Student: Maggie Baile | Beaufort County Now | Maggie Baile was “100% certain” that she would attend law school after earning undergraduate degrees at East Carolina University.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Crystal Baity.

Photos: Rhett Butler

    Maggie Baile was "100% certain" that she would attend law school after earning undergraduate degrees at East Carolina University.

    But getting a job in the ECU Honors College her freshman year completely changed her plans.

    Baile, a senior majoring in multidisciplinary studies in security studies and political science with a minor in criminal justice, works part time in recruitment and admissions for the Honors College, a subject she knows well as an honors student herself.

Maggie Baile organizes packets for new student orientation in the ECU Honors College.
    "I fell in love with higher education and helping ensure it would be accessible to students. As part of my job, I present on the Honors College and speak on student panels about my own experiences," Baile said. "I have enjoyed my hands-on experience with the Honors College and how that has expanded to speaking on behalf of the university at large. I now speak on panels and to students on behalf of ECU regularly, and love any chance to connect with a student."

    Making higher education accessible and affordable for students — pillars of ECU — is one of her future goals.

    "When I was applying to school as the oldest in my family, I had no idea what I was doing when it came to the application process or the decision itself," Baile said. "This led me to want to be involved and help fill that gap for future students and work in higher education."

    Maggie Baile organizes packets for new student orientation in the ECU Honors College.

    She chose ECU because of the financial support that comes with an honors scholarship, and quickly discovered many other opportunities after arriving on campus.

    "Since then, I have been exposed to everything else that comes with being a Pirate," Baile said. "The individualized advocacy and support have been catalysts in my college experience, and I would choose ECU a million times more today than I did as an 18-year-old. This is what gave me my first interest in higher education and initially led me to want to make a career out of it."

    She has served in leadership positions since her freshman year starting with the Honors College Student Council and ECU Student Government Association.

    Nationally, Baile represented ECU in 2020–21 as a Newman Civic Fellow, one of 290 students selected by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

    "Through this experience I was able to connect with students from across the United States working toward a more deliberative dialogue and encouraging civic engagement," Baile said.

    She was recently picked as one of eight U.S. students for the inaugural Association of Public and Land Grant Universities' Commission on Economic and Community Engagement Student Advisory Group.

    As part of being selected for the national student advisory board, Baile will develop a local engagement project to be presented at the national APLU conference in Philadelphia this fall.

    "It is a great honor to represent your peers at the university level, but to be able to represent our incredible university on the national stage and bring awareness to our goals and initiatives has been a real pleasure," she said.

    Last spring, Baile studied in Certaldo Alto, Italy, although the coronavirus pandemic cut the trip short. She remains grateful for her time there, and hopes to use insight from the impact of the coronavirus on higher education in her professional career.

    "I met so many lifelong friends and had experiences that I could only dream of. To experience another culture like that was extremely eye-opening and changed me for the better," she said.

    Following graduation, Baile plans to pursue a master's of public administration degree at ECU and eventually earn a doctoral degree.

    What advice do you have for other students? It sounds cliché but get out of your comfort zone. Saying yes to new people and experiences has taught me so much throughout my time at ECU. I would also recommend talking to upperclassmen as much as possible. I benefited a lot from mentorship at ECU with other students and staff and believe that they can really change your experience for the better!

    What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? Taco Tuesday and Fried Chicken Wednesday are the best lunch days in the dining hall. Save up your swipes!
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