The chance to expand his leadership skills, as well as a prestigious scholarship, is bringing Ridgecroft School graduate Thomas Ashley Vaughan to East Carolina University in August.
The Murfreesboro teen is one of 15 this year to earn the top undergraduate scholarship at ECU, the EC Scholars award.
Vaughan was valedictorian at Ridgecroft and is the son of Keith and Elaine Vaughan. His mother is a 1985 graduate of ECU. In high school, he has been active in student government and the Science Olympiad. He’s received awards in science, pre-calculus and English, among others.
Vaughan plans to major in applied atmospheric science at ECU. Following college he hopes to go to graduate school obtain a master’s degree in meteorology and work for the National Weather Service. He said he’s looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends at ECU.
ECU bills itself as the “leadership university,” and under Chancellor Steve Ballard has begun and expanded numerous leadership training programs for students, faculty and staff. The leadership opportunities offered by being an E.C. Scholar added to ECU’s appeal, Vaughan said.
“To me, being an E.C. Scholar means that I will serve as a role model for my fellow Pirates through involvement with community service projects, engagement in undergraduate research, contributions as a campus leader both academically and socially, and participation in a study abroad experience,” Vaughan said.
The service component is important not only to the university but also to the scholars. “I am looking forward to collaborating with the other E.C. Scholars to make a positive impact on East Carolina University and the surrounding communities,” Vaughan said.
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 2015 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 math/verbal SAT score of 1307 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.89.
– Doug Boyd, ECU News Services