Launching global aspirations from hometown
Lee Hoff is already counting the ways his ECU education will have global implications.
Hoff, 18, of Greenville, plans to use opportunities through the Honors College to explore other cultures and eventually attend medical school in France. “I want to see everything over there,” he said.
Hoff, a senior at J. H. Rose High School, is one of 19 incoming freshmen entering ECU this fall as EC Scholars—the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers. “It’s an honor considering all the students who were interested in this scholarship,” Hoff said. “I feel blessed and honored.”
At East Carolina, he will double major in chemistry and biochemistry and possibly pursue a master’s degree in chemistry. He is already researching French medical schools so he can be a step closer to beginning a career while also experiencing the culture and language. He is open to the possibility of practicing medicine overseas. He especially hopes to visit Paris through the EC Scholars study-abroad requirement.
For now, Hoff is gearing up to attend his hometown university. Growing up in Greenville, he visited campus often and always knew it was a strong option for his higher-education plans. Both of his sisters attended ECU, and the Honors College events he attended before deciding on a college helped sway him toward the university and what it has to offer. He said he especially looks forward to developing academically under the guidance of top faculty.
Other advantages as an EC Scholar that Hoff looks forward to are retreats and networking. “I’m looking forward to meeting people in the businesses we’re interested in and getting those connections, “ he said. “That experience will help me become a cut above the rest.”
Hoff is already setting himself apart through his activities and interests. He is active in student government, several honor societies and orchestra. His hobbies include singing and acting. This summer, he plans to get a part-time job and take a road trip to reconnect with himself before he begins classes at ECU.
When that time comes, Hoff knows he will hit the ground running academically and socially. The close Honors College community, he said, will help him get to know his classmates better and make lifelong friendships. “I love people,” he said. “There’s just something about being with a group of people and being able to connect with everyone on some sort of level.”
Hoff is still processing his selection for the EC Scholar award. He is mulling over what it will mean for him to be one of ECU’s most promising undergraduates. “For people to see the potential in me that way,” he said, “makes me optimistic for the future.”
He is the son of Rebecca Latham.
-- Spaine Stephens