Hometown/State: Fuquay-Varina, NC
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2012
Scholarship(s) Awarded: Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished East Carolina Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Biology
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
Honors College Preview Day was a pivotal moment in my decision to attend ECU. It was entirely unlike any of the previous events I had attended at other universities because of the amount of involvement the Honors College faculty showed. I didn't feel like just another student; the Honors College was truly interested in providing me with an excellent support structure for my goals! In addition, ECU has a strong pre-professional program because of the school of medicine, which will be useful in my own career goals.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
The scholarship has given me an opportunity to focus on my ultimate career goal, becoming a veterinarian, without many of the stresses other pre-vet students have. I can focus on obtaining this goal without financial burden, supported by a network of experienced professors and a large variety of opportunities that are not as available to other students.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
As a freshman, I have not yet been involved any undergraduate research, but I know that the experience will be waiting as soon as my studies have prepared me! I hope to work with the biology department in genetics or environmental studies, or in wildlife/ecosystem research.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
The Honors College and EC Scholars program have already offered leadership opportunities; for example, I helped prepare cardboard for recycling on move-in day. I will be participating in the Honors Ambassadors program as well, spreading the program to high schools across the state (including my own!). Of course, there are still many leadership experiences to come!
What are your career plans/aspirations?
After volunteering with a small non-profit zoo for many years, I have learned the importance of not only caring for captive specimens, but educating the public about how to conserve the world's wild species. My goal is to become an exotic veterinarian, with a focus on herpetology. Rather than caring for people's pets, I want to work with a zoo, with particular emphasis on public education about environmental concerns and species conservation.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
My time at ECU has been very brief thus far, but I have participated in an Honors College service day, aiding campus maintenance in preparing cardboard boxes for recycling. I also hope to lead my fellow students by example, remaining dedicated to my studies and retaining a quality image as an EC Scholar.