Leadership, Service, Creativity: Honors Ambassadors

By: Sam Alvarado, Honors College Sophomore

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Receiving my acceptance letter to the ECU Honors College signified a new chapter in my life, one that would bring an array of opportunities, friendships and responsibilities. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to be just another student, I wanted to be involved on campus, and more importantly with the people that made my success possible: the Honors College. For this reason, I jumped at the opportunity to join the Honors College Ambassadors.

The Honors College Ambassadors is a group of committees that have direct involvement in several events and projects pertaining to the Honors College. Among the committees, I knew that I would most enjoy the Marketing Committee. As a graphic design major and business minor, marketing is a sector of the business world that I may spend much of my career working in. During my freshman year, participating in such things as the Monster Dash, a benefit run for a local community center that encouraged costumes of any kind, and the production of an Honors College Living-Learning video that featured current honors students in the Garrett Residence Hall, made great memories and had opportunities for leadership that I may not have had otherwise.

Now as a sophomore, I’ve taken another step towards deeper involvement by running for the Co-chair of the Marketing Committee. To my surprise, I was elected! Having the ability to lead discussions and propose ideas for future events or projects has been quite an exciting endeavor, as well as an important learning experience that I can carry with me even after graduating. I’m looking forward to what my future as an ECU Honors student has in store, and all the new ways I can contribute to the Honors College with my peers in the Honors Ambassadors.

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Starting College with Service

By: Drew Navarro, Honors College Freshman

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Service Day 2014! In a single day, 110 Honors College freshman came together and volunteered with a host of organizations. My group worked specifically with Go Science, a local organization committed to increasing scientific awareness and appreciation throughout Pitt County, to host an interactive event for Greenville youth. This event, which took place in Mendenhall Student Center, featured a handful of experiments and demonstrations for the public.

Needless to say, the event was a success! Children of all ages came throughout the morning, excited to be able to work with their hands and learn a little about science. As I ran my experiment, joking and laughing with the children there, it did not occur to me that I was volunteering. I was simply having a great time teaching kids about science!

Next year, although I will not be a freshman, I hope to participate in Service Day again as a group leader. I don’t know of many better ways to start off a school year at ECU!

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My Pirate Life

By Samuel Alvarado, Honors College Sophomore

In an Honors Ambassadors meeting, members were asked to create a video that defines their life as an ECU pirate.  Sam’s video illustrates how being a graphic design major and an Honors College student has defined his pirate life.

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Dorm Room Dish: Eating Healthier in College

ECS 2013By: Sarah Lisson, EC Scholar and Honors College Junior

Inspiration often strikes at strange times. In my case, it happened to be in the middle of a four-hour bus ride to Virginia for a living-learning trip in April 2014. I was talking to a friend (who also happens to be a blogger) about my desire to write more. I had kept a blog while studying abroad in London, but I hadn’t had anything to post in the nine months since I’d returned. My friend suggested starting a food and nutrition blog to combine my love of writing with my major, and the proverbial light bulb instantly went off. I started brainstorming potential titles and topics and even drafted a few posts. In mid-August, Dorm Room Dish was born.

Dorm Room Dish’s tagline is “Nutrition tips and tricks for college students, by a college student.” I started Dorm Room Dish to help fellow college students eat well and make the most of their meal plans or tight budgets. I still live and eat on campus, so I understand the struggles many students face when trying to put together healthy meals and snacks. Through my blog, I’ve been able to share recipes and tips that have worked for me and highlight some of my favorite healthy options on and near campus. The feedback I’ve received so far from my peers and professors has been very positive, and I’ve had a lot of fun working on each post.

I publish a new post every Monday morning at dormroomdish.wordpress.com. If you’re interested in making healthier food choices, cooking in a dorm, or simply adding a little more variety to your diet, I encourage you to check it out!

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Living in the Legacy of Nijmegen

image7By Joshua Griffin, EC Scholar and Honors College Senior

Celebrating over 2000 years of history, Nijmegen is a legacy. With an integrated train system, flexible scheduling in the university, and a couple euros of course, this city is a dream for any study abroad student. As a student here, I ride my second-hand bicycle every day to class and around the city. There are bike paths everywhere and strict “it’s always the drivers’ fault” laws to protect cyclists so this city is really easy to get around as an exchange student.

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There are a lot of differences comparing Greenville and Nijmegen. In addition to the bike culture, recycling programs and other environmentally responsible policies help keep the city and the country clean. Also, everything is in Dutch. If you have never heard Dutch spoken, there are a lot of hard G sounds and more guttural sounds. While there are some similarities to English, like melk (milk), tradizionale (traditional), and pastasaus (pasta sauce), there are very stark differences too. Kip is chicken, wortel is carrot, and kaas is cheese. And yes, I did learn most of those from the supermarket, so do not underestimate how much time you will need to learn the differences between US and NL markets.

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Another major difference is that you have the freedom to travel to another country, particularly within the EU, incredibly easy. I just got back from Belgium this past weekend, and didn’t buy the train tickets to go until this past Thursday, and the total cost of the trip was about 100 euros, including the cost of the tickets, the hostels, Belgian chocolate and Belgian waffles! Additionally, France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Denmark, and the rest of Scandinavia are all close enough for weekend trips. I would recommend setting up a Dutch bank account though; group tickets only cost 7 euros per person for a full group (10 people/group) to most cities in the Netherlands, and the train ticket into Belgium was only 7.10 euros for individual purchase.

image3Lastly, the Dutch experience has been amazing. With all the travel freedoms offered to exchange students, the Dutch cities are not to be overlooked. I flew into Amsterdam early and have visited the city since my stay in Nijmegen with a third trip planned for this weekend to see a reggae band in the gorgeous canal city. Additionally, I have been to Rotterdam and cruised the massive port, saw the Cube Houses, and saw the Euromast tower. One night after class, I heard of a live music festival called Appel Pop in a town over (Tiel) and simply hopped on a train there to enjoy the live music for several hours that night. These and other cities cost less than 10 euros to visit and are perfect for spontaneous trips when you aren’t in class. Even better, you can read your literature on the train if you aren’t staring out the window at the gorgeous Netherlands countryside and quaint houses passing by!

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