Thaxton - Chris

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EC Scholars Class of 2016

Chris Thaxton

Hometown/State: La Grange, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2012

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Helen McLawhorn Memorial East Carolina Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: BS Environmental Biology/BA Chemistry

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University? 

Growing up I was always a NC State fan, and planned on going to NC State.  It wasn’t until I visited East Carolina and learned about all of the opportunities the EC Scholarship offered that I even considered ECU, but once I learned of the study abroad and undergraduate research opportunities that the EC Scholarship offered my mind was set.  Now that I have spent a year at ECU, I know I made the right choice

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

I have met a lot of amazing people through the EC Scholarship.  Between activities such as sailing and ECU’s ropes course, I have already grown extremely close to my fellow scholars.  The prestige associated with being an EC Scholar has also strengthened my resume, which has opened up more opportunities outside of East Carolina for me.  This past summer I received a tuition scholarship to study at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, an amazing opportunity I do not believe would have been possible had it not been for my EC Scholarship standing out on my resume.

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

I have not had the opportunity to participate in any undergraduate research yet, but I am looking forward to the research opportunities the scholarship offers.  This fall I am participating in a research colloquium as part of the Honors College, and I hope that through this course I decide what subject I would like to research during the rest of my studies at ECU.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

I was able to participate in a leadership colloquium my freshman year at East Carolina in which my class assessed the strengths and weaknesses of various leadership styles in order to decide which best suited us.  This year I also have the opportunity to serve as my EC Scholars’ class roundtable representative where other scholars and I will facilitate the wishes of other scholars to the Honors College faculty and help plan scholar events.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

Upon graduation I plan to attend graduate school and obtain a Master of Science in conservation biology or environmental management.  I then would like to either pursue a doctoral degree or a profession in the field of conservation biology, specifically one dealing with the mitigation of the negative effects of climate change on coastal biodiversity.

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

Last year I volunteered at a local living center as part of one of my EC Scholars classes, helped with trash removal on move-in day as part of the Honors College, and helped orchestrate a fundraising event to buy toys for foster children through Under our Wings.  This past summer I also volunteered with the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores as an Exhibit Interpreter.  Most important to me, though, is the positive impact I strive to have on those around me on campus every day by helping out or simply giving a compliment to those who look like they need it.