Helping others, reaching out
From clinical research to music to community service, Leela Goel is passionate about helping others and embracing opportunities.
“My parents have always emphasized the importance of education to me, but I did not fully understand their lessons until I visited India for the first time three years ago,” said Goel. “There were impoverished children I met in India who worked as servants in order to bring income to their families.”
Goel, of Raleigh, will be one of 20 freshman entering East Carolina University in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers.
In addition to her affection for math and biology, it was a personal experience that is responsible for her interest in studying biomedical engineering. “I saw the importance of medical technology in modern medicine from the experiences of visiting my grandmother when she was in the hospital,” said Goel, 17.
“I would have great satisfaction working in a career where my work is to understand and improve the technology around us.”
By the time she is a freshman, Goel will have spent three summers working on research. She was awarded a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences summer intramural research training award fellowship for the 2012 and 2011 summers. In the summer of 2010, she worked with the North Carolina Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics program.
Goel already understands the importance of ECU’s motto Servire, to serve. Throughout her high school years, she volunteered at Wake County East Regional Library’s Teen Library Corps, where she planned and hosted literary events designed to interest more teens in reading.
Goel also gives music lessons to low-income children at a reduced cost through the Community Music School of Raleigh.
At Needham B. Broughton High School, Goel has won numerous awards and recognitions including honor roll, AP Scholar with Distinction and Outstanding Latin I, II and III student. She is also involved in the school’s Quiz Bowl/Brain Game team and the Latin and National honor societies.
Goel is excited about ECU’s emphasis on undergraduate research and opportunities to study abroad, which are rare for engineering majors.
“I am 100 percent confident I will be able to accomplish all of my academic goals at ECU,” said Goel.
She is daughter of Atul and Anita Goel.
— Jessica Nottingham
About EC Scholars
EC Scholars exhibit outstanding academic performance and effective leadership skills.
They have opportunities to contribute to faculty-led research studies, engagement in the community and multiple service activities.
The amount awarded to scholarship recipients is $40,000 ($5,000 per semester for eight continuous semesters). In addition, EC Scholars are provided with a $5,000 stipend to help support their required study abroad experience.
The entering Class of 2016 EC Scholar recipients have completed a rigorous three-tier selection process that includes: meeting the Honors College admissions criteria, having an additional faculty review and completing an on-campus interview. The incoming EC Scholar recipients have an average combined math/verbal SAT score of 1346 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.89.