College hosts students, parents for Pirates Aboard

Myla Bryant, left, and her mother LaShonda enjoy a stroll across campus during Pirates Aboard Admitted Students Day. (ECU photos by Ken Buday)

Students interested in engineering, technology systems, construction management and computer science received a look — literally — at the College of Engineering and Technology during Pirates Aboard Admitted Students Day on Friday.

“I think it’s great to be here in person,” said LaShonda Bryant, whose daughter Myla is interested in engineering.

The students and parents were able to tour some of the lab facilities in the Science and Technology Building and were treated to a demonstration of some of the latest robotic technology during the event.

“It was a great tour,” said student Timothy Boone Jr. of Greensboro. “I learned a lot of great stuff about ECU. I especially liked the robots.”

Boone said he’s interested in industrial engineering, adding that ECU has that certain something that makes him want to become a Pirate.

Timothy Boone Jr., left, and his father Timothy Boone Sr. listen to a presentation.

“It’s just a place I’ve always wanted to go to,” he said. “I heard that they have a great engineering program, and I just wanted to explore it further. I don’t know. It’s just that I’ve always wanted to go here.”

Karyn Pageau of Raleigh said her daughter Mia is interested in engineering and has been accepted at a few other schools. She said she received plenty of information during Pirates Aboard and appreciated all the research opportunities ECU offers.

“This has been very helpful,” she said of the event.

Myla Bryant of Charlotte said her sister graduated from ECU and appreciated the information she received during the day.

“I liked it was specific to the different majors,” she said. “I liked how they talked about scholarships and financial aid.”

Dr. Harry Ploehn, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, greeted visitors and highlighted the college’s focus on student success.

Dr. Harry Ploehn, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, speaks during Pirates Aboard.

“Our highest priority at the college is student success,” he told students and parents. “We want you to be successful while you’re here as a student, we want you to be successful when you graduate and go on in your career, we want you to be successful as you go on in your life, and we want you to know that we will be here for you forever as a resource for you in the future.”

Ploehn said student engagement drives success. That engagement starts with the college’s first-year program in which coaches will provide guidance to freshmen as the navigate their first year in college.

“We’re going to coach you up,” Ploehn said. “Just like every student-athlete gets coached up, we will help every student in our program be engaged and be successful.”

Dave Bucci, director of advising and of the Student Success Center, highlighted the college’s living learning communities, student organizations, Career Development and Leadership Center, and industry engagement — all of which lead to student success.

“It starts on day one,” he said. “It starts with your first class.”

Bucci said ECU offers big university opportunities with a small university feel.

Teaching Instructor Bill McClung talks to students during a lab tour.

“You’re going to have small classes. You’re going to develop faculty relationships. Our faculty care about you. They’re going to get to know you as an individual. They’re going to be teaching you from the beginning to the end. You are not just a number,” he said. “… There’s so much here at ECU, and you can be part of that. We’re going to provide you the tools, we’re going to provide you the experiences, and we want to see you succeed.”

Beyond learning about the college, students and parents heard presentations on campus living, dining and student life, toured residence halls and the campus, enjoyed lunch in the West End Dining Hall and had the opportunity to meet current students. They were reminded of important deadlines for deposits and room contracts that are approaching.

Pirates Aboard Admitted Student Days are for admitted freshmen and are grouped by college. The next Pirates Aboard for the College of Engineering and Technology is April 9. Registration information is available at the Pirates Aboard website.