Early start, early excellence
When Alyssa DaVolio visited East Carolina University two years ago with her high school class, she sensed a spark of excitement about the future.
DaVolio felt the mix of programs and the small, inclusive feel of campus was the right blend for her. “I fell in love with the campus not only for its insightful programs and its highly ranked professors,” she said, “but also for its inspiring spirit. Coming from a high school with no sports and only 37 peers in my class, I was touched by how this campus came together.”
DaVolio, 18, of Wilmington, will be one of 20 students entering ECU in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers. She plans to major in neuroscience and biomedical engineering and hopes to become a pediatric neurosurgeon.
She attends Isaac Bear Early College High School, which she said has granted her opportunities that will carry over to her experience at ECU. There, DaVolio finished high school in two years and received two free years of study at UNC–Wilmington. She is a full-time college student, and once all of her credits transfer, she will be a sophomore at ECU this fall.
DaVolio plans to hit the ground running when she gets to East Carolina. “This summer, I plan on starting research that I hope to continue at ECU,” she said.
During high school, she earned top honors in science competitions, including a first place finish at the New Hanover County Science Fair. She also scored top finishes in contests in areas of study ranging from ornithology to gravity and completed 100 hours of volunteer service at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
DaVolio has been a member of Science Olympiad and the Yearbook and Math clubs. At UNC–Wilmington, she is a member of the Seahawk Neurofeedback Research Study and SEAHEC, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of health care in eastern North Carolina.
DaVolio is proud of her choice to attend ECU, a decision secured on a campus visit when students took part in an impromptu pep rally on campus, yelling “Purple!” and “Gold!” to each other across the mall. “At that moment, it was clear that ECU had a sense of family throughout the whole campus,” she said.
“I am looking forward to research, meeting new people and being pushed harder than I ever have before.”
She is the daughter of Joanne Cress.
– Spaine Stephens