Gower - Georganna

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EC Scholars - Class of 2015

Georganna Gower

Hometown/State: Dunn, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2011

Scholarship(s) Awarded: WR Roberson East Carolina Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Exercise Physiology

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

East Carolina University was my number one choice due to the good reputation of their Physical Therapy program. I knew that I would receive the best undergraduate and graduate education (in my opinion) here at ECU for the career I have wanted to obtain since I was in fifth grade. Another factor that helped sway my college choice is that I've been a Pirate since birth. Both of my parents attended ECU and are huge Pirate fans. I've grown up loving Greenville, the welcoming atmosphere of the campus, and the supportive student body and faculty. I knew East Carolina University was the only place for me; hence the reason it's the only school I applied to!

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship enabled me to travel to the beautiful country of Italy for 6 weeks with the Italy Intensives program offered by the ECU College of Fine Arts and Communication. I got to visit the famous sights and venues throughout Italy, while also experiencing authentic Italian culture in the medieval Tuscan village of Certaldo Alto. My experience in Italy allowed me to gain cultural and artistic knowledge, and step away from my science-based courses I take in Greenville, NC. More importantly, my scholarship has led the way for my dreams to come true. In July 2011, I was granted an interview with ECU's Department of Physical Therapy for Early Acceptance into the program. Luckily, I was selected for the DPT Class of 2018! Without EC Scholars, I would never have had this opportunity and I am so grateful to be apart of this fantastic scholarship program.

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

To complete my Senior Honors Project, I am working with Dr. Amy Gross McMillan, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. We will be studying the gross motor development of 1-9 month old babies whose mothers exercised while they were in utero. I have also been paired up with an ECU Physical Therapy student mentor who will “show me the ropes” as I participate in graduate level laboratories and sit in on PT classes. I was also able to work with an ECU faculty member in the Department of Public Health whose research focused on Pediatric Asthma in Pitt County. I believe these experiences will be highly beneficial to my current and future education. It will also provide me with the drive to be a curious student questioning “why” and “what if.”

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

The EC Scholars program is a leadership opportunity in itself. Throughout my years as an EC Scholar, I have been able to serve my university and the community around me. I have participated in numerous volunteer opportunities around the college and community, undergraduate research, and efforts to support East Carolina University. I have been able to speak with many university officials, participated in events hosted by the Women’s Roundtable, represented the Honors College at the North Carolina Honors Association Conference, and even traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with individuals in the Pentagon and the US Patent Office. The definition of a leader is not always someone who is the loudest or most outgoing, rather, a leader helps the greater good accomplish a goal and leads others to a better journey. For 3 years, I have experienced leadership in many different ways and I know my final year as an EC Scholar will provide the same opportunity. Living by East Carolina University’s motto, “Servire,” or “to serve,” I plan to serve the school and the community while leading by example.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

I plan to graduate from East Carolina University with a degree in Exercise Physiology along with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. With my Doctorate, I plan to work at a therapy clinic or hospital to build a good foundation for myself and gain experience along the way. I eventually want to own a private therapy office as my own. I know that ECU will prepare me for any career plan or aspiration I want to pursue.

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

During my time at ECU, I have volunteered with so many organizations around campus and within the community. I have helped the ECU Dowdy Student Store, ECU Writes program, Honors College Ambassadors, Habitat for Humanity, GO-Science, Relay for Life, American Red Cross, Exceptional Community Baseball League and many other organizations. I have also been fortunate enough to hold a student employee position in the Honors College. As the Undergraduate Director of Recruitment and Admissions, I am responsible for all recruiting efforts performed by our administrators and students, as well as processing student applications and organizing Honors College Preview Day. I feel that my positive impact has been to give back to the university and the programs that have given so much to me.