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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A Rewarding Challenge: the Senior Honors Project

By: Adrian Modzik, Honors College Senior

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As a senior studying biology, my academic focus has always been on human biology. Beyond my required classes (like genetics and ecology), I have taken courses such as immunology, microbiology, and cellular physiology. However, when choosing what to do my Senior Honors Project on, I went a little outside my comfort zone. I did this because when I was searching for a mentor, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the type of mentor I wanted to have.

Dr. Goodwillie fit that bill perfectly. I took Genetics with Dr. Goodwillie, and she is one of my absolute favorite professors. She never failed to take a very challenging topic and turn it in to a very simple one by the end of class. She used a lot of visual demonstrations, and she involved the class by picking volunteers to help with each one. It was very clear that she deeply cared about the success of her students. The knowledge I gained in her class has been the information that I have retained the best throughout my college career. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject, so I decided I wanted to do something with genetics for my project.

What I did not expect was to work with plants. Like I said before, most of my college career has been focused on the human model. However, through working with my own little plants, I have found a joy in doing research I never thought I would get. As a part of my research, I repotted upwards of 250 plants into individual tubes. These plants were approximately ½ an inch in length with very fragile roots. It was a tough yet delicate task. I found to my surprise that I was very successful at it. I began to love the hours I spent doing work in the lab, gaining a sense of accomplishment when I completed each pot.

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When I first started doing research, I was collecting data for another student’s Senior Honors Project. I was measuring things like pore size and pollen count on the same species of plants I am working with now. As I worked, I found myself subconsciously trying to make a hypothesis on how the data would come out and what it would show. It was really cool to see if what I thought would happen, actually did happen. That was the first time I really had my interest sparked for research and that spark has persisted ever since.

However, as a student, I will admit I am a procrastinator. I am used to working to a deadline and getting everything in right at the last minute. So, to consistently work on a large project like this is a challenge for me. I have never done thesis writing, and it is hard for me to organize my thoughts in a coherent fashion in such a large paper. Dr. Goodwillie has been very supportive of me as a mentor, but I feel that I am going to need to find some way to structure myself. I am confident after the end of this process however, that I will have developed the necessary skills to successfully navigate any future challenge of this nature.

I am so grateful that the Honors College has pushed me into this experience; I would not have taken the initiative to do it on my own. If I had not been pushed, I would never have known how much I love it. I am looking forward to the conclusion of my project to see what my results are!

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Choosing a Community of Camaraderie

By: Ann Marie Ballance, Honors College Sophomore

Ann Marie

One of the most exciting days of my high school senior year was receiving my acceptance letter from the ECU Honors College. As an education major, I wanted to attend ECU because of their reputation in producing great teachers; however, I still questioned whether or not I would to attend ECU because I was considering the other schools to which I had been accepted. Receiving my acceptance letter from ECU’s Honors College changed the indecision. I was certain that I wanted to go to ECU because I saw an amazing opportunity to grow in academics and leadership through the different programs offered in the Honors College. Besides the scholarship and other experiences, a main selling point was the ability to be part of community of students who were interested in learning. I knew that while living in the Honors Living Learning Community during my freshman year, I would meet amazing students who had similar interests and were motivated like me.

Looking back, I can see that the Honors Living Learning Community was one of the most important parts of my freshman year. As I had thought, I met people who were motivated both inside and outside the classroom with interests in improving themselves and others. As a History Education major, I always love to see people sharing their knowledge and passions which is at the core of the Honors College. Many students come from different majors; however, all of us are truly interested in helping others through our interests. I never expected that many of my friends would come from varying majors and the Honors College; although, I am really glad that they have.

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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, EC Scholar and 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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