Joseph W. Paul, III
Hometown/State: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2012
Scholarship(s) Awarded: R. Janie Barber East Carolina Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Biochemistry
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?
East Carolina University stood out to me as an institution that plays a unique role in the community and eastern North Carolina because of its foundations on service. I will have a chance to develop skills as a leader and innovator that I would not be able to elsewhere. I was also very impressed with the faculty and the organization of the Honors College, which would allow flexibility with course work and extensive research opportunities.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?
My scholarship has allowed me to work with some of the most exceptional professors and faculty members that I have ever met. I also have been introduced to many different channels and techniques to participate in community service benefiting eastern North Carolina. It is a very unique experience to enter a large university with the feeling of a smaller and more focused atmosphere with many similarly motivated peers in both the EC Scholars program and Honors College. I feel very fortunate to have access to such a large network of students and faculty for a variety of academic opportunities usually restricted to a few upper classmen.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?
I am interested in pursuing a career in medical research so expanding both my fundamental and technical knowledge of science is a priority. I anticipate involving myself in research with the Brody School of Medicine relevant to the current needs of eastern North Carolina such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?
I am excited to work towards becoming a leader on campus. The EC Scholars program has put many programs together that focus on our maturation into leaders as individuals and as a group. I look forward to harnessing the ability to lead from what I will learn here and transfer these skills into to the remainder of my career in school and beyond.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
The growing number and complexity of human diseases has inspired me to pursue a career in medical research. I would like to specialize in translational medicine, which involves taking novel discoveries from the research and development phase into clinical trials. In the future I hope to direct a laboratory that investigates the causes of and creates therapeutics for a variety of disorders and conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?
I have already been able to participate in several community service projects. I am optimistic that I will dedicate myself long term to one or several of the projects I have already enjoyed working with in a small capacity. I also hope to add to the already prominent reputation of the Honors College and the university as both continue to grow.