Mary Stuart Sanderson
Hometown/State: Tarboro, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2010
Scholarship(s) Awarded: Helen Snyder EC Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Communications (Public Relations) / Pre-Med
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
I believe that I have always been a Pirate at heart. Purple and gold have flowed through my veins since I was a little kid. However, the Brody School of Medicine was the piece that drew me to East Carolina University the most. The atmosphere here in Greenville, North Carolina gave me a sense of belonging and made me feel at home. I couldn't see myself being anything other than a Pirate.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
This prestigious scholarship has enabled me to meet influential people that can help advance me in my future endeavors. The relationships that can be formed through this scholarship are endless. Not only do you have the opportunity to make a close group of friends and peers, but you also have the opportunity to meet deans and ambassadors of the university itself. Being an EC Scholar is a humbling experience that can change your life in an instant. And, I am truly thankful for this honor that has already given me so many amazing opportunities.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
Since I am only in my first semester of my first year here on campus, I have not been able to participate in any undergraduate research yet. However, I do plan to take advantage of the many opportunities that are available for all ECU students. I am also looking forward to studying with the incredible faculty members in the Brody School of Medicine.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
Again, since I am only in my first semester, I am still trying to get my feet wet and get into the swing of things here at East Carolina University. But, I have expressed interest in the ECU Ambassadors program. And, as an EC Scholar and a participant in the Honors College, many leadership opportunities are available.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
I plan to graduate in December of 2012 and attend the Brody School of Medicine soon after. I am also a part of the Early Assurance program here at ECU. This honor is given to four students every year and I am humbled to be one of the four. During medical school, I plan to study a curriculum of surgery. As of now, I plan to study a concentration in general surgery or pediatric surgery. But, just like the weather, these plans can change. All I am really sure about is that I want to be in the medical field. I love having the flexibility to learn whatever I wish. At this point, the sky is the limit.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
As an EC Scholar, many service-learning programs are available to take advantage of. A large part of these service-learning programs is volunteering. And, to be honest, this has truly become one of my favorite aspects of being an EC Scholar. Once a week I go to the Golden Living Center where I have been assigned a resident to bond with and get to know. I have learned many life lessons and have been inspired by all of my resident's stories. Through this experience, we are supposed to be helping and encouraging the residents we are assigned. However, I truly believe that I am the lucky one. She is enriching my life and I am being rewarded in so many ways. This is only the first of many service-learning opportunities I will take advantage of while I am an EC Scholar. Inspiring one resident is just the start. I cannot wait to lead and inspire the future Pirates of East Carolina University.