Name: Laura Patterson
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Year in School: Senior
Major: Marine Science
As Laura Patterson prepares to graduate this week, one main theme runs through her head: “I am so glad I transferred to CCU.” Ask her about why she made the decision to change universities and Laura will tell you she needed a more fulfilling academic experience. At her previous institution, Laura reached a point where she felt like she had exhausted her options.
Once at CCU, she quickly realized how different two marine science programs could be. She was impressed with the labs, inspired by her professors and invigorated by the content of the program. But she also realized that it wasn’t just her major that was adding to her college experience, it was #TEALnation as a whole.
“CCU has helped me grow a lot as an individual. I have become a lot more confident being here,” says Laura.
During her time at CCU, Laura has served as a student-worker for the Department of Marine Science and enjoyed membership with Phi Sigma Pi, a national honor fraternity. In fact, it is her association with Phi Sigma Pi, an organization she describes as "family," that has provided her with some of her best moments as a Chanticleer.
“I have had so many amazing experiences being here and I have met so many amazing people,” Laura reflects.
After graduation this weekend, Laura will move to Charleston. She has secured employment as a medical scribe for MUSC. As she embarks on her professional career, one can only predict that she will balance work with travel. Laura has visited 13 countries, with China being her favorite. Wherever she goes, we hope she always brings the Feel the Teal attitude with her. Congrats, Laura!
Q&A with Laura
How did you hear about Coastal?: Surprisingly, my uncle told me about Coastal. I was in the process of looking for a new school because I wanted to transfer out of my first university. I wanted to stick with marine science and my cousin’s best friend went to Coastal for marine science and was working in Australia at the time so my uncle had to tell me all about that!
Why did you come to Coastal?: I pretty much ran out of options at my first university. I was looking to transfer to a new school and Coastal seemed like the perfect fit. I applied and accepted my offer before even doing a campus tour because I knew it would be the right choice for me.
Favorite professor: Oh man, this is really hard. It comes down to Cecilia Krahforst, Ph.D., Angelos Hannides, Ph.D., and Robert Johnson, Ph.D. These three professors made my time at Coastal unforgettable. Cecolia Krahforst is just an extremely friendly person and is really interested in getting to know her students personally, we still talk all the time. Angelos Hannides is an awesome professor in the Marine Science department and is also really interested in learning about his students. Robert Johnson teaches my APEX Predators class which is one of the main driving factors for me attending Coastal. It is an amazing class and I love learning about his travels and seeing the photos he took.
Favorite class: My favorite class has to be either marine biology or APEX Predators. Both classes were a lot of fun and very interesting. The marine biology class was more of a review for me since I took a lot of marine classes prior to coming to Coastal but the labs were a lot of fun. APEX Predators is an amazing class and I would recommend it to anyone.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: My favorite part about Coastal is how colorful the campus is. There are so many flowers all around campus and I feel like new ones are planted each week. It’s also really cool that all the flowers are grown right here on campus!
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: I love being close to the beach. Coming from Buffalo I grew up on the Great Lakes and loved it but I also love the sand and oceans. I also really like being close to Charleston because it is such a beautiful city and I can’t wait to live there after graduation.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am involved in Phi Sigma Pi, a national honor fraternity. I always wanted to join Greek Life to form a family on campus, but deep down I knew that a sorority was not right for me. I went to an info session for Phi Sigma Pi during my second semester and knew that I found where I wanted to be.
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I currently work in the Department of Marine Science on campus, but sadly that will be coming to an end since I am graduating.
Plans after graduation?: I will be moving to Charleston and renting an apartment with my boyfriend and a couple other friends. I was offered a position as a medical scribe at MUSC and I am super excited for it. I plan to attend medical school in the near future and this will be an amazing opportunity.
What are your hobbies?: I love to just lay at the pool or beach and hang out with friends. When I have a lot of free time I enjoy reading. During the summers I usually read close to 30 books! I do not have a favorite book, I get asked that a lot.
Bonus Info: I love to travel and have been to approximately 13 different countries. My favorite trips include Australia, China and Europe. I went to six countries in Europe when I was there and loved every minute of that trip. I have been to Australia twice and can’t wait to go back. In December of 2017 my parents and I went to China for Christmas and ended up flying to Sydney for New Year’s Eve. It was an amazing experience and definitely a once in a lifetime trip!