Carman Pericozzi, who graduates from ECU in May 2014, says that her time at ECU has prepared her for what the future may bring.
Carman has served as president of the Society of Women Engineers for the past two years. She says the group of about 30 women supports each other. “My mom is a big leader and I think I take it a lot from her,” said Pericozzi.
“With all the female role models we have in the department, you can see how far you can go and that’s really inspiring.”
The first word that comes to mind when Carman thinks about ECU is ‘friendliness’. She says when people ask her about ECU, she tells them about how well everybody gets along and the diversity on campus.
Carman spends her down time playing on the women’s club basketball team. She said that it is a good way to de-stress. “I can let loose and have fun with it; I don’t have to worry about being graded, keeping up my GPA or anything,” she said.
Carman encourages people to visit ECU during the football games. “It’s so fun for everyone to sit in the Boneyard and chant and let loose.”
During high school, Carman was not a football fan. But that changed once she got to ECU. Pericozzi said, “I was like ‘this is a completely different environment.’”
As a woman aspiring to a career in engineering, her participation with the Society of Women Engineers provides her with a good support system. The group also works with young girls in the community to give them tours of campus and to tell them about the engineering department.
Carman has been active at ECU with many different engineering organizations such as the Engineering Ambassadors and the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering. She helps the College of Technology and Computer Science host STEM Day, an event held to educate local high school students about majors and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Carman is pursuing an engineering degree with a double concentration in bioprocess and biomedical.
What is it like participating with the Society of Women Engineers?
We do a lot of community service. We just got chartered last summer, in June and we are really proud to be nationally known now at ECU. That was something that my academic advisor and I worked very hard on along with other faculty members. We hold a canned food drive, participate in Relay for Life and we participate in STEM Girl, which is a technology day here at ECU.
What’s your favorite part about ECU?
I like how friendly everyone is and how proud everyone is to be here. That’s the reason why I came here. I went to a lot of other engineering departments at other universities and here when I stepped in, all of the professors were willing to help you and it was very personal. I’ve seen that throughout my years, the professors get to know your name and I’ve been able to go to professors’ office hours, even if I don’t have that professor in class. They will still invite me in and sit and talk. It just seemed really personal and in class that makes it a lot easier to go to teachers to seek help. And it helps for graduate school later on.
What is your dream job?
To work at any type of institute with research in tissue engineering in stem cell research.
Tell me about your favorite professor
Dr. Reis. He’s just very interesting and knowledgeable and he teaches in a way that is interesting and it’s never boring to go to class.
What would you tell an incoming freshman who wants to pursue the same major?
You have to have a strong heart with the biology and chemistry and a will to get through the math side. You need a real interest in how the body works in anatomy and physiology. They should understand that you don’t have to go into the biomedical field, because with engineering you get a feel for every concentration that’s offered here.
What is the worst part about graduating?
I’m really going to miss the environment at ECU It’s going to be a whole different world and I’ll actually have to work. Right now, my only job is to be a student and I’m going to miss that. I don’t want to go out yet and start working; I want to be a student a little bit longer.
What is the best part about graduating?
I feel like I got a good education here and I’ve really grown as a person. Through all the organizations, I feel I’ve grown as a leader.
Written by: Jamitress Bowden
Photography by: Jay Clark