Making positive changes in politics
ECU’s Laurena Grissett is a political Pirate.
A junior, Grissett is majoring in political science and security studies. She is active in the Pre-Law Society, the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society and ECU Orientation Assistants.
“Honestly I wasn’t too interested in politics before I got to college, but I knew I wanted to go to law school, and since political science is the traditional route to that, I took a class and found that I loved it. Since politics has a big influence on our day-to-day lives, I want to be a part of that, and I want to make positive changes,” said Grissett.
One class that was particularly influential to Grissett was Politics of Terrorism (POLS4382), which covered topics and events relating to terrorism around the globe.
“That class really opened my eyes to a lot of issues going on around the world. I was so excited to take that class. The class challenged me in the best way possible,” said Grissett.
Grissett was born in Colorado, but she spent the majority of her childhood near Cambridge, England.
“My father was in the Air Force (he’s now retired), so we were actually quite lucky to spend such a long time in one place. But my parents are my role models, especially my mom, who’s from England, because she picked up everything and moved to the States when she was really young. If she could persevere, then I can, too” said Grissett.
Her accent gives away her English upbringing, which is always a topic of conversation with other students. “Sometimes people ask if I’m from Australia. I’ll say a word or phrase and people will catch on to my accent. Sometimes they’ll repeat the words back to me with an accent, thinking they’ve said it wrong. The word ‘Rawl,’ as in the Rawl Building, is usually the most noticeable,” said Grissett.
Being involved on campus is important to Grissett. “I love the atmosphere here. This really is my home away from home and I think that boils down to how friendly the people are. People are so willing to help you out and greet you in passing, even when you don’t know them, and that really makes a difference,” she said.
This summer, Grissett is working as an orientation assistant. “When I was a freshman, the Office of Student Transitions sent out an application to be an orientation assistant, and I applied and got the job. I wanted to meet new people and network with faculty and staff,” she said.
Recently, Grissett got the opportunity to meet the new chancellor, Dr. Cecil Staton. “We were some of the first people on campus to meet him, and I thought it was such a cool opportunity,” she said.
One thing that she is looking forward to this fall is football and other sports. “I love all the sporting events. They really showcase how much pride we have here and how much we love our school,” she said.
After graduation, Grissett wants to pursue a law degree, focusing in criminal law, intellectual property and copyright law, or civil rights.
What advice do you have for other students?
Stay focused on your academics and you’ll definitely succeed.
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year?
I wish I knew just how easy and worthwhile it is to become involved in clubs and organizations and how vital joining them is in terms of networking with faculty and staff.
College: Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Political Science & Security Studies
Hometown: Cambridge, England
Clubs & Organizations: Pre-Law Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, ECU Orientation Assistants
Hobbies & Interests: Politics, dance, reading, watching Netflix
Favorite place to eat: Sup Dogs
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump & Mean Girls
Favorite website: Twitter
Favorite place on campus: Wright Plaza
Favorite hangout: Joyner Library
Favorite class: Politics of Terrorism (POLS4382)
Favorite band/musician: Justin Bieber & Drake
Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy & Friends
Professors who influenced you the most: Dr. Cook & Dr. Baumgartner
The one thing you cannot live without: My phone
Role Model: My parents
Dream Job: Supreme Court Justice
“Live every day as if it’s your last.”
– Laurena Grissett
Taken from the East Carolina University Website
Photography by: Cliff Hollis
Written by: Sophronia Knott