Ackiss - Karen

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EC Scholars - Class of 2013

Karen Ackiss

Hometown/State: Bayboro, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2009

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Harold H. Bate Foundation, Inc. EC Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Elementary Education

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

As an elementary education major, I feel that no university in North Carolina could better prepare me to become an exceptional teacher. Another terrific aspect of East Carolina is its strong music program; as a student who loves to play the clarinet, it was also extremely important to me that I had opportunities to play. Finally, I've always been a little drawn to East Carolina because my family has had three generations of women who have attended.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship has enabled me to meet students with similar drive, and exposed me to some professors who have already changed my thinking in a variety of ways. I have been challenged by these professors to do my very best, even when I didn't know I was capable of it. It's also offered me the opportunity to make plans to study abroad, which I think will be one of the most life-changing experiences I will go through in college.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

Freshman year I only experienced leadership activities within some of my smaller classes. This year, however, I am planning to have some exciting leadership activities associated with my independent study with one of my professors.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

I plan to become a primary school teacher, creating a strong educational foundation for students by planting a seed in them to love school and the arts in a generation where both are often taken for granted.

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

I believe that in my dedication to working hard in classes and doing my best, coupled with my playing in ensembles on campus, I have impacted the university in some small way. Largely, however, I feel that East Carolina has had more of an impact on me at this point. My freshman year exposed me to so many situations and opportunities from which to learn that I couldn't help but change in many positive ways.