Jewell - Jessica

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EC Scholars - Class of 2015

Jessica Jewell

Hometown/State: Clayton, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2011

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished East Carolina Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Communications - Broadcast Journalism 

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University? 

Stepping onto ECU's campus, I instantly felt at home. Of all the college campuses I have visited, I have never felt the heart, pride and passion that Pirate Nation evokes. East Carolina's concentration on service and leadership parallels my devotion to such values. The Honors College and EC Scholars programs offer incredible opportunities that not only put students in a league of their own, but also give them individual attention and a sense of home that may seem unattainable in such a large university.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship has already established me as a leader at East Carolina. Not only have I been able to meet leaders within the university, but I have also become a leader within Pirate Nation. I have become a role model to my peers within the Honors College and within the student body. I have been immersed into a program of incredibly intelligent, talented and passionate students and directors. Because of my scholarship, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for four weeks during the summer of 2013. This was truly a life-changing experience that taught me so much about the world around me, but I learned even more about myself. This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern for NBC News Channel in Washington, D.C. I was responsible for financing my housing entirely on my own, which many know is far from cheap in the nation’s capital. Without the EC Scholars and Honors College scholarships, it is unlikely I would have been able to afford this incredible opportunity. Most importantly, my scholarship has inspired me to do and be my best at East Carolina in every way possible. I believe this scholarship is truly an investment into my success. If someone thought I was worth their investment, then I feel it is worth my extra effort to excel in my community and beyond.

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

I am in the early stages of my Senior Honors Project, through which I will work with a local volunteer fire department to ultimately create a documentary. I am starting to build relationships with them and will create feature videos to profile their lives and experiences. My goal is to shed light on the men and women who honorably serve our community day in and day out.

In the spring of my sophomore year, I was privileged to intern with a community-based research project entitled “Building a Latino Community Dialogue: Opportunities to Interact with Immigrant Communities in Eastern North Carolina.” Through this, I was able to interact with local Latinos to help spur conversation about problems they face, and then identify potential solutions. This was an incredible opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of others through research. Had I not been an EC Scholar, I would not have been able to broaden my horizons in this way.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university? 

I have been fortunate to engage in several unique leadership opportunities at ECU. I currently serve in the university’s top leadership program as an Elite Pirate. I have done this for the past two years. As an Elite Pirate, I serve as an ambassador for the university at various events and with special guests. I also manage a team of student employees for the Honors College as the Undergraduate Director of Marketing & Communications. Additionally, I have served as a representative on the Student Media Board. This year, I was appointed as the student representative on the Executive Board for the School of Communication Alumni Group (CommCrew). Last semester, I interned with the Eastern NC chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This year, I will continue to contribute to this organization as a member of the planning board for JDRF. Additionally, I have served the Honors College as an Honors Ambassador throughout my college career. I perceive leadership to be doing what is right when no one is watching; our university has only proven my interpretation further.

What are your career plans/aspirations? 

I plan to graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business Administration in May 2015. Upon graduation, I will start looking for a job as a news reporter at a news station hopefully on the east coast. I want to work with hard news, perhaps in politics. My ultimate goal is to become a national news reporter.

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

I believe I have been a positive influence to my fellow Pirates, ranging from academia to morale. As an Elite Pirate, I work to improve the image of our university and exude a positive image for our student body. I have also hosted various videos for University Marketing detailing the history of ECU’s campus and sports program. In order to have a genuine appreciation for this university, I believe you need to know how we got from where we started to where we are now. By hosting those videos, I am promoting awareness of ECU’s history not just to the student body, but to the outside community. Along with my class of EC Scholars, I have volunteered with several organizations in Greenville in an effort to give back. As an Honors Ambassador and a student employee in the Honors College, I help to maximize the potential of our growing college. The Honors College and EC Scholars programs shape my future everyday; therefore, I hope that through my actions, success and contribution, I can return the favor. I am a firm believer in “To whom much is given, much is expected.” My goal is to succeed and surpass the expectations of my donors, my professors, my colleagues, my peers, and myself.