Student: Austin Allen

Austin Allen truly is a jack of all trades. Allen is a senior who excels in a multitude of areas at East Carolina University.

Allen is a Chancellors Fellow in the Honors College majoring in biochemistry with a 4.0 GPA and is a three-year veteran of ECU’s tennis team.

Allen is a member of the ECU men’s tennis team.

Allen is a member of the ECU men’s tennis team.

“Juggling so many things is certainly not easy, but I think it has been a very valuable experience for me as I have learned excellent time management skills,” Allen said.

After a tennis-induced injury during his senior year of high school, Allen realized he wanted to become a physician. His desire to become a physician has only continued to grow with further involvement in the medical field through volunteering, shadowing and internship opportunities.

“My favorite experience in medicine so far has been my internship at the East Carolina Heart Institute this past summer. I really enjoyed learning about cardiac problems and seeing treatment for these issues,” Allen said.

Allen was one of only four students selected to participate in the prestigious East Carolina Heart Institute Internship program, which gives undergraduates interested in medicine an opportunity to have direct experience with a variety of ECHI programs and people.

Allen also has been working with Dr. David Collier in ECU’s Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center since 2017 examining the correlation between obesity and benzoate preservatives common in popular soft drinks. He plans to keep working on the project until he graduates in May.

For most people, maintaining a perfect GPA while completing challenging internship experiences would be all they could handle, but Allen is also a veteran member of the ECU tennis team.

He is a leader on his team and among fellow ECU student-athletes. He was selected as a representative for the ECU Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as a freshman and has served as president since the 2017-18 academic year. Allen also served as vice chair and coordinator of community engagement for the American Athletic Conference SAAC during the 2017-18 academic year and received the 2017-18 ECU Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

“Being part of so many activities means I have sacrificed a lot of things traditionally associated with college. However, I wouldn’t trade the experience I’ve had for anything as I know I am as prepared as possible for the rigors of a career in medicine,” Allen said.

He volunteers with Aces for Autism, has tutored middle school students in science and math classes, and has volunteered at the Oakmont Baptist Church Medical Clinic. Because Allen completed more than 100 verified hours of community service during both the 2015 and 2016 calendar years, he was twice honored as a member of the ECU Servire Society, marking the first and second time an ECU student-athlete ever received this distinction.

After graduating from college, Austin will continue his education in medical school. He has been accepted to ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

“I think there are a lot of ways to make a positive impact on others, but I specifically want to do this as a physician because it combines my love for science with an opportunity to work directly with people,” Allen said.

Your words to live by: There is a quote on the baseball stadium from Keith LeClair that reads something like “If you’re going to put your name on something, make sure it is your best work.” I think this is great advice to live by.

What advice do you have for other students?: My advice to other students would be to find your passion and pursue it. To be successful in any endeavor, you must be willing to work hard, and it is much easier to invest such effort into a discipline you enjoy.

What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year?: I think one of the coolest parts of ECU is how friendly everyone is. It can be intimidating as a first-year student to try and get to know people, but I would encourage everyone to break out of their shells. While everyone you talk to won’t necessarily turn into a close friend, it is very cool how many amazing people you can get to know during your time at ECU.

This Pirate is a jack of all trades.


College: Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Major: Biochemistry

Age: 21

Classification/Year: Senior

Hometown: Asheboro

Hobbies/interests: Fishing, tennis, golf and spending time with family.

Clubs and Organizations: Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Honors College.


Favorite hangout: I love trips to the beach.

Favorite place on campus: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium – There is something special about a football gameday in this place.

Favorite place to eat: Outback Steakhouse

Favorite class: I really enjoyed both anatomy and physiology courses with Dr. Jones. I thought she was a great professor who helped me gain a basic understanding of how the human body functions.

Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Anne Mallory was my English 1100 professor and greatly improved my writing skills. It was a ton of work at the time, but the improvements she brought to my writing abilities have helped in all of my other pursuits.

Favorite TV show: I’m not really hooked on any TV shows, but I love watching sports (especially football and college basketball).

Favorite band/musician: Florida Georgia Line

Favorite movie: “Iron Man”

Favorite website: ESPN


Dream job: Physician

The one thing you cannot live without: My planner – I think I’d have a heart attack if I lost this and had to try and remember everything on my to-do list.

Role model: Dr. William Gramig at Greensboro Orthopaedics. – I entered ECU with a serious wrist injury, but Dr. Gramig performed a complex wrist surgery that allowed me to play college tennis. While I don’t know the specific area of medicine I want to pursue, I hope to impact patients in the same way that Dr. Gramig impacted my life. More than just fixing medical problems, I want to provide life-changing care.