Hometown/State: Mount Airy, North Carolina (otherwise known as Mayberry)
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2012
Scholarship(s) Awarded: R. L. Davis East Carolina Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Pre-Med
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
While I applied to and received acceptance from all the colleges in the state that have medical schools, East Carolina offered me a greater opportunity. The package offer of Honors College, EC Scholars, and Early Assurance to the Brody School of Medicine made East Carolina University extremely tempting. To be completely honest, it was the staff and people at ECU that sealed the deal. At ECU I was a person with a name and not just a number. For me, I felt like I was joining a big family.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
My scholarship has enabled me to relax and focus on education rather than worry about the costs associated with obtaining my educational goals. The extra funding has allowed me to increase my credit hours per semester. In addition, I have been able to focus on research and community service instead of part-time employment. I have actually expanded my mentoring program and website (www.empoweringspecialpopulations.com). The opportunity to travel abroad that the EC Scholars program offers is something that I have not yet experienced, but it is something that I have always dreamed of and look forward to experiencing.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
While I have published medical research, it has not been under ECU.
I am currently conducting research at the Brody School of Medicine in the Microbiology Lab. Specifically, I am working with gene expression linked to colon cancer. My passion for research has allowed me to take on the position of ECU campus liaison for CANCAS (The Collegiate Academy of the North Carolina Academy of Science). In this position, I help link motivated undergraduate students with skilled researchers to find research positions. Ultimately, my mission is to form a strong group of students to represent East Carolina University at the statewide research symposium.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
ECU has encouraged me to maintain my position as a hospital volunteer and go beyond my wildest expectations. I have become involved in ECU student government. In addition, I have established a relationship at a local assisted living facility in Greenville. As a member of the Honors College, I have worked at the local food bank. I have cleaned up local parks and learned to take care of the local habitat. Most importantly, I have learned to work as a team member and empower those I seek to lead. I have auditioned and been accepted as a Magnolia Belles, sponsored by the Alumni Association of ECU. Scholastically, I have started study groups and inspired others to seek academic excellence. I am also the founder of ECU's 'She's The First' Campus Chapter, a charitable organization that strives to sponsor girls' education in developing nations to give them the chance to become the first in their families to graduate from secondary school.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
My career goal to be a doctor has always been rooted in my desire to care for people. East Carolina University has provided me the perfect opportunity to secure my dream. In addition, it offers me lots of exposure to grow as a person and community leader. Pursuing a career in the medical field is synonymous with being a professional in serving others. I cannot think of a better way to expend the talents and blessings I've been given.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
I am a true believer in the power of leading by example. It is for this reason that I strive to embody every aspect of our mission statement: 'to serve as a national model for public service and regional transformation.' While, I have personally engaged myself in research, local and global volunteer opportunities, and overall academic rigor; my desire is to encourage others to excel and reach their own full potential. We are all members of a larger community, and when we work together to achieve the same goal of bettering the world around us, the impact will be greater than we could ever imagine.