Category Archives: Events
The Honor College at East Carolina University will host its annual convocation Thursday, Aug. 31, inside Wright Auditorium, featuring ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton and local entrepreneur Dennis Tracz.
Following remarks from Staton and Honors College Dean Dr. David White, Tracz will kick off the school year with the keynote address to the Honors College highlighting innovation, entrepreneurship and the future impacts on eastern North Carolina and beyond.
Tracz said he was excited to formally welcome the Honors College Class of 2021 and recognize their potential to make a difference to the Honors College community.
“I am honored to be included in the efforts of the Honors College to help introduce students and the broader community to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Tracz. “I look forward to contributing to this remarkable institution and engaging with students and faculty alike.”
“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Tracz to the Honors College,” said Dean White. “His experiences and expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship have helped us to shape our plans here. His message will help our community understand the bright future possibilities through innovation and entrepreneurship in addition to their course work.”
Tracz is the CEO and Co-Founder of Carolina Wild, a muscadine juice company based in Pink Hill, NC. Tracz has set out to help transform the land that tobacco forgot into the land of the muscadine. He was the founder of the Virginia Financial Group, Inc. and served as the Director of the Entrepreneurship Center for James Madison University’s College of Business. Tracz has experience in entrepreneurship and innovation through eight start-ups established over more than 30 years. Tracz serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Rural Center and is active in helping his rural community receive access to broadband and other technology services.
Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, 17 EC Scholars traveled to Charleston, South Carolina where they led a service project at the Ronald McDonald House, connected with East Carolina University alumni and reflected on their four-year journey together.
The annual senior impact trip also included an outing to Fort Sumter to learn more about the history of Charleston.
At the Ronald McDonald House, students cleaned, removed holiday décor, cleaned the food pantry, organized the linen closet and freshened up rooms.
The senior class described their time together as “entertaining, meaningful and rejuvenating,” said Dr. Diana Majewski, assistant director of the EC Scholars, who accompanied the students on the trip along with Dr. Todd Fraley, director of EC Scholars.
To view photos from the trip, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecuhonorscollege/albums/72157677587716551
Where the roots reach, branches climb.
Arriving at the land of purple and gold,
I found a school with an old soul and a young heart
Where dreams dare to expand and a thriving community of art
A hospital with researchers by the dozen
And a business school with students fully driven
A college of engineers just waiting to build into the skies
A land of historians, entrepreneurs, teachers, and writers.
They said it was my turn to make the right choices. Choices,
they are indeed a tricky thing.
Flinging yourself into the next four years of your life is no easy feat.
But you’ve done it.
Your feet brought you to this auditorium, and so have mine.
Despite our paths, we have arrived at our home, our haven.
As a dancer, I communicate through movement.
The moment I decided to pursue this career, I knew that it would be no easy game of tic-tac-toe
but more like finding a grain of wheat in the Sahara…
Nothing about this choice was logical to outsiders
But everything about this choice was right.
With a family of scholars and peers in this Honors College
I walked into this new chapter of my story with relationships to keep me grounded,
to keep me focused,
and to keep me determined.
This College is rooted deeply,
with branches reaching to do more,
to see more,
to know more,
and to be more.
More than you can imagine will happen to you while you grow into this community.
I have been tumultuously thrust into opportunities I never bought into the reality of:
Like having my poems published and received with love,
Getting the chance to dance in New York City
on one of the most well known stages in dance history.
Hearing how Dr. Walker, Dr. Fraley, and Dr. Fogarty all deeply believe in my passions,
stopping at nothing to help me conquer challenges and limitations.
Being financially supported to combine the arts and research,
Exploring Washington D.C. alongside my inspirational cohorts.
Challenging women in domestic violence shelters to let their creative juices flow,
Teaching children in Sunday school how to write the word “Go,”
Leading Bible Study with best friends and sharing my faith in Christ,
Dancing in Messick, McGinnis, in Hendrix, and here at Wright.
Having donors trust in this great school, financially supporting my dreams,
Performing at Bowery Poetry Club in New York City’s Lower Eastside scene.
Studying foreign cultures and earthquakes in the Peruvian mountainside.
Writing my own booklet about defeating anxiety during Me-Time.
Working in the Big Apple as a professional dancer,
Speaking at convocation knowing I don’t have all the right answers.
And despite this facility and these four years being all about knowing,
All this time will teach you is how to survive the ebb and the flowing.
It’s not about being right, but how a right is made by three lefts, three things to leave.
Leave your fears behind.
Leave yourself to grow.
Leave your passions to flourish.
These people will enrich your life, as they have mine.
They taught me that my words matter,
Despite my battering self-doubt, their encouragement left me standing tall
I have found a home in these hearts and a community in these companions.
More than just a degree, you will leave after four years here with joy, utter joy
From realizing that yes, grades matter, but those moments spent investing into one another like a metered parking spot left you feeling more whole than an A you might’ve got.
From coming to the conclusion that teachers are wise, if you listen you can learn so much between the lines. By making genuine relationships, these masters of knowledge can teach you to sail your own pirate ship.
From accepting that challenges will come and did come by the dozen, but they only serve to shape you. Amidst tragedy and heartbreak these losses still do not define you.
They say that during college you will find yourself.
I will counter this statement and say no, you will never find yourself.
You will release yourself.
After three years, I can say that my joy is found in the PEOPLE.
It all comes back to the people.
It is why I chose my blood to run purple and gold,
and I believe the people are what inspired you.
These people are the ones who pushed my artistry to become greater,
my passion to grow deeper,
my love to reach farther,
my determination to be stronger,
and my stamina to go longer.
This school introduced me to such inspirational movers and shakers, to the doers and creators of change and beauty, art and industry, research and ingenuity.
I inhale joy during each breath I take while on the dance floor as a new exciting space to explore.
These human stars in my night sky taught me to push myself to finally break up with who I was three years ago.
To break down the boundaries, limits, judgments, and hindrances I placed on my own path.
I will leave this May with confidence in my back pocket not because of my abilities,
but because I have finally begun the process of enjoying my own artistry.
A composition of moments and memories.
the words written for others and those I kept for myself
the pain of injury, of heartbreak, of loss
the storms caused by the weather and those initiated by circumstance
the questions of the future and the exclamations of joy
the moments dancing in front of thousands and those spent dancing alone
the laying on of hands and the laying down of hearts
the wet football games and the dry lectures
the hard conversations and the soft sunrises
the telling of stories and the act of making mine thicker.
So welcome freshmen,
welcome my new family,
welcome to our community.
Welcome to the act of making YOUR story thicker.
We cannot wait to walk beside you as your three lefts make a right.
By: Thao Kim Pham, Honors College Sophomore
What was once music has now become a cacophony as it mixes with the sounds of horns and traffic. The 10-hour drive proved to be more arduous than we bargained for. Upon arrival at our hotel we were fortunate to be able to enter the doors to our domain to rest our weary heads. We slept. And we continued to sleep. At this point food was a mere barbaric instinct stirring us to wake from our deep slumber. If there was anything that could salvage this trip it would be the HOSA experience. The HOSA International Leadership Conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee from June 21–26.
After immersing myself in HOSA – Future Health Professionals for five years, I knew that there would be more to our trip than the long drive. The days ahead would engrave the HOSA experience deep upon my brain. The experience can best be described as synonymous with a buffet. While each entity can be enjoyed separately, a buffet tastes best when joined with others. The HOSA experience enables this by drawing unique backgrounds into one meeting place allowing for the interchange of culture. This enriching setting was amplified more so during my competitive event.
Everyone enjoys winning, and at nationals this goes double. Here the best are gathered to do combat until one stands out amongst the rest. During my competitive event, a conglomerate of emotions filled my body. At the center of my soul, was doubt. Despite countless hours of studying and encouragement, the doubt within me grew restless as does a bee hive when provoked. While it may seem trivial to merely indicate A or B, when thrown into this predicament it becomes A or B or Y. “Y” as in “Why did I put A instead of B”. This doubt stabbed at me incessantly tugging at the corner of my mind until I fatigued my body and soul. By the end of the test I left the room to see the sparkling smiles of my friends. So what if I lost? I can still enjoy Tennessee with my friends. Or so I thought. Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would attain second place in my competitive event of Knowledge Test: Human Growth and Development. This is the HOSA experience where students crawl and battle their conscience for any place they can get.