Baucom - Matthew

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EC Scholars - Class of 2015

Ryan Baucom

Hometown/State: Marshville, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2011

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Belk Special Funds

Major/Intended Major: BS Biochemistry/BS Chemistry

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

I chose to attend East Carolina University because of the unique opportunities that I knew I would have through the Honors College and EC Scholars program. I was interested in another university in the North Carolina system, but the East Carolina Honors College offered me many more benefits. I don't feel as if I am just a number here and I feel that I will receive a higher quality of education.  It seems like I am attending a small college, while being able to have the large university experience. Before I was aware I had received the scholarship, the tuition scholarship through the Honors College also played a large role in my decision to attend this university.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship has enabled me to focus less on how I am going to pay for my undergraduate education and be able to afford medical school in four years. It has also enabled me to become a part of a group of students who are all academically driven and motivated to help those around them. I have had opportunities to meet people that I would have never received had I not gotten this scholarship.

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

During my undergraduate career, I have participated in research in the chemistry department.  This has provided me with an invaluable experience and hands on education pertaining to my major. There are many skills that I have acquired in the laboratory that would not have been learned through a lecture setting only.  I have worked in the Yang lab previously on a project pertaining to the solubility of parabens in subcritical water.  Currently I am working on my Senior Honors Project in the Allen Organic Lab.  My project aims to attach fluorophores to a small peptide chain in hopes of being able to track the protein using fluorescence.  This research contributes to a larger goal of creating a fluorescent novel amino acid with a binding affinity for anions that can be inserted into an artificial transmembrane peptide to enhance anion transport.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university? 

I have participated in various leadership opportunities throughout my tenure here at ECU.  From representing the EC Scholars Program at the National Scholars Summit to organizing service projects for my classmates, I have learned a lot about leadership.  I have also been able to participate in leadership seminars and colloquia as a part of my Honors College education.  Last semester, I was able to experience a leadership internship through the EC Scholars Program.  While working with a local community CPR group, I helped teach Hands Only CPR to local citizens, and students on campus.  I also assisted in writing a grant to obtain funds for AED training devices and a survivor’s dinner. Through that experience, I learned that not all leaders are in the forefront.  One can be a leader while working in the background to make a positive change in their community.

What are your career plans/aspirations? 

I plan to attend Medical School after my undergraduate work and pursue a career in the medical field as a physician. I decided I wanted to become a doctor when I was in the seventh grade and have been preparing for that career since then. I have shadowed many health professionals including family physicians and surgeons and I am sure that this is the career path that I want to follow.  I am not sure which type of physician that I would like to become, but I do know that I want to practice medicine in North Carolina and serve the area in which I grew up.

What extracurricular activities have you participated in during your time at ECU?

During my time at East Carolina University, I have volunteered at the Grimesland Sunday Clinic and participated in an internship through the East Carolina Heart Institute. Volunteering at the free clinic allowed me the opportunity to understand more about the challenges facing our healthcare system and more specifically healthcare in Eastern North Carolina. This past summer, I participated in the internship at the East Carolina Heart Institute. That experience provided me with invaluable time in the operating room observing cardiothoracic surgeries. I was also able to shadow physicians in clinic and see how they interacted and communicated with patients. Upon completion of the internship, I gave a presentation on one of the cases that was observed during the summer.

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

I have volunteered as an EMT with Winterville EMS, tutored through the Pirate Tutoring Center, and participated in various service projects through the Honors College.  As a volunteer EMT, I was able to gain clinical experience in the field that I plan to go into, while serving the local community.  The Pirate Tutoring Center allows me to help students on campus to better understand general chemistry. I hope to continue to serve the Greenville community and become more involved with local non profit organizations in the future.