What makes you proud to be a Pirate?
The sense of community and respect for others. I feel that most people here respect one another and donate their time to the community. We have tons of ways to be involved and it really makes us who we are as a school. I love the sense of school spirit we have here.
How has being at ECU changed you as a person?
Over the past six years, counting undergrad and grad school, I have changed a great deal. I am still the same girl at heart, but I'm much stronger and more independent. I learned to be a leader and to see great things in every person. ECU is a wonderful place for developing yourself as a person, both in the classroom and around campus.
What would you tell a prospective student about ECU?
That if you want to experience a school that focuses on the students, has tons of spirit, and encourages growth and creative freedom, then ECU is for you. Once you are here, my best advice would be to get to know your professors and the students in your program. This is a big school, but it can actually seem pretty small. You never know when you'll need a recommendation letter or when you'll be working next to someone who lived next door to you. With everything in life, you get out what you put in. There is so much to do here, so dive in and take advantage of everything both academically and socially!
How does ECU help prepare students for their careers?
Aside from the obvious degrees offered, ECU prepares students for careers through the student organizations, the leadership development opportunities, and most importantly for me, the jobs on campus. I was a member of Healthy PIRATES my freshman year, and our advisor told me about a job opening at Student Health. I applied and worked in their Health and Nutrition Department for three years. My current supervisor heard about my work with Student Health and told me about an internship at Campus Wellness. Once I got into that role, I was encouraged to apply for the GA position at Campus Wellness. I have been doing that for two years now. My work at Student Health and my close relationship with my academic advisor at the time also opened the door for me to start teaching Health 1000 classes as well. Now I have several great people I can ask to write letters of recommendation for my job search! It’s all about networking and doing your best no matter what job you are in. People at ECU notice your hard work. It definitely pays off!
Tell me about your graduate assistantship.
I am a graduate assistant for Campus Wellness working specifically with the Wellness Living Learning Community. This community is geared towards incoming freshmen at ECU, but we also have a second-year program for our returning students who apply. The second-year students function as mentors for our first-year students. The first years live together and take several classes together that I help teach. The second-years do not have to live together, but they do take class together where we work on developing culturally competent leadership skills.
We encourage all of our students to make healthier decisions. We feel that through education students can make informed decisions that fit their lifestyle best and then go out into the community to teach others. This job really allowed me to connect with the students and to help them find the resources they need to be successful.
Upon graduating, what will you miss most about ECU?
My friends/coworkers. I love the respect I've been given by my coworkers have at Campus Wellness. They have supported my crazy ideas at work and listened while I vented about life. I think I will be hard pressed to find a better place to work. I'll also miss our students in the Wellness Living Learning Community. They have really meant a lot to me over the past two years. I am truly dreading having to leave because I want to see the program grow. It is truly an awesome program that I've poured my heart into.