Taylor - Lea

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EC Scholars Class of 2016

Lea Taylor

Hometown/State: Faison, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class: 2012

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Bate Special Funds

Major/Intended Major: BS Biology/BA Chemistry 

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

The most important factors in my college decision were the atmosphere and the strength of programs.  To address the first, East Carolina University has the most welcoming and hospitable atmosphere of any college I have visited.  When I first visited campus, I immediately fell in love with the faculty and staff; they were so friendly and helpful!  Everyone at ECU has an immense amount of school spirit, which speaks volumes about the strong community found here. More importantly, I knew that I would receive a strong academic foundation at ECU and felt I could successfully accomplish all of my academic endeavors here.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

This scholarship has relieved the financial burden of attending college and has also presented me with many incredible opportunities. I have had the wonderful experience of studying, living, and learning alongside intellectual, driven students as well as study under distinguished faculty members. I truly have been given opportunities that would not be afforded to me anywhere else, such as networking, service, leadership, and research opportunities, and being in such a supportive environment. I am so grateful for the scholarship and look forward to taking full advantage of every opportunity that arises.

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

This year, I am beginning research under Dr. Hvastkovs in the Department of Chemistry. Being that I have just started research at the beginning of this school year, we are still determining which project I will be working on. Right now, we are implementing enzymatic transformation of benzopyrene into BPDE using the cytochrome p450 enzyme, and using an electrochemical platform to detect DNA damage caused by the carcinogen.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

As an EC Scholar and Honors student, I have had numerous opportunities for leadership. In the freshman colloquium, I was able to learn about leadership and apply my knowledge to a service project in the community. Coordinating a service project was one of the first major leadership roles I have had, and I learned so much from that experience. Additionally, I co-chair the Honors Ambassadors Recruitment Committee. This leadership role not only allows me to be a leader among my peers but also a leader within the Honors College.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

When I graduate from East Carolina University, I hope to have a B.S. in Biology, a B.A. in Chemistry, and a M.S. in Occupational Therapy. I am undecided about the setting I would like to work in, but am keeping an open mind so that I do not miss out on any opportunities or potential areas of interest. Regardless of the setting, I am certain that I would like to become an occupational therapist. My main goal in life is to help others live life to its fullest, regardless of disabilities, disorders, or other life circumstances that prevent them from doing just that.

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

Although I have only been at East Carolina for a year, I have already experienced many opportunities to make a positive impact. I have been a volunteer at Golden Living Center, the Ronald McDonald House, and am currently volunteering in Patient Escort Services at Vidant Medical Center. I have also had the opportunity to work with fellow Honors students to implement a large service project to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern NC. ECU and the Honors College offers a plethora of opportunities for students to get involved and make a positive impact, and I can’t wait to participate in other service activities this year!

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