2009-2010 Outstanding Senior Award
(left) Landon Allen, Outstanding Senior and (left to right) Finalists for Outstanding senior: Jason L. Morton, Margaret E. Small, and Laurel Ann Truelove
Jason L. Morton, Honors Student and NC Teaching Fellow, was awarded as a Finalist of Distinction. He grew up in Jacksonville, NC, and graduated summa cum laude in May with University honors and a Praxis I certification in Music Education. As an undergraduate he participated with the ECU Marching Pirates, pledged the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has served in a number of music outreach organization. He was president of Phi Mu Alpha and of the Student Forum and of the North Carolina Music Educators Association. In the summer of 2007, he was the first music student in the state to participate in the UNC Semester in Washington DC Program where he interned at the National Education Association in Washington, DC. Most recently, in the summer of 2009, Jason participated in a Semester at Sea, where he spent 67 days on a ship traveling to eight different countries in Europe and North Africa. On November 29, 2009, he ran his first marathon in order to raise money for a music therapy organization. He is currently finishing his senior honor's thesis entitled, "New Directions of Chromaticism in Sixteenth-Century Music," He has been a student teacher at Newport Middle School and Havelock High School and plans to secure a teaching position in Music Education, perhaps with Teach for America. Eventually, he plans to pursue graduate education in Music Therapy or Educational Administration.
Margaret E. Small, Honors Student and EC Scholar, was named Finalist of Distinction. Margaret graduated in May summa cum laude with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and university honors. Inspired by the College of Nursing mission to serve, Margaret spent ten days in Moldova providing supplies to several orphanages and clinics and providing activities for children. While at ECU, she has been an active member of campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity and an organization called Invisible Children which works to build schools in Uganda. She spent a semester studying abroad in Australia during her sophomore year. She is also a member of the East Carolina Association of Nursing Students, the National Student Nurses' Association and of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. During her spare time, Margaret began as a freshman to work as a peer tutor and to volunteer in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Pitt Memorial Hospital. She is completing her senior honor's project with the Duplin County Health Department, conducting a retrospective review of their prenatal records to determine whether birth outcomes correlate with the level of prenatal education parents received from the health department. Her report should yield recommendations for the ways the health department can improve their prenatal education program. After graduation, Margaret plans to work in a North Carolina Hospital, hopefully starting out on a medical surgical floor. Eventually she would like to travel abroad and work in a Spanish-speaking area, perhaps one day pursuing graduate study to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Laurel Ann Truelove, Honors Student and EC Scholar, was also named Finalist of Distinction. Laurel graduated in May summa cum laude with a dual degree; a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Mathematics Education and with University honors. Her thesis examined the differences between American and Japanese educational systems and evaluates which practices effective in Japan could be implemented in US schools. She too has been active in service to the community working as a tutor for Hispanic students, a member of Invisible Children, and a judge on the EC Scholars Selection Committee. She was selected to be the undergraduate representative of the Council for Teacher Education at ECU and completed her student teaching in Greene County. One of her most rewarding and challenging experiences was studying abroad in Manchester, England. While there, she volunteered at a local secondary school in the mathematics department. More than 50% of the student population was from the Middle East and she worked with many girls who had never been formally educated. Some were unable to do simple arithmetic. She discovered that the most important lesson for these young women was not learning addition and subtraction but was the lesson of gaining independence through education. For the past three years, Laurel has worked on a National Science Foundation grant which focuses biomechanics and robotics explorations for IT Literacy Skills in rural schools. After graduation, she plans to tour Europe for a month and then work with a professor on publishing lesson plans in mathematics education. She has been accepted into graduate programs at both University of Georgia and NC State and plans to work towards a PhD in Mathematics Education.
Daniel Landon Allen was chosen the Outstanding Senior for 2009-2010 at East Carolina University by the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. An Honors Student and EC Scholar, Landon graduated in May summa cum laude, with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and with University Honors. He is completed a dual degree. with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with a minor in Business Administration and a certificate in Hispanic Studies. During his undergraduate career, Landon has taken part in a number of research projects, two of which led to awards. He worked in field ecology to identify dragonfly species indigenous to eastern North Carolina. He then designed a humanities project of his own titled, "A First Hand Survey of the Social Injustices of Southwestern Guatemala," for which he was awarded first place at ECUs Research and Creative Achievement week. The following year he completed a follow-up project titled, "Women in Guatemalan and Nicaraguan Societies," which also won a first place award. He is now completing his ECU Honor's Thesis project which involves an experimental evaluation of synthesis techniques for human Prothymosian-Z protein. Landon has won several other academic awards during his time at the University including an Elite Pirate Leadership Award, the Keith D Holmes Scholastic Chemistry Achievement Award, and The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Academic Award. He is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies. Landon has volunteered with Project Heart tutoring at –risk children, he has traveled to offer humanitarian aid with ECU's Presbyterian Campus ministry, for which he served as President, and has volunteered at Pitt County Memorial Hospital with the Child Life program. Landon also studied abroad in Argentina where he continued to develop his Spanish language skills. After graduation, he will take a year to complete his Master's of Business Administration degree and then he will enter the Brody School of Medicine where he plans to study family medicine in preparation for opening a small practice in rural eastern North Carolina. He will focus on providing care for the extensive Latino population living in our area, combining his passion for service, his knowledge of Spanish, and his medical training to provide care for an underserved population.