Student: Kestra James

Kestra James, a junior, feels that she has had numerous opportunities thanks to East Carolina University. Double majoring in English and German, she wishes to go to graduate school in Germany or Europe and become a professor at a college or university. 

“I have always wanted to teach,” she said. “I feel like it’s important for the world to have teachers who are passionate about what they teach and I am very passionate about British literature and the German language.” 

As a member of numerous organizations on campus, James said she is really good with time management. 

As the vice president of the German club, she helps organize events for students in German classes to enhance their knowledge about the German culture. 

She is the secretary of No Lost Generation ECU, an organization that promotes awareness, fundraising, and education for Syrian refugees. 

“We try to show awareness of refugees in the area,” she said. 

She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega fraternity where she helps serve and give back to the campus and community. Her service work has included donating to the food bank, participating in street cleaning, and tutoring. 

James is a representative for the German department for the Foreign Languages and Literatures Ambassador Counsel. 

Kestra James in Germany

Kestra James helped organize a trip to Munich for the German Club.

“We talk about ways that all of the languages can interact and show other types of cultures to each other,” she said. 

As a member of the Student Pirate Club Executive Board, she works with alumni associations and helps at basketball and baseball games. 

In March 2015, James helped organize a trip to Munich for the German Club. She said their main task was to communicate with Syrian refugees. They would talk to the refugees and teach them the basics of the German language. 

“When you’re displaced from your home like that, it’s really hard to just live a normal day-to-day life,” James said. “We were there just to make them feel more comfortable.” 

She says her favorite part of ECU so far has been the opportunities that she’s been offered. If she went to any other school, she doesn’t think she would’ve had the chance to go to Munich. 

“ECU has really given me a lot of opportunities to explore further into what I already love,” James said.

Your words to live by: Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.

What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? I wish I knew that the dining hall hosts special food events where they provide food from different parts of the world. 

What advice do you have for other students?
 Don’t be afraid to try new things and explore all the clubs and groups ECU has to offer. Don’t become afraid to try them without your friends.

This Pirate is teaching others about the German culture and spreading awareness about refugees


College: Thomas Harriet College of Arts and Sciences

Major: Double major in German and English

Age: 20

Classification/Year: Junior, third year

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Clubs & Organizations: Alpha Phi Omega National Co-Ed Fraternity, No Lost Generation, German Club, Pirate Club Executive Board, German Honor Society and Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures Council of Student Ambassadors

Hobbies & Interests: Dance, reading, foreign language and traveling


Favorite place to eat: Red Lobster or Zoës Kitchen

Favorite Movie: Girls Trip or the Harry Potter series 

Favorite place on campus: Flanagan or the business computer lab in Bate 

Favorite class: Shakespeare: The Comedies and German Culture

Favorite TV show: “Love & Hip Hop,” “The Challenge” and “A Different World.”

Favorite band/musician: Beyonce, DVSN & Chaka Khann


Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Birgit Jensen, Dr. David Smith, Dr. Susanne Jones and Dr. Marianne Montgomery

The one thing you cannot live without: Almond oil for my skin

Dream Job: British literature professor at a German university 

Role model: Michelle Obama