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The Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy at ECU

By: Kristen Edmonds, Early Assurance Recipient in Physical Therapy and Honors College junior

IMG_5245As a second semester junior, I’ve come to the realization that my time at ECU is almost over.  I began to worry that I haven’t taken advantage of all of the opportunities that I’ve been offered while here.  Too often I’ve decided against joining a club or organization because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have time for it.  When Dr. Fraley sent me an email encouraging me to apply for the Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy (CSLA), I immediately assumed the same thing.  But after speaking to him about it, and learning that several other Honors College students had gone through the program with a lot of success, I decided to apply.  I learned that I had been invited to join CSLA over Christmas Break, and I immediately accepted the invitation.

CSLA is a semester-long program that consists of weekly meetings, each led by a different speaker.  Because each speaker is different, we get a unique lesson in leadership each week.  Before our weekly meetings began, we participated in MLK Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  We were assigned to work with Making Pitt Fit, a community garden in Pitt County.  We spent the day learning about how the garden functions while we participated in a bit of gardening ourselves.

While I’m only about halfway through with the program, I’m incredibly glad that I decided to apply.  The Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy is exposing me to new leadership ideas and practices every week, and I leave every meeting feeling like I can take on the world.  I’m always looking for ways to improve my leadership skills, and this program is giving me the resources to do so.  With so much time left in the semester, I’m very excited to see what else this program has in store for me!

Leadership, Networking, and Guaranteed MBA Entry: Business Scholars

By: Kaleigh Launsby, Business Scholar and Honors College Freshman

image1We live in a world of constant economic, social, and political change. As a Business Administration major, I am able to learn about each of these sectors in a single discipline of study. A business degree is an extremely practical area of study, as the curriculum provides students with a plethora of real-world experience. I had heard about the Leadership and Professional Development Program as part of the College of Business before applying to East Carolina University. This program is in place to allow students to improve upon the essential skills for success in the workplace, including leadership, communication, and professionalism.

As a Business Scholar, I have the opportunity to build long lasting relationships with the College of Business faculty and staff. Before my freshman year began, I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon where I met with professors and other students. As an incoming student, this provided me with the confidence that I needed going into the first day of classes. I have also had the opportunity to meet with College of Business Dean, Mr. Stanley Eakins on several occasions. In the fall, all business scholarship recipients were invited to a networking event and reception at Dean Eakins home. Networking events like these help business students meet current students and faculty, alumni, as well as local business owners.

An undergraduate degree in Business will allow for a smooth transition into the MBA program at East Carolina. The Business Scholars program has granted me guaranteed entry into the nationally ranked MBA program upon completion of my undergraduate degree. This will allow me to bypass the GMAT examination as an undergraduate senior. I plan to complete my MBA on the one-year fast track that East Carolina offers. The skills that I have gained so far and that I will gain in the future at East Carolina will allow me to become a desirable candidate to potential employers.


Incredible Sights and Sports in Glasglow, Scotland

By: Austin Phillips, EC Scholar and Honors College Sophomore

Picture1When I thought of Scotland, I thought of one thing: golf.  Being a passionate golfer, Scotland was an interesting prospect of places to go study abroad.  Even after choosing the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, I had no idea what was in store for me.

Upon arriving to the University, I knew no one who would be here.  Up to this date I have only met 5 or 6 Americans that go to school here.  I live in a flat with 2 Irishmen (one southern, the other northern), a guy from Singapore, one from Sweden and another from Scotland.  I had an instant bond with the Southern Irishman as he is my age and that is where a lot of my experiences come from.  Throughout the first couple weeks, it took a while to get used to a culture that is so similar yet so different at the same time. I took sips of Iran Bru (Only place with a soft drink more popular than Coca-Cola), ate some awesome Haggis (Sorry Baxter) and went to my first Celidgh (Scottish Dance thing). Then the next few weeks (leading to now) have been some of the best weeks of my life.

Picture2First of all, the people I have met here have been incredible.  I have met most of them from an organization called the Christian Union, Sports Teams and Student Tours Scotland.  Speaking of Student Tours Scotland, let’s just say it is your ticket to see anywhere you want in Scotland.  It is ran by a guy in Glasgow, who wants to provide amazing experiences in Scotland at an affordable price.  Through his tours, I have seen the Scottish Highlands, Castles and a number of other amazing sights. (I can’t wait for the waterfall tour I am going on next week.)

Picture3Although I love the sights and amazing things Scotland has to offer, what I love best is the amazing sport this country has.  After I leave Scotland, I will have played on at least 8 of the top 100 golf courses in the world, including the most famous in the world, The Old Course at St. Andrews.  This has been a dream come true for me, and it is defentely moments I will cherish forever.  I have tried Cricket, played powerleague football (Arena style soccer), and am a quarterback on the University’s flag football team. (We can laugh at that later.)  I have even trained and ran my first 10k, which was also the biggest road race in Scotland.  There are many professional sports teams here in Glasgow, and by the time I leave, I will have seen professional matches/games of basketball, rugby (Rugby World Cup on TV as well), soccer (both BPL and Europa League) and hockey.  Right before I wrote this blog, I finished watching my sixth session live of the World Gymnastic Championships, which was an amazing experience.  This country has let me live my sports dream and has inspired what I want to do in the future.

None of this would have been possible without the EC Scholars program and the Honors College, and I hope whoever is reading this will go to a place that they can live out their dream.  Well, I am off to Newcastle, got to catch me a British Premier League game!

The Calling to Heal as a Pirate Nurse

By: Erin Traister, Honors College Senior

Honors College BlogMy six-hour trek across the state for my final semester at college consisted of the usual road-trip adventures: digging in seat crevices for vending machine change, adjusting my cruise control, and jamming out to Ed Sheeran and my boys 1D. As I had many minutes (slash hours) of quiet reflection available, I took advantage of my time to romanticize my last few college months: attending various spring sporting events, watching movies with friends, bubbling in the final answer of my last Scantron, and finally walking across the graduation stage (insert epic fist pump). Why did I still feel the pit of doom in my stomach, then? Could it be that I had two tests the first day of school? Why, yes I suppose it could. #NursingSchool. Welcome back, Erin.

There is a reason why people respond by cringing when I introduce myself and state my major at various student events across campus. The rumors are true that nursing school is extremely challenging. Okay, I don’t even think it’s a rumor anymore – definitely a well-known fact. For my peers who have the privilege of hearing some friends complain about 8 AM lectures…we robotically smile, unsympathetic because our 6:30 AM clinicals require our 4:30 AM awakening with an hour commute. When every single multiple choice option is right, you must use your best judgement to pick the best answer or priority intervention. But don’t lose heart, your twelve hours in clinical so far have surely given you the deduction skills of your nursing professors who have thirty years of professional practice. So in all honesty, I wasn’t a fan of the impossible tests, demanding schedule, and stricter grading policy (that’s right: 95-100 = A; 100% tests; test review = after the test) when I first started nursing school.

So why did I stick with it? I was sent to heal.

The past year and several months have given me the most impactful personal and professional experience of my lifetime. I have been in the room when a baby takes his first breath and where an older man has taken his last. I have seen with my eyes and felt with my heart the enormous victories and defeats of the human body, mind, and spirit. There have been some days where hope is hard to see – where I looked into the eyes of a terminal cancer patient being discharged from in-patient hospice to die at home. Every human body will inevitably break down. But that doesn’t mean we stop putting it back together. As nurses, we have a unique opportunity to participate in this restoration process, whether it is educating a patient about medications after experiencing a heart attack or witnessing the hopeful tears of men and women as they gain victories over their battles with substance abuse.

While I too often inwardly (or outwardly: sorry, friends) complain of the demands of what feels like a full-time hospital and student position, I am truly honored to enter this lifelong profession. The ECU College of Nursing has set high standards and has offered opportunities that have transformed the way I approach learning and interact with the healthy and the sick in our community. So for all my fellow future health care professionals, here’s to a difficult but beautiful journey ahead that constantly reminds us of what matters most in life.

Honors College brings top finalists and admitted students to campus

By: Jessica Nottingham, Coordinator of Communications and Marketing

East Carolina University’s Honors College hosted its sixth annual Selection Sunday and Honors College Preview Day for top scholarship program finalists and admitted honors students Feb. 14-15.

Approximately 80 finalists were selected to interview during Selection Sunday for the EC Scholars, Early Assurance (in audiology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy), Business Scholars, Humanities Scholars and Music Scholars award programs housed in the Honors College. In addition to the respective scholarship program benefits, recipients received the Honors College scholarship of in-state tuition valued at approximately $17,000 and are offered unique leadership, mentorship and community-engagement opportunities.

The EC Scholars Award Program is ECU’s most prestigious merit scholarship program valued at approximately $62,000 awarded over four years. The scholarship program includes a $5,000 study abroad stipend as well as the Honor College scholarship of in-state tuition. Setting a record, the program received 530 applications and interviewed 49 finalists. With 20 awards, the EC Scholars award is the largest scholarship program in the Honors College.

24969698752_e2103b831b_kFaculty, alumni, donors and campus administrators volunteered to select and interview finalists on Selection Sunday.

24733303260_1c22da00fc_k“Being part of the EC Scholars Selection Sunday was quite a privilege,” said Margaret Turner, director of marketing and outreach for the College of Engineering and Technology, who served as an EC Scholars Award Program interviewer. “All of the candidates are extraordinary students and not only impressive on paper, but even more so in person. It’s exciting to be a part of selecting the next cohort of scholars that will represent ECU.”

Advocating and fundraising for the Honors College, the ECU Women’s Roundtable became a supporting partner this year. Shelby Strother, emerita Women’s Roundtable member and 2007 Incredible ECU Women honoree also served as an EC Scholars interviewer. “Some of [the students] have already accomplished more in their K-12 education than others do in a life time,” said Strother. “East Carolina University is very fortunate to have these outstanding students as part of the incoming freshmen class.”

The early assurance programs (EAP) guarantee admissions into the respective graduate or doctoral programs at ECU after completing an undergraduate degree as an honors student. The most competitive EAP is in medicine, which offers recipients guaranteed admittance to the Brody School of Medicine. The EAP in medicine received 176 applications, interviewed 23 finalists and will name four recipients and four alternates.

The EAP in nursing received 46 applications, selected six finalists and will award three recipients. The EAP in physical therapy received 45 applications, interviewed four finalists and will name two recipients. The EAP in occupational therapy received 9 applications, interviewed and will award two finalists. The EAP in audiology received four applications and selected one finalist to interview and award the scholarship.

The scholar program awards in business, humanities and music are valued at approximately $30,000 over four years including the Honors College in-state tuition scholarship. Applicants must articulate an interest and dedication to one of these respective fields on their Honors College application to be selected as a finalist.

25028850945_5f6144e359_kAfter receiving 52 applications, the Business Scholars program interviewed six finalists and will award two recipients. This program also provides guaranteed entry to ECU’s MBA program upon completion of an undergraduate degree in business. The Humanities Scholars program received 13 applicants, interviewed and awarded one finalist. The Music Scholars program received 30 applicants, and the finalists are still participating in auditions.

The Honors College has partnered with ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, College of Allied Health, College of Business, College of Nursing, School of Music and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences to deliver these award programs.

“Selection Sunday is a time for us to showcase ECU’s prestigious merit scholarship programs to some of the best students in our region and nation,” said Dr. Todd Fraley, director of the EC Scholars Award Program and interim associate dean of academic programs for the ECU Honors College. “Every year, I continue to be amazed by the students and how competitive these programs have become.”

Finalists had lunch with current recipients of the Honors College scholarship awards, university leaders and college constituents to learn more about ECU, the Honors College its scholarship programs. Following the lunch, finalists participated in their interviews and were invited to a reception at the East Carolina Heart Institute. At the reception, the prospective scholars and their families heard from Dr. David White, interim dean of the Honors College, Dr. Ron Mitchelson, the ECU provost, Dr. Liz Fogarty, an Honors College faculty fellow and associate professor in the College of Education and Chris Thaxton, a senior EC Scholar majoring in biology and chemistry.24910794262_c4a8e9a75d_z

24969706112_131daec030_kOn the Monday following Selection Sunday, the Honors College hosted Preview Day for accepted honors students who enter fall 2016 as freshmen. Designed to assist students in their college selection decision, the event featured campus administrators including Dr. Steve Ballard, ECU Chancellor, Dr. Dave Meredith, director of admissions, White, interim dean of the Honors College and Kevin Baxter, associate dean of the Honors College.

24720249409_fd827b8610_kProspective honors students heard from faculty, current students and parents, met with advisors from colleges across campus, participated in a campus and Gateway Residence Hall tour, and ate lunch at West End Dining Hall.

“East Carolina University and the Honors College have a lot to offer high-achieving students,” said White. “I am confident that the scholar program finalists and accepted honors students and their families left ECU knowing that we are a campus committed to scholarship, leadership, character and service.”

For more information about the Honors College and its special scholarship offerings, visit Photo galleries for Selection Sunday and Preview Day are available.

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