Podolski - Alexandria

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EC Scholars Class of 2016

Alexandria Podolski

Major/Intended Major: Engineering (Biomedical)

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University? 

I chose to attend East Carolina University because here I am able to major in engineering while still enjoying the camaraderie and liberal arts feeling that the Honors College community fosters.  The Honors College not only enables me, but encourages me to pursue interests outside of my major, which is really important to me seeing as my academic and extracurricular interests do not always align.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship and the prestige that goes with it makes me more than a face in the crowd; more than a number.  Because of this, I get to be a part of the change taking place at East Carolina University. 

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

I am currently involved in research with the engineering department.  Rather than being dismissed as only a sophomore as I would have been at most large universities, the engineering department here seeks out students early in their undergraduate career in order to train them and keep them for their remaining time here.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

Leadership is not always about giving instruction to others, but setting an example for others to choose to follow.  This can be exemplified in service leadership.  East Carolina University’s motto is servire, latin for “to serve”.  As a result there are many opportunities through both the Honors College and through the general university to lead through service.  I’ve volunteered at many different locations through the university, but the most unique leadership opportunity was tutoring elementary school girls at Operation Sunshine, a nonprofit after-school program for girls in low income households.  I got to be a teacher, a leader, and a role model for these girls.  I got to empower them with knowledge and confidence.  It was an amazing experience.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

I am still trying to figure out exactly what I would like to pursue after attaining my undergraduate degree in engineering.  There are so many opportunities; it is hard to limit myself to just one at this point.  I do know that I want to continue my education, whether that is to get my masters degree and pursue the design of prosthetics, go to law school to become a patent lawyer, or go to medical school to become a doctor specializing in amputations.

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

I have been able to participate in various volunteer organizations through the Honors College.  Whether I have been volunteering at a local nursing home with fellow EC Scholars or at Habitat for Humanity with Honors College members, I have made a significant impact on the Greenville community.  It is such an incredible feeling to be part of making a tangible difference.