A Network of Support

Alumnus Credits Mentors’ Guidance

Tristan Hunter
Instructional Coach and History Teacher
Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School
Durham, North Carolina

Department: Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education (ELMID)

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Tristan Hunter earned his Bachelor of Arts in middle grades education through East Carolina University’s College of Education in 2018. He says ECU’s network of support opened opportunities he realizes to this day.

“By the time I was a junior in high school, I knew exactly what I wanted to be and exactly where I wanted to go to become it,” he says. “ECU’s College of Education recruitment was unmatched.

“Throughout my undergraduate career, the COE staff and faculty acted as a major form of support. In addition to getting a relevant, hands-on experience, I also gained soft skills through opportunities offered by the COE. I have remained in contact with a lot of the professors and faculty, and they have continued to be extremely supportive of my endeavors.”

Those endeavors include living out a mission to transform the lives of students and teachers through equitable opportunities in the educational realm.

Now with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction also under his belt and a doctorate in educational leadership on the horizon, he still fondly remembers the mentorship he experienced during his undergraduate years at ECU — time he says was well spent as he prepared to advance his education and serve in his community as an educator.

He acknowledges many in the college for their encouragement. He recalls how one faculty member’s course that focused on teaching social studies in a middle-grades classroom was both insightful and practical.

“A lot of the activities and studies that we did … influenced my teaching philosophy and the way I approach both history and English education,” he says.

Hunter adds that he’s grateful for faculty who constantly pushed him to pursue leadership opportunities at ECU. That inspiration, he says, “gave me access to opportunities where I could develop and apply skills and then use those skills in various settings.”