At ECU, there are tons of professors who come to the university wanting to teach and to find personal protégés. I have observed that few students at ECU take advantage of this. Since I am a student who seeks more knowledge, I advance outside conversation with many of my professors and they make time for me. Even if I’ve never met them, they make time for me. It’s that simple. I will share a few experiences that represent the vast majority.
When I was a prospective student, I made calls to each university that I was considering. At ECU, everyone took the time to answer my questions and share their thoughts.
When I visited the departmental office of the Department of Economics to add my second major, the department head, who is also a professor, called me into his office to discuss the matter. He said that he is always happy to recruit another mathematically strong student to his “BS-Quantitative” program.
I plan to attend graduate school in some area of applied mathematics, and I want to see the country in the process. I grew up in Connecticut and I’m earning my bachelor’s degrees in North Carolina. I have had professors from Texas, Iowa, Maine, Alaska, and Ohio, to name a few states. Many of them have taken the time to talk to me about the graduate schools in their area. Those professors who have studied abroad always share their experiences when I express my interest, too.
Dr. Michael Bassman, distinguished honors professor in the Honors College, actually taught at my high school in Storrs, CT, many years ago. I would never have known it if I hadn’t approached him for conversation at the end of our welcome session at the beginning of my freshman year. He and his colleagues were the last ones out the door at that event so that they could entertain every student who wished to speak to them. This behavior is typical at ECU.
Because I am visually impaired, I have certain unusual needs in the classroom. If a professor is using a PowerPoint presentation in the classroom, I always ask for a copy of it so that I may view it closer to my face. One of my professors in the Department of Psychology had forgotten to send me a presentation for a Monday class, so he visited his office on a Saturday just to send it to me. I didn’t ask him to do it; he did it on his own accord.
When I entered ECU, I thought that the last thing I would study would be economics. I knew a lot of students in high school who planned to major in economics, and they all just wanted to get rich. I wanted nothing to do with that atmosphere. I took an introductory sociology course, and the lecturer who taught that course is the one who got me interested in economics. Though I am done taking sociology courses, she has followed my development as a student and person, and she has taken me out to tea a few times. Of course, we talk shop a little bit to justify why we’ve gathered, but the conversation never ends there.