Karsyn Tall, a senior at East Carolina University, is passionate about nutrition and wellness.
"I have always had a passion for cooking and food in general. The first time I heard about the major
was from my high school teacher, Mrs. Horner, in her nutrition/cooking class, so I did some research and knew right away that was the field I wanted to go into," Tall said.
Tall learned about ECU through her dad, Bruce, who coaches football.
"When I was in fifth grade, my dad was coaching for West Virginia University and they were playing East Carolina," Tall said. "When I saw ECU's fun and vibrant colors, I told my mother if I had to pick a college to go to, I would go there because of their colors."
Eventually, Tall picked ECU.
"The main reason I chose ECU was because I fell in love with the large variety of service opportunities offered and the great nutrition program," Tall said. "Once I stepped onto this campus, I knew this place was for me."
Tall has been involved in the community on and off campus. During her freshman year, she joined the Student Dietetic Association (SDA), Campus Kitchen and Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society. Through these organizations, she has served meals in afterschool programs, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and fundraised for Relay for Life.
During her sophomore year, Tall became the fundraising chair for SDA. She was also named a Residential Scholar and traveled to Washington, D.C., to volunteer with S.O.M.E. (So Others May Eat), a facility for people in need of shelter, food, dental care, clothing and more. Tall also received the A.L.A.N.A. (African, Latino, Asian, Native American) award given to minority students who maintain a GPA above 3.0.
Tall is service chair in the Elite Pirates program and SDA, and student delegate for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Elite Pirates program allows students to serve as Leadership Ambassadors for the Division of Student Affairs, work directly with Greenville City Council and host the Annual Social Justice Symposium.
In August, Tall started working with ECU Campus Recreation and Wellness as an education leader, facilitating nutrition programs around campus.
"All the leadership roles helped me to step outside my comfort zone and collaborate with a variety of people," Tall said. "The service opportunities remind me that there is an endless need for help in the local Greenville community and around the world, but every little bit counts - you just have to start.
"The involvement I have had around and off campus has also helped me to become a more versatile student and build my confidence level."
Before her junior year, Tall worked as a camp counselor and dietary aide at Camp Hamwi, a juvenile diabetes camp in Columbus, Ohio.
"I assisted in serving all the meals, helping organize inventory and participated in night rounds," she said.
Last year, she volunteered at Camp Whole Heart as a nutrition instructor and camp counselor for children who have congenital heart failure.
Following graduation, Tall plans to complete a dietetic internship and pursue a master's degree in nutrition, psychology, education or counseling.
She hopes to become a registered dietitian and work for the federally funded health and nutrition program WIC (Women, Infants and Children), or in a school setting educating children about nutrition and overall wellness.
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year?
How amazing the Wellness Center at the Student Rec Center is. Everyone in the office is so welcoming and it is a great place to relax and get a massage!
What advice do you have for other students? College should be like climbing a mountain, not a plateau. You should continuously strive to challenge yourself and try new things until you graduate or reach the peak. However, find a balance because too much weight on your back, whether school work or involvement on campus, will make the journey hard to complete or cause you to steer off track.
Written by: Sophronia Knott
Photography by: Cliff Hollis