Hometown/State: Cary, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2012
Scholarship(s) Awarded: James H. Maynard East Carolina Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Nursing
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
I chose to attend East Carolina University after spending a month on campus for an academic summer camp called Summer Ventures for Math and Science. During my month at Summer Ventures, I noticed that the campus had the right “feel” to it; while walking around campus, I could really picture myself attending school here because something just seemed to click during my stay. The professors from the university volunteered their own time to teach high school students during summer- what most teachers view as an academic break. Having such fantastic and devoted professors, that were always willing to help me even though I was not one of their college students, made me realize that the rest of the East Carolina University faculty must be just as wonderful; a prediction that was proven true at the EC Scholars interview weekend. I also loved the school spirit of ECU that I noticed while walking around campus during both the summer and during interview weekend; as a very spirited person, I could see my outgoing personality fitting in really well at East Carolina University.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
My scholarship has enabled me to think about exploring the world with the sponsored study aboard experience. I have the opportunity to enrich myself culturally and become a true twenty-first century learner equipped with global knowledge and experience. My scholarship has also given me the opportunity to attend college, with my thoughts focused on my current education along with what’s next in terms of my life goals and aspirations, without dreading the hardship to come of student debt that so many students endure after their college graduation. However, one of the best things that my scholarship has enabled me to do is get acquainted with a group of nineteen other EC Scholar students that I get to call my family for the next four years.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
As an EC Scholar, I’m extremely excited about the idea of immersing myself in undergraduate research. I want to focus on something that is near and dear to my heart: concussions. As a high-level soccer player in such a competitive environment, I have gotten two severe concussions and a close encounter with second impact syndrome during my career as an athlete. Concussions are detrimental to both aspects of being a student athlete; they affect your performance both in the classroom and on the soccer field. I aspire to research just how damaging these affects are, especially to the young athletes whose brains are still developing. I would like to get involved with this research in order to protect young athletes across the globe and establish new guidelines for sports that focus on protecting the head from serious harm.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
I look forward to being a leader in many different departments at East Carolina. Currently, I am a registered captain of a co-ed flag football team, and plan to be involved in both Hall Government and Honors Ambassadors. I want to make sure to stretch my leadership horizons in all different fields of study and not focus on just one; I don’t want to be just a leader in my group of scholars or just a leader on a sports field. I want to make a difference at ECU through my leadership and give back to the university that has given me so much already.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
I plan to obtain my bachelor’s degree in science and nursing in order to become a registered nurse, hopefully in a pediatric oncology ward. My best friend in second grade had leukemia and talked very highly of her nurse that treated her at every visit; ever since then, I vowed to grow up into the type of nurse that helped my best friend through chemotherapy so that on the day of fifth grade graduation, my best friend and I could walk the stage together.