Peyton Paschke, political science and foreign languages major, wants to practice law

East Carolina University senior Peyton Paschke aspires to become a lawyer and lead a career helping people fight injustice.

Her dream job is to work as a lawyer for Olympic athletes, and she said her role model is Margaret Mary “Maggie” Nichols, a former American collegiate gymnast. Nichols suffered a knee injury in the buildup to the Rio Olympics that proved to be a critical factor in her not making the Olympic team.

Paschke is a member of the Honors College and will graduate Friday with dual degrees in political science and foreign languages and literatures, with an emphasis in French.

Peyton Paschke wants to fight injustice. She graduates this spring with degrees in political science and foreign languages and will attend law school in the fall. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Originally from New Lenox, Illinois, Paschke chose ECU as her academic home because of financial support and her experience visiting campus departments.

“I chose ECU because I was accepted into the Honors College on academic scholarship,” she said. “The campus was so beautiful, and I was very impressed with the political science and French departments.”

At ECU, Paschke has led a successful academic career with numerous honors, awards, scholarships, organizational service, leadership and ingenuity.

“The best way to have a true Pirate experience is to get involved,” she said. “Join clubs and take advantage of events.”

Paschke’s activities and organizational involvement include serving as president of the ECU French Club; ambassador for the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; social media coordinator for the ECU Chapter of Best Buddies, a national campus group focused on normalizing and facilitating the relationships between able-bodied students and individuals with special needs; and co-founder and executive board member of the Campus Voter Initiative, an Honors College project and nonpartisan group focused on voter registration and sparking political interest on campus.

In addition to her group activities, Paschke studied abroad in La Rochelle, France, during the summer of 2019.

“I appreciated the chance to improve my French language skills while living in France with a host family and experiencing the culture and landmarks firsthand,” she said.

Paschke has received many scholarships and academic successes. She made the chancellor’s list in fall 2018 and during the spring and fall of 2020, as well as the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences dean’s list in the spring and fall of 2019. She is a member of the Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society, the ECU Pre-Law Society, and is an Honors College Centennial Scholar. She also received the Honors College Study Abroad Scholarship, the Mary Pascal and Marguerite Perry Scholarship, the Thomas W. Rivers Foreign Exchange Scholarship and the John Philip Couch Scholarship.


Name: Peyton Paschke

College: Thomas Harriet College of Arts and Sciences; Honors College

Major: Political Science (BA), FLL French (BA)

Age: 21

Classification/Year: Senior

Hometown: New Lenox, IL

Hobbies/interests: Olympic and collegiate gymnastics, reading, hiking, playing with my dogs Jack and Charlie

Clubs and Organizations: ECU French Club (President), Foreign Languages and Literatures (Ambassador), ECU Best Buddies Chapter (Social Media Coordinator), Campus Voter Initiative (Executive Board), Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society (Member)


Favorite hangout: Christy’s Euro Pub

Favorite place on campus: The Mall

Favorite place to eat: Speedy Wok

Favorite class: Constitutional Powers

Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Larkin Murphy

Favorite TV show: “Game of Thrones”        

Favorite band/musician: Angèle

Favorite movie: “The Princess Bride”


Dream job: Lawyer for Olympic athletes

Role model: Maggie Nichols

Your words to live by: “On n’est point toujours une bête pour l’avoir été quelquefois” by Denis Diderot

What advice do you have for other students? Join clubs and take advantage of events going on at the student center, the best way to have a true Pirate experience is to get involved.

What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? The Purple Pantry provides food kits for students in need of groceries. Take advantage of that if you’re low on funds.

This fall, Paschke will attend law school and is awaiting a few replies before deciding which to attend.

“Growing up, my parents always told me that I had a gift of persuasion and good argumentative skills, thus propelling me to consider a career in the legal profession,” she said.

Paschke, a member of the Honors College, graduates Friday with dual degrees in political science and foreign languages and literatures, with an emphasis in French.