Goel - Leela

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EC Scholars Class of 2016

Leela Goel

Hometown/State: Raleigh, NC

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2012

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Henry G. and Nancy Williamson Leadership East Carolina Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major:  Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

All of the faculty and staff that I met when visiting ECU made me feel at home. The Honors College staff made me feel especially welcome at ECU and I was confident that I would be able to accomplish all of the academic and professional goals I had for my undergraduate education at ECU.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

This scholarship has given me the freedom to be a truly full time student at ECU. I am very fortunate that I do not have to worry about paying back student loans or affording to pay for my college education. This allows me to focus on learning and participating in activities that interest me. The study abroad stipend offered  by the scholarship has also allowed me to study in India during the summer of 2013.  Without this stipend, I doubt that I would have ever had the opportunity to experience going to another country without my family and gaining a deeper appreciation for Indian culture.

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

I am currently working in ECU's biomechanics lab, which is part of the Department of Kinesiology. I have started to learn a lot about the field of biomechanics and how it can relate to biomedical engineering.  I was also the recipient of an ECU Spring 2013 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) award.  All of the faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in the lab are great mentors and help me learn how to be a better researcher.  I cannot wait to learn more about biomechanics this year!

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

The Freshman Honors Leadership Colloquium has given me the opportunity to learn about different types of leadership. While I usually think of a leader as a singular person who leads a group by example, this class reminded me that the "followers" of an organization are also essential to accomplishing the mission of an organization.  This year, I will also be the President-Elect for ECU's Biomedical Engineering Society as well as a tutor for the Pirate Tutoring Center.  I look forward to applying my past leadership experiences and some of the concepts from the leadership colloquium to this position.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

After seeing the effects of stroke on my grandmother and working in several scientific research labs over the past several years, I want to become a medical researcher.  My current goal is to earn an MD, PhD, or to do an MD/PhD program.  As I learn more about approaching human health problems from both a medical perspective and research perspective over the next few years, I will have better understanding for the field I want to specialize in, which I think will genuinely improve patients' care.

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

During Honors College Service Day my Freshman year, I helped with the Go Science program. I had the opportunity to teach kids about science by letting them play with scented balloons! I loved seeing the kids get excited about learning and becoming curious about the world around them.

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