EC Scholars - Class of 2015
Hometown/State: Leesburg, Virginia
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2011
Scholarship(s) Awarded: Helen McLawhorn Memorial East Carolina Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Biochemistry
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?I chose to attend East Carolina University because I felt that I was offered academic and service opportunities that I would not have been able to find at any other university. It seems like there is something for everyone at East Carolina and I feel that I can explore my future as a student and EC Scholar.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?I believe my scholarship has enabled me to explore both academic and leadership opportunities that have had a positive influence on my personal and professional life. Through this scholarship I have been able to explore different career options through research and networking connections. It has also given me the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities that have helped me grow as a leader and develop skills outside of academic settings.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
Research has become an integral part of my undergraduate experience at ECU. During my sophomore year I began researching lipids at The Brody School of Medicine. My first project focused on determining the amounts of different lipids in tissue following various fish-oil rich diets. I continued this research at the East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute. During my junior year I began an experiment in which I made artificial lipids and analyzed how one specific lipid, cardiolipin, influenced membrane fluidity. Additionally, I have started research at the East Carolina School of Dental Medicine as part of my senior honors project. I am currently working on an acute pain study, which hopes to both genotype and phenotype patient populations following pain caused by oral surgery. This research will hopefully be used to enhance drug therapy and understand how different patient populations experience pain. All of these research opportunities were directly related to connections I made through this scholarship.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?As an EC Scholar and student in the Honors College I had the unique opportunity to help chair a grant committee. During my freshman and sophomore year, I co-chaired a committee that received a grant to benefit a philanthropic cause. While this was a major challenge, the committee used to money to help create a colloquium in which Honors College freshman and juniors partnered with local organizations to benefit their cause. I have also held leadership positions in my fraternity which included being the scholarship director and current vice president.
What are your career plans/aspirations?During my undergraduate tenure at ECU I have always had the goal of going to dental school. I would like to practice general dentistry in North Carolina and hopefully attend the East Carolina School of Dental Medicine. Just recently I have also begun exploring additional career options such as attending law school.
What extracurricular activities have you participated in during your time at ECU?While at ECU I have helped start a fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, and participated in numerous academic and service organizations. Some of the academic organizations include Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key Honor Society, and Delta Delta Sigma Pre-Dental Honor Society. Some of the service organizations I have worked with include the Boys and Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, Relay for Life, and Greenville Police Athletic League.