"I realized that being an EC Scholar would allow me to gain new opportunities beyond the honors programs from other universities."
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Holly Springs High School
Public health studies
Making her mark
After touring five North Carolina universities, Victoria Chan of Holly Springs knew she found the one for her when she stepped foot on the East Carolina campus.
"The last college I visited was East Carolina University, and it changed everything," said Chan. "I realized that being an EC Scholar would allow me to gain new opportunities beyond the honors programs from other universities."
Chan, 18, is one of 20 freshmen entering ECU this fall as an EC Scholar, the most prestigious undergraduate award program offered at the university. 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.
Chan plans to major in public health studies and pursue a career in the medical field, possibly psychiatry. Her father worked at a residential psychiatric facility, and she became interested in the complexities of people and the treatments used in psychiatry.
"I am open to any medical field that allows me to work one-on-one with children or adolescents," said Chan.
In high school, she explored different paths in the medical field and volunteered at WakeMed in Raleigh. This summer, she plans to spend time with family and shadow a pediatrician, hospital pharmacist and orthodontist.
Chan's family is originally from Hong Kong, which is on her short list of study abroad opportunities along with Scotland.
"As I grow older, I find myself constantly longing for a connection with my roots and to visit extended family that I have only heard of but never seen. I wish to immerse myself in my ancestral culture and hopefully improve my Cantonese," said Chan.
She said she chose ECU because it was the only school she considered that boasted an open, collaborative setting with a healthy level of competition. Chan looks forward to the opportunity to participate in research while at ECU and hopes to get involved in student activities and a Christian fellowship.
She is the daughter of Stephen and Catherine Chan.