Hometown/State: Hallsboro, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2016
Major/Intended Major: Chemistry
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
I chose to attend East Carolina University because my experience at Selection Sunday and Honors College Preview Day. The faculty, students, and staff all made me feel welcome and wanted; I was treated like a friend everywhere I went. The sense of community was incredible! That weekend, it all clicked for me. Between the gorgeous campus, the amazing people, and the excellent programs, I knew without a doubt that ECU is the school for me.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
My scholarship has enabled me to experience numerous unique opportunities within the classroom, around campus, and across the globe. I have taken classes led by some of the most distinguished faculty members of East Carolina University, seminars that cover a diverse range of topics, including humanities, novel research techniques, and preparation for graduate school. The friendships and relationships I have built within the academic community at ECU have already proved to be invaluable to me, and I have no doubt that they will continue to provide support for the duration of my undergraduate career and beyond. With my study abroad stipend, I was able to spend a portion of my summer exploring Europe. Travelling through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France taught me to be a more respectful and culturally aware member of a global society.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
As a sophomore, I had the opportunity to conduct community based participatory research with Dr. Essie Torres. I assisted Dr. Torres and her team with a project targeted at quantifying and improving healthcare access to members of the local Latino community, an effort entitled "Latinos Abriendo Puertas Para Vidas Mas Saludables." I am also currently involved with a research internship at the East Carolina Heart Institute, where I have the honor of working alongside of some of the area's leading physicians and research teams for the 2014-2015 academic year.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
IIn my time at East Carolina University, I have participated in leadership building activities with my fellow EC Scholars, taken seminars specifically designed around the concept of leadership, and been involved with several campus organizations. The university is teeming with leadership roles just waiting to be filled, and the EC Scholars Award has helped me gain the tools and skills necessary to adequately fill them.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
I hope to attend Brody School of Medicine and eventually specialize in Cardiology. I plan to return to my hometown in rural southeastern North Carolina to open a practice and improve the quality of healthcare for Columbus County residents. I have always been passionate about Cardiology, and I want to use that passion to benefit those around me.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
I believe that I have made a positive impact during my time at ECU by participating in campus clubs and organizations that are centered on the concept of community service. As a student in the Honors College and especially as an EC Scholar, I have been a part of countless fundraising and awareness efforts. I've volunteered at nursing homes, science fairs, and elementary schools. I have tutored, fundraised for various causes, and even made blankets for patients at the Maynard Children's Hospital at Vidant. One of my favorite aspects of East Carolina University is the extent to which community service and global impact are emphasized; I know that everyone here shares the same desire to change the world.