Honors College Navigation
The mission of the Honors College at East Carolina University is to
prepare tomorrow's leaders through the recruitment, engagement, and
retention of exceptionally talented students of character in a diverse
intellectual living-learning community and to challenge them to attain
high levels of academic achievement.
As she wraps up her junior year, preparing for finals, pursuing research, and strengthening a globally travelling wellness organization, EC Scholar Jocelyn Bayles is competing as a top finalist for the Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders. The Truman Foundation identifies young people at an important inflection point in their development—when they are college juniors—and recognizes and rewards their commitments to devote themselves to public service. Each year, hundreds of college juniors compete for roughly 60 awards. The rigorous selection process requires that good candidates have a strong record of public service, as well as a policy proposal that addresses a particular issue in society.
Jocelyn seeks to inspire and affect positive lifestyle changes through food-based education. Her research focuses on assessing the health concerns of Head Start children, families, teachers, and administrators to identify sustainable solutions. Jocelyn’s honors thesis examines the effect of hands-on nutrition curriculum on the preference for, and consumption of, fruits and vegetables in Head Start preschoolers. On campus, Jocelyn serves as the global coordinator of the wellness organization “Pirates Promoting Community Wellness,” with which she led 10 students to Honduras to staff medical clinics in rural communities. Jocelyn has also worked alongside migrant farmer populations and local Hispanic women, teaching English and advocating for their voice. These experiences and her time studying politics and nutrition in Granada, Spain have been among the most important parts of her undergraduate studies. She intends to pursue a dual Master’s in Public Health and Master’s in Nutrition, with a concentration in Health Policy, centering her career in nutrition policy to decrease childhood obesity in the U.S. with a multi-cultural focus. In her free time, Jocelyn can be found teaching fitness classes at the gym, working at a local montessori farm, or curled up on the couch with a good book.
Past recipients of the Truman Scholarship are working in the West Wing, sitting on the US Supreme Court, and serving in federal and state legislatures. They are transforming nonprofits, delivering crucial services and organizing for change in local communities. And Truman Scholars are leaders in academia, research, and health care. They can be found in every branch of the Armed Services. And many make a difference beyond the borders of the United States.
ECU’s Women in Computer Science organization, founded by EC Scholar Tiffany Nguyen, recently won PearlHacks, a weekend-long hackathon (computer programming) for female and non-binary college students held at UNC-Chapel Hill. Participants work in teams of up to four to ideate and create incredible projects in just 24 hours, with the help of excellent mentors, workshops, and tech talks.
Tiffany is the President of WiCS and is passionate about the intersection of tech and healthcare, blockchain, computer science education, bringing opportunities in technology to underrepresented communities, and making Spotify playlists for any occasion. Earlier this year, she published a data analysis package that she developed for researchers at ECU.
Two EC Scholar-founded startups took top places in the final round of this year’s Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge (PEC), the Miller School of Entrepreneurship’s signature business pitch competition.
SweetSip finished in second place, garnering $10K in competition earnings. “This company was created through my drive and love for business in high school,” said founder Grace Krell, a freshman. “…When I turned 18, I decided that SweetSip would tackle a problem that was growing in our society: plastic use. I turned to straws because getting rid of them is an easy first step to deducing plastic use. The metal straw is small but mighty!”
Health for People In Need Everywhere (Health4PINE) is a 501c-3 non-profit organization founded by Pranaya Pakala that increases awareness on the importance of mental, social, and physical health amongst teenagers and young adults. The organization took home earnings of $1K and a fourth place ranking in the final round of the challenge. Pranaya’s non-profit recently won ECU’s Hult Prize Challenge and will travel to London this spring to compete for $1M! The Hult Prize is a global social good innovation competition with a goal of solving the world’s most pressing challenges.