Hometown/State: Chocowinity, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2010
Scholarship(s) Awarded: Dowdy Student Stores EC Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Engineering
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
I chose East Carolina for a variety of reasons but the one closest to my heart is simply the mission of the university. Part of the mission states that ECU's goal is to positively impact eastern North Carolina by training students and releasing them back into the community. Having grown up in this area, the mission is something I really feel strongly about. Because I've lived in this area for all my life, I know a lot of the area's strengths and weaknesses. Through my time here at ECU and after I graduate I hope to do as much good for this community as possible.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
One really amazing thing this scholarship had enabled me to do is to connect and become close friends with other EC Scholars. This is a wonderful networking opportunity because I am able to be around people who are highly motivated and have a love of learning, like myself. Also, this scholarship will provide the invaluable opportunity to study abroad sometime during the next four years. As of now, I've never travelled out of the country and I would have much difficulty doing so were it not for the stipend that the scholarship also provides. I already recognize the immensity of this prospect and I sincerely look forward to it.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
Because I have only just embarked on my journey here, at ECU, I haven't yet had the opportunity to participate any types of undergraduate research. I do, however, plan to become involved in some form of research over my next four years here. There are many different research studies that I'm looking into and I hope to be able to begin my own research project or possibly help in an established lab. I'm very interested in biology and engineering so I'm hoping to find an opportunity that could fulfill those aspirations. I'm sure that whatever type of research I choose to engage in will be an amazing experience.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
One of the leadership opportunities that I have been engaged in through this semester is the Honors College Seminar taught by Mr. Baxter. It's required of all of the students in the Honors College and has taught us a lot about leadership. Not only have we had Tommy Spaulding come in and talk to us about his book and leadership, we've had countless other individuals from around the campus offer their knowledge to us. Mr. Baxter divided the class into teams of seven and the students have been given a chance to lead some part of our team efforts. The exercises we complete teach lessons about leadership, organization and planning. Also, I've been regularly attending the Honors Ambassador meetings which are held to engage and incorporate the students in theHonors College's activities. It's been enlightening and quite an opportunity to make my voice heard for the college.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
While perusing the ECU website a few months ago I saw an article about the "Da Vinci," the new heart operating machine that is being tested and used at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. I was sincerely inspired by the machinery and Dr. Chitwood's involvement and the article has influenced my career choice. At the moment, I am planning to major in Engineering and, after that I hope to attend medical school. I believe becoming a doctor with an engineering background could create an academic environment conducive to innovation. I aspire to one day create something as revolutionary as this piece of machinery that is being used right here in eastern North Carolina.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
Shortly after beginning my ECU career, I found out that we would be volunteering at Golden Living for Dr. Bassman's "Crossing the Borders" class. We were assigned a resident and have been spending an hour and half each week with them. Through this experience, I've formed an amazing relationship and this experience epitomizes the impact that I've had on ECU (and the impact it has had on me). I came to ECU not knowing many of the people here but over the past few months I feel that I've been able to truly connect with many members of not only this school's community but people from the rest of the community as well. I believe and hope that I've been able to positively impact these people's lives the way that they have impacted mine.