Ec Scholars Honors College

“I see being an EC scholar as being an ambassador for the college and maintaining ECU’s standards both on and off campus.”

Pittsboro, North Carolina

High School:
Northwood High School

Intended Major:
French and biomedical engineering

Class of 2021

Zachary Barnett
Entrepreneurial spirit

EC Scholar Zachary Barnett is coming to East Carolina University as a double-major in French and biomedical engineering. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Zachary. His high school career reflects this same trajectory.

His freshman and sophomore high school years were spent at the International School of Brussels, where he was recognized for numerous accomplishments. Similar accolades carried over to his junior and senior years at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, where his honors and AP studies included French, statistics, biology, pre-calculus, psychology and chemistry. He also took first place for a biomedical engineering project at a summer engineering camp.

The 17-year old son of Townsend and Christa Barnett plans to take a break before hitting the ECU campus in August.

"I'm definitely going to relax over the summer," said Barnett. "Hopefully, I'll go to the beach or the mountains and spend time with my family. I have a few friends visiting from overseas. I can't wait to see them because it's been a while."

EC Scholars is the most prestigious undergraduate award program offered at ECU. The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive an Honors College scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of almost $62,000.

Barnett's first visit to campus is what persuaded him to become a Pirate.

"Before coming to ECU, I told my parents that I wanted a large-school population with an intimate, small-school feel," said Barnett. "When I toured ECU, I found the perfect combination of these two attributes as well as my preferred major, a gorgeous campus and most importantly, that warm, fuzzy feeling."

And, once on campus, Barnett plans to get involved just like he did when he was in high school.

"During ECU's open house, I was blown away by the enormous amount of activities available, so I'm really excited," said Barnett. "I can't wait to join intramural soccer and club-level badminton. I also want to get involved in French organizations around campus."

Another activity Barnett will participate in is the study abroad opportunity that comes with being an EC Scholar. Morocco is his choice, and it makes sense.

"The architecture, Arabic language, way of life; it's all extremely appealing to me," said Barnett.  "Furthermore, Morocco was once a French colony, and as a result, there are many Moroccans who speak French. So, I'll have the chance to work on my fluency for my double-major."

The double major is what Barnett hopes will shape him to be an innovative, entrepreneur once he finishes at ECU.

"No matter what my plans may be post-graduation, I want to be an entrepreneur and community leader," said Barnett. "I plan on starting a career in a French-speaking country using my major. I also hope to work with the non-profit Engineers Without Borders by volunteering in an impoverished francophone country, so I can give back like ECU gave to me."

-Michael Rudd