have joined the ECU Ambassador organization where I currently serve as a student representative of East Carolina University on campus and in the community. Within this organization, I also serve as the Philanthropy Chairperson. This fall, I will serve as an academic leader at ECU by working as a supplemental instruction tutor with the Biology Department.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
Following graduation, I hope to attend dental school to become a general dentist. One day, I hope to open my own dental practice in my hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
East Carolina University's motto is "Servire," which in Latin, means "To Serve." Community outreach has always been an important part of my life, and I have never had the opportunity to positively impact the community more than I have since being a student as East Carolina University. My freshman year, I served as a tutor at Belvoir Elementary School where I worked one-on-one with a student and assisted him in his academic development. I hope that this student learned as much from me as I did from him! With the ECU Ambassadors, I have been given unlimited opportunities to impact the community. These opportunities included: raising money for victims of domestic violence, participating in ECU's Relay for Life, and helping to organize a prom for community members with physical and mental disabilities. With this organization, I have also had the opportunity to give campus tours and aid students and parents in discovering all that East Carolina University has to offer.