ECU student wrestling against the norm

Aleigh Patterson (Contributed photo)

Aleigh Patterson
(Contributed photo)

 

 

By Chris Stansbury
ECU Student Affairs

A little advice from mom can go a long way in life. For East Carolina University sophomore Aleigha Patterson, that valuable advice came when she was a headstrong seventh grader.

“You are going to do great things,” her mom said. “Decide what you want to be, work at it and do it.”

The advice was pretty simple, but Patterson took it to heart and to the mat – the wrestling mat.  She’s now the only female competing on ECU’s Club Wrestling Team.

“I was always a rough kid and I liked wrestling,” said the Lenoir native. “I knew wrestling was pretty much done only by boys, but that wasn’t going to stop me from giving it my best shot.”

In 2008, she tried out and made the high school wrestling team. She trailed 10-1 in points going into the third period of her first match, but Patterson never quit. She remembers it vividly.

“I was able to get into a good position and put my opponent in a half nelson and pinned him to win the match,” she recalled.

Even as a girl in a male-dominated sport, Patterson pushed herself to get better. She credits high school coach Josh Woodruff as a key person in making her a better wrestler and a better person.  Woodruff was an ally when there wasn’t a long line of people in her corner, she said.

“Some coaches refused to send out a wrestler to face me. I couldn’t believe they actually took a match forfeit rather than having someone wrestle me.”

It was difficult for Patterson’s mom, Hollin Honeycutt, to hear other wrestlers and even other parents call her daughter names and tell her she didn’t belong in wrestling. But it was the physical barrages that pushed her mom over the top.

“It got to the point where my mom stopped going to the matches because it was too much for her to watch. One wrestling competitor actually punched me in the face repeatedly during a match.”

So why continue wrestling? Patterson said she likes the fact that it’s a battle – just two people squaring off face-to-face to see who can walk away on top.

“I wrestled against the boys for four years. I didn’t win every match. In fact, I probably lost more than I won. But I never quit.”

She started her college career at ECU in 2012 and discovered Club Wrestling. The advice of her single mother rang out once again: Find your passion and do it. But there is a big difference between high school and college, especially in wrestling.

“These guys are much bigger, much faster and a whole lot stronger,” Patterson said.  “But I still wanted to give it my best shot.”

Trey Wade, president of the club wrestling team, said Patterson’s stubbornness and commitment to succeed is a great combination.

“She is driven by the opposition against her,” said Wade. “When she hits the mat, we don’t treat her like a male or female, she is a wrestler trying to survive, trying to tackle a challenge and trying to succeed in life.”

At ECU, Patterson is able to wrestle against other females in competitive matches. And like many Pirates, she has her sights on lofty goals, both personally and for her university.

“I want to make history by winning nationals while an ECU Pirate. After that, my next goal is to make the Olympic team in 2016 or 2020.”

Patterson will compete in a tournament in Oklahoma this spring and hopefully earn a place at the 2014 nationals in Texas. Until then, she will rely on her perseverance, determination and the continued support and guidance of her coaches and, of course, her mom.

For further information on any of more than 40 club sports sponsored by ECU Campus Recreation & Wellness, contact Justin Waters at watersj@ecu.edu or 252-328-6387.

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ECU alumnus scores Super Bowl Championship ring

Michael Brooks

Michael Brooks

East Carolina University alumnus Michael Brooks will join the ranks of former ECU Pirate football players who wear a Super Bowl championship ring.

Brooks was on the winning Seattle Seahawks team for the Feb. 2 contest as a rookie defensive lineman.

Originally assigned to the practice squad, 22-year-old Brooks was recently promoted for game play after two players were  injured.

A native of Roxboro, Brooks majored in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security. ECU Pirates now have five Pirates with a Super Bowl championship ring within the last four years.

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ECU music student wins two orchestra competitions

Mary Catherine Cox

Mary Catherine Cox

Mary Catherine Cox, ECU junior violin performance major studying with Ara Gregorian, won both the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra and the Durham Symphony Orchestra concerto competitions Jan. 11.

She recently won the 2013-14 ECU Concerto Competition Ron and Patty Allison Prize, and the opportunity to perform as soloist with the ECU Symphony Orchestra.
Cox has been awarded All-State Honors Orchestra and has attended the Music Teacher’s National Association state auditions and international music festivals in France, England, and Italy.

Last summer Cox was awarded a fellowship to study at the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival in Wisconsin. She will perform with the Raleigh Symphony Feb. 23 and the Durham Symphony April 6.

She studies piano with ECU’s Keiko Sekino. Her older sister, Caroline Cox, who graduated in 2012, also is an accomplished violinist. Younger sister Sarah Cox is majoring in music. They are the daughters of optometrists Carson and Valerie Cox of Southern Pines.

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ECU senior to help manage Super Bowl social media

ECU business major Sarah Moran will travel to Manhattan for Super Bowl week to help manage Super Bowl social media. (Contributed photos)

ECU business major Sarah Moran will travel to Manhattan for Super Bowl week to help manage Super Bowl social media. (Contributed photos)

By Joy Holster
ECU News Services

East Carolina University senior Sarah Moran will be among the millions of travelers making their way to Manhattan for Super Bowl week, but she’s not planning to attend the game.

Moran has landed a role as a social media communication center listener for the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee. She will work alongside approximately 20 to 30 other volunteers managing Super Bowl-related social media. Her job includes monitoring the buzz on social media outlets and responding to questions, comments or concerns people may have about their Super Bowl experience.

Sarah Moran visited Manhattan in November for the Advertising Women of New York Conference. At a sports marketing workshop there, she first heard about the opportunity to volunteer with Super Bowl social media. She will return to Times Square to work as a social media communication center listener for the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee.

Sarah Moran visited Manhattan in November for the Advertising Women of New York Conference. At a sports marketing workshop there, she first heard about the opportunity to volunteer with the NFL for Super Bowl social media. She will return to Times Square to work as a social media communication center listener for the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee.

She will work four 6-hour shifts Jan. 28 through Jan. 31 at Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square.

Moran, a business major with concentrations in marketing and management, said she was excited about the opportunity for this unique mass media experience. “The Super Bowl is light years larger than any Twitter/social media experience I’ve had before,” she said.

She also expects the experience to help advance her career. Following graduation from ECU this May, Moran plans to attend graduate school in marketing, with a goal of combining advertising and social media skills in a future career.

She credits her interest in social media to ECU College of Business professor Tracy Tuten. “I’ve loved her work with social media and advertising,” Moran said. “She has really opened my eyes to the possibilities I have. She’s the reason I want to go into advertising.”

Tuten also helped arrange Moran’s accommodations for the Manhattan visit. She will stay with a recent ECU graduate in the Upper West Side.

Moran is chair of ECU’s Student Media Board and a member of the executive board for the Students’ Treasure Chest. She is a member of the ECU Women’s Roundtable, the Lambda Iota Chapter of the Phi Mu Fraternity, the Omicron Delta Kappa and the National Residence Hall Honorary.

 

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ECU honors Martin Luther King Jr. through service, speaker

During a previous year's MLK Jr. Day of Service event, ECU College of Business graduate assistants Heather Clayton and Devang Patel worked together to paint a wall in the Salvation Army's Family Store. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

During a previous year’s MLK Jr. Day of Service event, ECU College of Business graduate assistants Heather Clayton and Devang Patel worked together to paint a wall in the Salvation Army’s Family Store. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

East Carolina University students were encouraged to use their day off from classes on Monday, Jan. 20 to participate in a day of service honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The day’s activities were organized by the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center and other campus groups, which scheduled 10 sites where students could volunteer including the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Third Street Community Center, Jarvis Boys and Girls Club, My Sister’s Closet, all in Greenville and A Time for Science in Grifton.

The day began at 8:30 a.m. in Hendrix Theatre, where volunteers met for a light breakfast, watched a video clip of King’s “I have a dream” speech, heard from community leaders about the importance of service and community engagement and participated in team-building exercises.

The students then traveled to their assigned locations.

Also involved in The MLK Day of Service are the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, Alpha Phi Alpha, the Black Student Union and the Council on Family Relations.

Several other commemorative events were planned for campus, including:

  • 17th Annual Community Unity Breakfast, Monday, 7:30 – 9 a.m., the Murphy Center at ECU. This was a free event, hosted by the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce and the Office of the Mayor, City of Greenville.  Dr. Virginia Hardy, ECU vice chancellor for student affairs, was the featured speaker. The ECU Gospel Choir performed.
  • Humanitarian, actor, author, health and wellness ambassador/educator and philanthropist, Hill Harper spoke on “Visualizing the Dream” to the ECU community, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Wright Auditorium. Free admission, but tickets are required. For ticket information, call 252-328-2466.
  • Dr. Allen Mask will be the keynote speaker at the 30th annual Andrew A. Best M.D. Senior Recognition Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 25, for graduating minority medical students at ECU. Mask is the founder and director of Raleigh Urgent Care and the WRAL-TV health team physician. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University at 115 Heart Drive. The event was sponsored by the ECU Student National Medical Association. Best was Greenville’s first black physician. He died in 2005. Information is available by calling 252-744-2278 or e-mailing aabestbanquet2014@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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