The mission of the Honors College at East Carolina University is to prepare tomorrow's leaders through the recruitment, engagement, and retention of exceptionally talented students of character in a diverse intellectual living-learning community and to challenge them to attain high levels of academic achievement.
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By: Erika Dietrick, Undergraduate Director of Marketing and Communications
The first class of Gateway Hall moved into East Carolina University’s premier residence hall in August. Boasting a number of amenities from music practice rooms to basketball facilities, Gateway sits atop College Hill as the new home of the Honors College Living-Learning community. Now, after a semester of dorm living, both Honors College freshmen and upperclassmen are sharing why they are proud to call Gateway home. (Photo, left, by Patrick Fay.)
The Lucky Ones
As told by Shamin Jamadar, Honors College Freshman
“‘Oh my gosh, you’re so lucky!’ is most definitely a phrase every resident of Gateway has become accustomed to hearing. It also goes without saying that this is a very accurate statement. From both lounges and study rooms on each floor, to wide closet spaces, Gateway has it all; although, what is even better than Gateway itself is the people that inhabit it.”
New Dorm Provides a Learning ‘Gateway’ atop College Hill
As told by Jason Schodt, Honors College Freshman
“Living in the new Gateway dorm atop College Hill was an experience that I looked forward to before I entered ECU in August. I anticipated I would find a modern dorm that would be comfortable and an enjoyable living environment. However, Gateway is more than just a new and spacious living space. It is also an incredible learning environment that has assisted my academic development as an Engineering and Music student.
The multiple study rooms that can be found on each floor are an incredible resource for my fellow Honors College students and I. These rooms are a great place for Honors freshmen to meet with their community service groups from Honors 2000. My group and I meet each week to discuss the progress of our work with a community organization. Additionally, housing the Honors College students together facilitates collaboration and discussion. I have several Honors College students on my floor who are also Engineering students and they are an excellent collaborative resource.”
Second Year Perspective: a Light-Hearted, Heart-Felt Review of Gateway
As told by Kevin Nguyen, Honors College Sophomore
“If I could say one thing about Gateway, it would be that it’s gigantic. If you haven’t seen it, it’s five floors full of the smartest people you’d ever have the pleasure to meet. Coming from my last dorm into Gateway, there’s no comparison between the two. Literally no comparison. Gateway has an elevator, albeit you can’t jump in it, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that we have an elevator. Very handy. The washing machines are fantastic and not old and will not leak water all over the floor, which is generally just very agreeable. However, I’d have to say that the best part about Gateway is the fact that people rarely stay in their rooms. I can’t say if this is a result of Gateway or the people, but it is quite enjoyable and honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had in a dorm. I may have had only two years of experience with one of them being Gateway, but that’s no matter. Gateway, at its core, is the people in it. And the people in it are some of the best I’ve ever befriended.”
Grateful for the Gateway Experience
As told by Tricia Malcolm, Honors College Freshman
“I love living in Gateway. It is the best place to live on campus. I am so thankful to be in the Honors College so that I can live in that beautiful dorm. If I was not in the Honors College, I would have had to live in an older dorm with rooms that aren’t nearly as nice. Gateway has big rooms with tall ceilings that do not make me feel confined. Gateway also has very clean bathrooms with plenty of showers and toilets.
My experience living in Gateway has been overwhelmingly positive. The Hall Government and RA’s put on little events with free food all the time. The events can be informative or even just a dance party. There was this one time when they held a “Netflix and No Chill” event–they also provided free chick-fil-a nuggets and sauce. That was a lot of fun. Sometimes people gather in the lobby to watch football games or Harry Potter.
If you are a sports lover, Gateway is a great fit for you. We are right beside the football stadium, so if you want to head on over to a game you do not need to walk far! If you are not into football, you still have the feeling of school spirit as you walk down the hill toward campus on almost any day. You will pass the school’s marching band rehearsing, the dance club dancing, and several groups practicing. It is a lot of fun to walk past and listen to the band’s rendition of several James Bond songs on the way to my Chemistry Lab.”
By: Madeline (Madie) Fleishman, EC Scholar and Honors College Freshman
Many extremely interesting events are advertised at ECU, but they don’t necessarily offer insight into my unique career goals; so when Peter Bergen’s name came across my email, I knew I had to jump on the opportunity to meet him. Peter Bergen is a CNN Security analyst, among many things, who has spent the majority of his life studying, traveling the world, and focusing on major threats to our security. Most famously, this led him to become the first person to hold a televised interview with Osama Bin Laden. Needless to say, Peter Bergen was an incredible person to ask probing questions about national security.
The first question to be answered and ultimately the one on all of our minds was, “what was it like to interview Osama bin Laden?” What struck me was the calmness with which he answered the question while describing the terrifying layers of security he endured in order to meet Bin Laden. Little did Mr. Bergen know who bin Laden would eventually become, but using his education in Security Studies, he was initially suspicious of the power of this man. From there, a discussion erupted about the future threat that ISIS poses to our world. The discussion was both a rousing debate and a chance for us to learn from Mr. Bergen. He shared first-hand information about ISIS that is almost impossible to find on one’s own. Other topics discussed in the session included the future of our cyber security and the current European refugee crisis.
All in all, the information session was incredibly useful tool that allowed me to learn about world security threats from a first-hand perspective. Often it is difficult to understand the full perspective of world issues from Greenville, NC, but Peter Bergen allowed us to gain a needed understanding of our world.
By: Jackie Curtis, EC Scholar and Honors College Sophomore
“My advice for incoming freshmen: don’t be afraid to try new things! Step out of your comfort zone a little bit – you’ll be amazed how much you can learn about yourself!” So I wrote as I sat in my room thinking about the millions of things I could say to the incoming freshmen at Convocation. Out of all the ideas I had come up with, this one seemed, rather ironically, very fitting for the occasion.
A week before, I had received an email asking for volunteers to compete in a lip-sync battle at ECU’s Convocation. The email was from an Honors College faculty member, so instead of doing my homework and confirming the details, I assumed that the email was referring to the Honors College Convocation. I responded to the email saying that I would like to participate, thinking that a solo performance in front of a relatively small group of my Honors College peers would be a beneficial transition from my past experience with choirs and musical theater chorus ensembles.
At some point, as I was reading through the long stream of emails that ensued regarding the lip-sync battle, I came to the startling realization that it was not, in fact, the Honors College Convocation at which I had volunteered to lip-sync. It was the general college Convocation – the one that close to five thousand freshmen would be attending.
To give some personal background, just about anyone who knows me would say that I am shy, quiet and reserved. I am an introvert. I like listening more than talking. I don’t want to be the center of attention. My agreeing to take center stage in front of what I thought would be around two hundred people was a pretty big deal. Needless to say, I was slightly unnerved when I realized my misunderstanding. The idea of performing in front of thousands of people was not especially appealing.
Fast-forward to the day of Convocation: I showed up at Minges a few hours before convocation began to run through my routine. I had a great time watching my fellow competitors rehearse, watched as thousands of freshmen poured into the arena, took a few deep breaths before I went onstage in front of everyone, and then proceeded to have the time of my life. I absolutely loved every second I was performing. I never could have imagined that I would have so much fun doing something so far outside my comfort zone.
I will never forget the feeling I had while I was onstage performing. I will also never forget the lessons I learned through this experience. Number one: read emails thoroughly before agreeing to do things. Number two: “step out of your comfort zone a little bit – you’ll be amazed how much you can learn about yourself!”