What's it like being a student majoring in Educational Leadership- Higher Education Administration? Being a student in the HE EdD program is great. I have worked in HE for about 6 years and the program really gives students concrete application tools to use in the field. Having learned the history of how colleges and universities work, it has given me a greater understanding of the holistic approach to leadership at the institutional, system, and national levels.
Professor who has influenced you the most: Although all have been great, Dr. Cheryl McFadden has helped me to see that things are not always cut-and-dry in HE. Being a "digger", focused on finding answers to difficult questions, is a great characteristic of an effective leader. She has helped me see that and so much more.
What makes you so proud to be a Pirate? My pride in being a Pirate is immeasurable. I know I would not be where I am today without the people of ECU. ECU is its people. The spirit associated with this place is all linked to people and the fight they were willing to wage towards those who didn't want ECU to flourish. I see being a Pirate as not only being committed to service, but to be perpetually spreading the purple gospel.
Hometown: Bunn, North Carolina
Major: Special Education
What made you choose Special Education? My brother has grown up having special needs in school, and I never felt that he really received all the help he could have. I wanted to be that change that I wanted to see in schools. I also had a tough time understanding my brother, so I was really interested in just learning more about his needs and the reasons for those. I guess you could say my love for my brother sparked my love for Special Education.
Favorite class within the College of Education: My favorite class within the College of Education has shockingly also been my toughest class, and that is the Technology in Education class (EDTC). I am absolutely terrible when it comes to anything technology related, but technology is where many things education based are headed. I loved learning all about the SmartBoard, the SmartNotebook, websites, webpages, interactive lessons, etc. I use technology whenever I can in my lessons now, simply because I learned so much from that one class.
What impact do you hope to make as an educator? The impact I want to make as an educator is very, very simple. I just want my students to learn and really understand that they really can do anything they put their mind to, and that they are geniuses.
Hometown: Cinnaminson, New Jersey
Major: Special Education
Professor who has influenced you the most: Dr. Caitlin Ryan has influenced me the most so far at East Carolina. She is very supportive of her students, including me, and was very reliable and approachable when I had any questions about reading instruction or material discussed in class. She brings reading instruction to life in her classes and is someone I greatly admire as a teacher and individual. As she also nominated me for Junior Advisory Board, I am very appreciative for her encouragement and belief in me as a future teacher and student leader in the College of Education.
What makes you so proud to be a Pirate? I am proud to be a Pirate because of the amazing school spirit this school has and passion for East Carolina, the excellent education this school provides its students, and the opportunities for life-long friendships beginning from a common connection.
What made you want to join the Junior Advisory Board? As a transfer student, I have wanted to get more involved in the College of Education, and this seemed like the perfect place to begin. I love that I will be able to work with professionals in the college as well as my peers; I think it will be an excellent experience.
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Major: Elementary Education
What's it like being a student majoring in Elementary Education?Around campus I always hear, "why would you want to be a teacher?" I brush it off without another thought. I love learning how to connect the 21st century into the classroom with the students to teach the next generation. Sometimes it's hard because other students do not understand the passion for learning or the love for children. Luckily, I have peers within the College of Education who have the positive mindset I need to stay focused.
Professor who has influenced you the most: This would absolutely, without a doubt be Dr. Peggy Yates. She influenced me on how to be the best teacher in the classroom by modeling how to interact with students as well as just people on a daily basis. Before her class, I was not aware of the importance of language and the way I speak to people. Her modeling by example and her unending support and understanding of each of us as students was amazing and changed my perspective of teaching and what it means to be the best.
Clubs/ Organizations, in addition to the Junior Advisory Board:
Favorite memory so far at East Carolina University: On September 1st, 2012, I was first to step out on the Dowdy-Ficklen field in front of 50,000 screaming fans, in a sparkly purple and gold uniform, with flaming fire batons, in 100-degree heat, leading the whole band to begin our pregame performance. It is a feeling hard to describe, because it is one that only I have experienced. The rush and excitement of performing and knowing all that I had worked for has finally come true as a baton twirler. Now I was the University's one and only Feature Twirler, and was the one leading the band onto the football field at a division one school. Out of all my experiences and opportunities, I will never forget this day and performance!
Hometown: Fayette City, Pennsylvania
Major: Adult Education
What's it like being a student majoring in Adult Education: As a second semester graduate student in Adult Education, the classes have been both demanding and fulfilling simultaneously. I have learned so much in a short period of time about the field of Adult Education and about social justice from the classes that I have taken.
What makes you so proud to be a Pirate? What makes me proud to be a pirate is the atmosphere of the university, with the students and professors who really make the university what it is.
What is your dream career? To become a professor at ECU.
What impact do you hope to make as an educator? To motivate my students as professors and teachers have motivated me in the past.
Hometown: Holly Springs, North Carolina
Major: English Education
What made you chose English Education: I have always wanted to be a teacher. I chose high school English because I love literature and working with grades 9-12.
What's it like being a student majoring in English Education:It's great! All of my classmates are supportive and helpful, and our advisors are there to guide us in the right direction. The ENED program has made me feel like I belong to a family of educators.
Favorite class within the College of Education:ENED 2123
What impact do you hope to make as an educator?I hope to have a positive influence on my students' lives and instill the knowledge they need in order to succeed in the world.
Hometown: Willow Spring, North Carolina
Major: History Education
What made you choose History Education? I have always had a passion for history and wanted to pursue what I love. During my senior year of high school, I had always planned on attending NC State University since my father and sister also attended, but after visiting campus and talking with their HIED program, I was not as impressed. East Carolina's campus pleased me as well as the sense of family and down-to-earth attitude of the Teaching Fellows staff, including Mrs. Manning and Mrs. Fisher. The History Department at East Carolina also impressed me by the scholarly research, credentials, and friendliness of numerous professors. I remember meeting Department Chair Dr. Prokopowicz and was surprised by his eagerness to answer any and all questions my father and I had about history classes here. Looking back as a junior now, I am confident that I chose a university that both nourishes and challenges me academically, and I am proud to be a Pirate.
What's it like being a student majoring in History Education:: I enjoy the small class sizes and the quality of the instructors. It is helpful that HIED students have many classes together and it allows us to establish professional relationships that make attending East Carolina special. With the upcoming future changes to some education classes, such as EDTC 4001, within the College of Education, the quality of instruction will only improve as the specific needs of each program area will better serve students. The Dean and all of the College of Education staff I have interacted with have been very welcoming and help make East Carolina's College of Education a national model. Finally, advising for HIED students is well organized and students have multiple opportunities to attend advising meetings.
Professor who has influenced you the most: Dr. Allen Guidry has greatly influenced the way I think about teaching and redefined the role of history educators in the 21st century classroom. Dr. Guidry shows passion in every class he teaches and also is honest with students. Having Dr. Guidry as a professor and mentor is an incredible benefit of the HIED program at East Carolina.
What impact do you hope to make as an educator? I hope to instill a passion for learning and teach my students the importance of history and personal financial literacy in the 21st century. My main goal is to reach out to students who do not feel confident about learning and transform them into knowledgeable, thoughtful, and contributing citizens.
Hometown: Wilson, North Carolina
Major: Middle Grades Education, Math and Science
What made you choose Middle Grades Math and Science Education? I love working with the Middle School age group and I am very passionate about the education field. I want to inspire and educate students and also make a difference in some of my students' lives.
What's it like being a student majoring in Middle Grades Math and Science Education: It is very fun and always interesting majoring in Middle Grades Education. While it may seem boring or not difficult to others, there is always something new and interesting happening in the education field.
What makes you so proud to be a Pirate? I am proud to be a Pirate because my school provides me with every opportunity I need to succeed and also provides me with opportunities to better myself and have a full college experience.What impact do you hope to make as an educator? I hope to encourage students to strive to learn new things and give students the necessary tools they will need to succeed in their futures.
Hometown: Winterville, North Carolina
Major: Special Education, Adapted Curriculum
What made you choose Special Education? I am a father to a special needs child who passed away in January of 2011. My daughter Katrina and the educators who provided her with support inspired me to follow this path. I worked in Social Services for over a decade after much soul searching decided to leave that career behind and obtain my degree in Special Education. I hope to continue to provide support to my community in my future role as a special educator to children with exceptionalities.Professor who has influenced you the most: Dr. Caitlin Ryan is the professor who has influenced me most. As an Education major I can tell you that I was always somewhat jealous whenever I heard my peers speak of that one teacher who made a difference in their lives, that one teacher who ignited a spark in their academic career. Unfortunately, I had never experienced that. Being a non-traditional student, I can tell you that it was a long time in coming that I found an educator who inspired me as no other teacher has. That was until I took a READ class with Dr. Ryan. She is a teacher’s teacher in every sense of the word. She has been out there and performed the job and building on that experience she is able to share what she learned with her students. The best part is that she continues to learn and adapt and bring new methods to the courses she teaches. Dr. Ryan stirred in me the motivation to be like her, to care about the profession of teaching as much as she cares about her students. To be an example as to what educators should be.
What has your experience on the Junior Advisory Board been like? It has been a great experience. I have been given the opportunity to meet so many people that provide support to the College of Education and who’s dedication and generosity make ECU’s College of Education one of the best in the nation.
What kind of fundraising/ volunteer/ communication activities are held by the Junior Advisory Board? The Junior Advisory Board members volunteer to assist during special events, such as the College of Education’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and COE Graduate Recognition Ceremonies. We also attend functions to meet and greet with donors to the COE.
Hometown: Long Island, New York
Major: Special Education
What made you chose Special Education? I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but in high school I knew I wanted to be a special education teacher. I grew up helping my mom work with special education students in a preschool physical therapy setting, and as I got older I loved it more. After volunteering in a special education school and at a program called Top Soccer, I knew that I wanted to help/teach special education students.
What's it like being a student majoring in Special Education: So far, I have loved everything about majoring in special education in the general curriculum. It's great how quickly I have been able to go into the classrooms to not only observe, but also help teach these students. The professors are great in the College of Education, and all of the practicum teachers I've had so far have been amazing with helping me out. It's such a great experience to learn something in a class and then see what I've learned actually happen in a classroom setting.
What made you choose ECU? When I first toured ECU, I knew this is where I wanted to come to college. As an out of state student, ECU made me feel welcomed. I loved the campus, the people, people, and how active the students are. Also, the weather is a lot nicer than New York! ECU is my home away from home!
Favorite memory so far at East Carolina University: My favorite memory of ECU was my first Homecoming. Because I belong to a sorority, I was able to help decorate my house, learn a skit, and create a float based on a circus theme. The best part was, we came in first place for the house decorating competition!
Hometown: Winterville, North Carolina
Major: Elementary Education
What made you choose Elementary Education? Teaching is something I have had a passion for since I can remember and it is a career where you can change lives. I love the idea of being bigger than something bigger than myself and teaching was the glass slipper that fit. Math was always my strongest subject growing up and also a high need area. I felt like I could do the most good as a math teacher.
What's it like being a student majoring in Elementary Education: I love being a student in the College of Education at ECU. Everyone is so supportive and helpful. It is also nice having a lot of the same students in each class. This gives us the opportunity to form relationships and there is always someone to help when you need assistance.
Professor who has influenced you the most: I had Dionna Manning for COAD my first semester at ECU and she arranged speakers who taught valuable lessons I still remember two years later. She is always so supportive, helpful, and understanding still to this day. She has influenced me the most as a student and future educator.
What is your dream career? In my dream world I would be an Elementary School Counselor where I would also coach cheerleading for the high school in my district. I would also have the opportunity to teach adjunct classes for either Elementary Education or Math Education at ECU.
Hometown: Richlands, North Carolina
Major: Music Education
What made you chose Music Education? Growing up, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to be a doctor, professional chef, a Marine, or nurse. Education had never crossed my mind until my junior year of high school when I took on leadership roles in my high school marching band. This experience made me realize that I am truly passionate when it comes to teaching music and then I had no other options other than music education.
What's it like being a student majoring in Music Education: I love it. It is incredibly stressful taking on eleven or twelve classes a semester with a minimum of 18 credit hours while still juggling practicing and performing the trumpet, but as I look back on each semester thus far, I couldn't imagine majoring in anything else.
Clubs/ Organizations, in addition to the Junior Advisory Board: In addition to being Vice Chair of the JAB, I was also the trumpet section leader of the ECU Marching Pirates for the 2013 season and was selected to be one of the Drum Majors for the ensemble during the 2014 season. I am also a Maynard Scholar, Access Scholar, and a member of the Honors College at ECU. I am also a member of the ECU Wind Ensemble and ECU Symphony Orchestra.
What makes you so proud to be a Pirate? The school spirit of this university reminds me constantly how lucky and proud I am to be a Pirate—there is a sense of accomplishment that I feel when I tell people that I am an ECU Pirate.
Hometown: Wantagh, New York
Major: Special Education
What made you choose Special Education? I have always loved children and teaching but I found my passion in children with disabilities while volunteering at a program in NY called HorseAbility. I volunteered with their therapeutic riding program for four years and saw how amazing these children are and the progress they could make.
What's it like being a student majoring in Special Education: It is amazing! The professors are amazing in every way. They are helpful, understanding and extremely knowledgeable. They are so passionate about their careers and children with disabilities. The program has given me opportunities to not only learn and research instructional methods but also go out and try them with students. Over the years, I have gotten lots of hands-on experience in the classroom. The program has also given me the opportunity to travel to conferences and network with people in the special education profession.
Favorite class within the College of Education: My favorite class within special education is SPED 3007 (Managing the Physical Needs of Learners with Disabilities). In this class, we visited United Cerebral Palsy, the Howell Center and the Health Science Campus for lectures from related service professionals. We heard an audiologist speak about hearing aids, a respiratory therapist taught us how to clean and care for a tracheal tube and we even learned how to lift children and feed children with severe physical disabilities from an occupational therapist.
What makes you so proud to be a Pirate?The school spirit. I love how everyone is always wearing their purple and gold.
Hometown: Dominican Republic
Year: Graduate School
Major: Masters of Arts in Teaching—Special Education
What made you choose Masters of Arts in Teaching—Special Education Program? The MAT is an online, two year, part time program where students who have a Bachelor's in a different career can receive a teaching license and a Master's degree at the same time. The MAT program is an excellent choice for students who have would like a degree in Education while combining their previous degrees.
What's it like being a student majoring in MAT-Special Education: One of the benefits of the MAT program is that allows students to work while studying. I also like that I can communicate with other MAT students via email even though the program is online. We communicate with each other about the courses or the program.
What made you choose ECU? I was the first child to attend a university in the United States. East Carolina University was the first and best option for me and my family because we already lived in Greenville so I was able to help my family while studying.
If you could improve one thing within the College of Education, what would it be and why? How do you hope to be a part of that change?I would like to see more students who are bilingual become educators. The percentage of students who are from immigrant families is increasing in North Carolina therefore it will help to have highly qualified teachers who are bilinguals helping these students transition in the culture and language.
Hometown: Winterville, North Carolina
Major: Elementary Education, English Concentration
What’s it like being a student majoring in Elementary Education? At East Carolina University, the College of Education is inspiring. The professors in the Elementary Education department are some of the most uplifting and exuberant people I have met. These professors have renewed my love of teaching throughout my years at ECU. East Carolina has provided a community of aspiring teachers working together to support each other and grow as professionals. The College of Education has provided a professional learning community for educators that I will continue to rely on in my years as a teacher.
Favorite class within the College of Education: My favorite class within the College of Education has been EDUC 4525. This is the classroom management class I took in my first semester of my internship. This class allowed me to learn with other professionals as we worked hands on in the classroom. I was able to apply everything I was learning in my education class in my internship classroom. This allowed me to grow as an educator more than I have in any other education classes.
Professor who has influenced you the most: One of the professors that has influenced me the most is Dr. Lori Flint. Dr. Flint took the time to get to know me in a diversity class my sophomore year. Due to her suggestion I joined Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society. I am now the Vice President of the Eta Chi Chapter at East Carolina University. The honor society has allowed me to network with educators all across the United States, and learn about new approaches to teaching. Her guidance throughout the years at East Carolina University has helped me grow into the educator I am and invested in me the value of continuing professional development for educators.
Hometown: Williams, Arizona
Major: Masters of School Administration
What made you choose Educational Leadership/School Administration? I wanted to strengthen my leadership skills from being a 5th grade teacher for 10 years and a teacher leader for my county for 3 years.
What’s it like being a student majoring in School Administration? It is a great opportunity to collaborate and learn from other former teachers who have chosen to expand on their educational careers.
If you could improve one thing within the College of Education, what would it be and why? How do you hope to be a part of that change? I would like to change the teaching program. I feel the students need more time in the classroom for more hands-on experiences.
Hometown: Winchester, Virginia
Major: Secondary English Education
What made you choose Secondary English Education? I have always wanted to help people. I didn’t know what kind of people until I graduated High School and reflected on the teachers that honestly changed my life. I aspire to be a teacher like that. I chose English because I am passionate about the topic. I really believe it is a subject that allows the students to explore and express their thoughts.
What’s it like being a student majoring in Secondary English Education: Being a student in English Education is both a challenging and beneficial personal and professional endeavor. While learning how to a teacher, you learn a lot about who you are as an individual.
Favorite class within the College of Education: I have learned the most about teaching in my three courses I have taken with Dr. Steadman. They are my favorite courses because they allow us to go out into the field and apply our skills in a high school setting.
Professor who has influenced you the most: Without Dr. Steadman I don’t know that I could pursue this degree. She is a mother hen to all of her English Education students and genuinely cares about our success. I also must say Dr. Sean Morris taught me what it is like to really be a teacher and love what you do.
What is your dream career? Some people say you just want to be a teacher. My response is yes, I just want to be a teacher. I want to spend more time with your children than you probably do in a day. I want to read, write, and grow with them and then reflect on that growth. I want to believe in them and provide a scaffold to help each student meet their goals, no matter what their background is. I would love to climb the ladder myself and possibly be a professor one day. Ideally, by the end of my journey I would like to write a book about all of these experiences and share them with others to learn from.
Dr. Linda Patriarca currently serves as Dean of the College of Education at East Carolina University. She came to ECU from Caldwell College in New Jersey where she was Associate Dean and Professor after having spent 25 years as a faculty member at Michigan State University.
She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in speech and language pathology and elementary education from Eastern Michigan University and her Ph.D. degree in special education and reading from Michigan State University. Her research has focused in three areas: effective instructional practices for at-risk students, improvement of teaching and teacher education and collaboration. Since her arrival as Dean in August 2008, she has focused her efforts on supporting and enhancing quality programs and services. To this end, she was instrumental in the development, submission, and receiving a $9 million dollar U.S. Department of Education grant to improve and study teacher preparation.. Many accreditation and research-to-practice projects have gotten underway in the college over the past four years and plans are underway to transform the College of Education Advising Center to a Student Support and Services Center—one that will have a role to play in Student Recruitment and Retention as well as Advising. Finally, in order to give students more voice and visibility, a Junior Professional Advisory Board has been formed recently in the college. This board comprised of undergraduate and graduate students will serve as a representative body of students who will advise the Dean on matters related to teaching, research and service.