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Welcome to the Honors College at East Carolina University
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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.

Review our prospective student information sheet to learn more about the outstanding opportunities and programs in the Honors College at East Carolina University.

The Honors College Living & Learning Blog

Senior Reflections: Getting the Most Out of College

By: Kelly McLees, Honors College Senior

The following is Kelly’s reflection on her college and Honors College experience.  Kelly will graduate from ECU in December 2014. 

Kelly McLees 4

Kelly starting a fire for her Wilderness Writing final exam

Of course, my life was jam packed with your typical college experiences like Greek life, rigorous academic coursework, and part time jobs. However, I am fortunate to be able to say that I also took part in some not-so-cliché exposures, such as the NC Teaching Fellows program, unique Honors College experiences like exclusive classes and video chats with foreign students, and co-teaching a class on diversity at the University! I suppose you could say that I was ambitious to get the most I could out of the short time! At times I still wonder: how in the world did I accomplish it all? 

Although it may not sound like a walk in the park, one of my favorite memories as an Honors College student was participating in an Honors College seminar called Wilderness Writing. Part of this course involved going on a week long camping trip with other Honors College students. We were all attempting to accomplish all of our other schoolwork while freezing in our tents in harsh February weather. At that time, I think all of us wondered how we had gotten ourselves into that mess and why we had chosen the class at all! However, a few short hours later we were all very good friends and remain so to this day. A few weeks after that, we went camping again and had the chance to climb a mountain together! Experiences like that were made available to me through the Honors College, and I will always hold them near and dear.

It is only really fair for me to look back now and say that it was all worth it. The long library hours, the “young” jokes from colleagues and faculty (ahem – I haven’t forgotten Baxter!..), the many pages of reading, and all the tests I ever worried about — every minute was worth it. Now, I have accepted a coveted teaching position in my field of study, and I owe it all to East Carolina and the Honors College that I feel completely prepared and confident! I certainly would not have accomplished all I have without the excellent programs that have been an integral part of my success. And now that the time has flown by, and I’m aware of what I’m capable of… who knows what I’ll be up to next!

EC Scholars help raise nearly $70,000 for Charleston library

The following article was originally posted on the ECU Now Blog on October 27th.

EC Scholar Payton Burnette sorts and organizes books for a Charleston County Public Library book sale.  (Contributed photo)

EC Scholar Payton Burnette sorts and organizes books for a Charleston County Public Library book sale. (Contributed photo)

Every year during East Carolina University’s fall break, the senior class of EC Scholars travels to Charleston, South Carolina. A major component of this capstone experience, called the senior impact trip, is a service project that benefits the local community.

This year’s senior EC Scholars spent six hours volunteering at the Charleston County Public Library’s “That BIG Book Sale” hosted by the Charleston Friends of the Library.

“We selected the Charleston Friends of the Library because of their long-term commitment to the city of Charleston, the history of the event and the important connection between reading and academic success,” said Todd Fraley, director of the EC Scholars award program at ECU.

More than 60,000 books, DVDs, CDs, and other items were available for purchase with all proceeds supporting the library. With the help from the EC Scholars, the organization raised $68,000, which surpassed their goal.

“Being able to be a part of something that provides this transformational experience to children and adults throughout Charleston and the surrounding communities was extremely fulfilling,” said senior EC Scholar and nursing major Lindsay Caddell.

The Charleston Friends of the Library is a nonprofit organization that supports and advocates for the Charleston County Public Library system. According to their website, the organization raises money to fund more than 6,000 programs sponsored annually by the library.

“I have no doubt our seasoned volunteers will be telling stories of the ECU students for years to come,” said Emily Everette, executive director of the Charleston Friends of the Library.


A Rewarding Challenge: the Senior Honors Project

By: Adrian Modzik, Honors College Senior

adrian modzik 1

As a senior studying biology, my academic focus has always been on human biology. Beyond my required classes (like genetics and ecology), I have taken courses such as immunology, microbiology, and cellular physiology. However, when choosing what to do my Senior Honors Project on, I went a little outside my comfort zone. I did this because when I was searching for a mentor, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the type of mentor I wanted to have.

Dr. Goodwillie fit that bill perfectly. I took Genetics with Dr. Goodwillie, and she is one of my absolute favorite professors. She never failed to take a very challenging topic and turn it in to a very simple one by the end of class. She used a lot of visual demonstrations, and she involved the class by picking volunteers to help with each one. It was very clear that she deeply cared about the success of her students. The knowledge I gained in her class has been the information that I have retained the best throughout my college career. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject, so I decided I wanted to do something with genetics for my project.

What I did not expect was to work with plants. Like I said before, most of my college career has been focused on the human model. However, through working with my own little plants, I have found a joy in doing research I never thought I would get. As a part of my research, I repotted upwards of 250 plants into individual tubes. These plants were approximately ½ an inch in length with very fragile roots. It was a tough yet delicate task. I found to my surprise that I was very successful at it. I began to love the hours I spent doing work in the lab, gaining a sense of accomplishment when I completed each pot.

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When I first started doing research, I was collecting data for another student’s Senior Honors Project. I was measuring things like pore size and pollen count on the same species of plants I am working with now. As I worked, I found myself subconsciously trying to make a hypothesis on how the data would come out and what it would show. It was really cool to see if what I thought would happen, actually did happen. That was the first time I really had my interest sparked for research and that spark has persisted ever since.

However, as a student, I will admit I am a procrastinator. I am used to working to a deadline and getting everything in right at the last minute. So, to consistently work on a large project like this is a challenge for me. I have never done thesis writing, and it is hard for me to organize my thoughts in a coherent fashion in such a large paper. Dr. Goodwillie has been very supportive of me as a mentor, but I feel that I am going to need to find some way to structure myself. I am confident after the end of this process however, that I will have developed the necessary skills to successfully navigate any future challenge of this nature.

I am so grateful that the Honors College has pushed me into this experience; I would not have taken the initiative to do it on my own. If I had not been pushed, I would never have known how much I love it. I am looking forward to the conclusion of my project to see what my results are!

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