What is an Honors College Seminar, Anyway?

By: Erika Dietrick, Undergraduate Coordinator of Marketing and Communications

Each spring, the Honors College unveils over a dozen Honors College seminars spanning topics as diverse as Ethics, Global Health, and the Fundamental Cause of Disease, The Science and Culture of Food as Plants, and Global Heavy Metal Music.  These innovative and interdisciplinary seminars are a means for faculty to offer exciting new courses and for honors students to broaden their academic horizons.

The Honors College is currently accepting new proposals from ECU faculty for 2016 Honors College seminars.  More information about the application process can be found here.  Applications for seminars in 2016 are due by March 11, 2015.

Watch the video below to learn more about the impact and scope of Honors College seminars!

Posted in Colloquiums & Seminars, Honors College, Honors Colloquiums & Seminars, Living Learning Experiences, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The FreshSpire App: a Fresh Idea for Reducing Waste

By: Mona Amin, Honors College Freshman

mona aminMona Amin (East Carolina University), Gabrielle Beaudry (UNC Chapel Hill), Shraddha Rathod (NC State), Hannah Sloan (UNC Chapel Hill), and Jennifer Wu (University of Pennsylvania), former students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, formed the idea to develop a multifaceted notification system and mobile application to notify consumers on the daily markdowns that occur in grocery stores on perishable goods during their senior year.

The FreshSpire App

The FreshSpire mobile application is intended to connect grocers with consumers motivated to purchase wholesome and healthy fresh foods at discounted prices. By liquidating fresh food inventories prior to expiration, FreshSpire aims to reduce landfill waste and methane emissions, boost the bottom line for grocers, and provide healthy discounted foods to all socioeconomic classes.

There is a lot currently happening with Team FreshSpire. Comprised of college freshmen, we are proceeding to raise investment capital by soliciting to potential investors and entering more competitions; arrangements have been made to meet directly with grocers (their primary business development target); and we continue to perfect our technological approach with the app. We are doing all of this all while being a decentralized team attending four different universities.

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Our team is continuing to push our idea forward as we apply and participate in start-up and innovation competitions. We are in the process of registering for a third consecutive year for the Conrad Innovation Challenge, were honored as finalists for the American Dream Seekers competition, and were named one of fifty companies in Global Entrepreneurship week. Just recently, we placed second in the Eastern NC Business Plan Competition. Through the competitions, we established profound partnerships, and FreshSpire has now begun the process of application development! We are enthusiastic about using innovative communication technologies to solve serious problems in effective food distribution. We simply can’t wait for our concept to become a reality.

Presenting at the Eastern NC Entrepreneurship Summit

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When I heard about the ENC Business Plan Competition (part of the Eastern NC Entrepreneurship Summit), I was very excited. I knew this was my opportunity to get the idea of FreshSpire out to the public and to gain connections with mentors at or around ECU. After going through two rounds of business plan submissions, we were glad to get the opportunity to present before the judges. Though this was the first time that we presented with just one of five team members, the support I had from my teammates before presentation day was tremendous. Our distance apart has in a way brought us closer. At the summit on Monday, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with software developers, attorneys, and angel investors within the Greenville community. Competitions like these truly show the dedication that ECU is putting into its Entrepreneurial Initiative. I cannot wait to see the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship on this campus within my next few years at ECU.

Supporting the FreshSpire App

If you would like to help support Mona and her colleagues or simply learn more about the FreshSpire App, please e-mail teamfreshspire@gmail.com.

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Honors Students Place in Study Abroad Photo Contest

By: Erika Dietrick, Undergraduate Coordinator of Marketing and Communications
blog 3Once again, ECU’s Study Abroad Office was charged with the task of choosing between countlessstunning images for their annual Study Abroad Photo Contest.  The contest called for ECU students who had recently studied abroad to submit up to five of their best study abroad photos.  Participants submitted pictures for the chance to see their artwork in Joyner Library, and over all category winners were promised a special prize.

Among this year’s grand prize winners were Honors College students Allison Donnenwirth and Zoe Hinton.

Allie (junior) won the Pirates Abroad Grand Prize for her photo titled Just Call Me Lizzie McGuire (bottom left).  The art major/business minor spent her entire sophomore year amidst the breath-taking sites of Italy while taking courses in jewelry making and enameling.  You can read more about the experience that changed her life here.
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Zoe (sophomore, EC Scholar) took Overall Best in Show for her photo “Barbed Freedom” (right). While studying abroad in India over the summer, Zoe dedicated much of her photography to capturing unsung stories and forgotten history.Despite her neuroscience background, Zoe decided to take the opportunity to explore religious studies as a means to broaden her horizons and discover a beautiful country.  You can read about her experience here!

Both Allie and Zoe’s photos will be showcased in Joyner Library for the remainder of the academic year.  To see all of the amazing photos that were submitted during this year’s contest, visit the ECU Study Abroad Facebook page.

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Senior Reflections: Getting the Most Out of College

By: Kelly McLees, Honors College Senior

The following is Kelly’s reflection on her college and Honors College experience.  Kelly will graduate from ECU in December 2014. 

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Kelly starting a fire for her Wilderness Writing final exam

Of course, my life was jam packed with your typical college experiences like Greek life, rigorous academic coursework, and part time jobs. However, I am fortunate to be able to say that I also took part in some not-so-cliché exposures, such as the NC Teaching Fellows program, unique Honors College experiences like exclusive classes and video chats with foreign students, and co-teaching a class on diversity at the University! I suppose you could say that I was ambitious to get the most I could out of the short time! At times I still wonder: how in the world did I accomplish it all? 

Although it may not sound like a walk in the park, one of my favorite memories as an Honors College student was participating in an Honors College seminar called Wilderness Writing. Part of this course involved going on a week long camping trip with other Honors College students. We were all attempting to accomplish all of our other schoolwork while freezing in our tents in harsh February weather. At that time, I think all of us wondered how we had gotten ourselves into that mess and why we had chosen the class at all! However, a few short hours later we were all very good friends and remain so to this day. A few weeks after that, we went camping again and had the chance to climb a mountain together! Experiences like that were made available to me through the Honors College, and I will always hold them near and dear.

It is only really fair for me to look back now and say that it was all worth it. The long library hours, the “young” jokes from colleagues and faculty (ahem – I haven’t forgotten Baxter!..), the many pages of reading, and all the tests I ever worried about — every minute was worth it. Now, I have accepted a coveted teaching position in my field of study, and I owe it all to East Carolina and the Honors College that I feel completely prepared and confident! I certainly would not have accomplished all I have without the excellent programs that have been an integral part of my success. And now that the time has flown by, and I’m aware of what I’m capable of… who knows what I’ll be up to next!

Posted in Advice/Tips, Colloquiums & Seminars, Honors College, Honors Colloquiums & Seminars, Living Learning Experiences, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EC Scholars help raise nearly $70,000 for Charleston library

The following article was originally posted on the ECU Now Blog on October 27th.

EC Scholar Payton Burnette sorts and organizes books for a Charleston County Public Library book sale.  (Contributed photo)

EC Scholar Payton Burnette sorts and organizes books for a Charleston County Public Library book sale. (Contributed photo)

Every year during East Carolina University’s fall break, the senior class of EC Scholars travels to Charleston, South Carolina. A major component of this capstone experience, called the senior impact trip, is a service project that benefits the local community.

This year’s senior EC Scholars spent six hours volunteering at the Charleston County Public Library’s “That BIG Book Sale” hosted by the Charleston Friends of the Library.

“We selected the Charleston Friends of the Library because of their long-term commitment to the city of Charleston, the history of the event and the important connection between reading and academic success,” said Todd Fraley, director of the EC Scholars award program at ECU.

More than 60,000 books, DVDs, CDs, and other items were available for purchase with all proceeds supporting the library. With the help from the EC Scholars, the organization raised $68,000, which surpassed their goal.

“Being able to be a part of something that provides this transformational experience to children and adults throughout Charleston and the surrounding communities was extremely fulfilling,” said senior EC Scholar and nursing major Lindsay Caddell.

The Charleston Friends of the Library is a nonprofit organization that supports and advocates for the Charleston County Public Library system. According to their website, the organization raises money to fund more than 6,000 programs sponsored annually by the library.

“I have no doubt our seasoned volunteers will be telling stories of the ECU students for years to come,” said Emily Everette, executive director of the Charleston Friends of the Library.


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