MOUNT OLIVE- Emma Burroughs of Cerro Gordo, NC has certainly made the most of her time at the University of Mount Olive (UMO). Being involved in several different areas on campus has allowed her to experience her full potential, prepare for a successful future, and develop life-long friendships.
Burroughs learned the value of hard work from an early age. She grew up working on the family farm and in her father’s veterinarian clinic. “My two sisters and I took care of the livestock, built fences, and did daily chores,” Burroughs said. “In the clinic, I would help my dad take care of the animals and assist customers.”
A natural born athlete, Burroughs was involved in various sports during her childhood. However, as time progressed she gravitated to tennis. “I chose tennis because I found it very challenging,” Burroughs said. “It is as mental as it is physical. I have learned a lot about myself through tennis and the challenges it brings. Tennis has truly made me into the person I am today. The tough lessons I’ve learned on the court will definitely follow me into my personal and professional life in the future.”
Tennis is what eventually led Burroughs to UMO where she enrolled in the fall of 2015, joining the Trojan women’s tennis team. Burroughs received the award for Most Improved during her freshman year, and she is an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar Athlete.
As a biology major and chemistry minor, Burroughs spends her time off the court exploring the world of science. “I have always been interested in science,” she explained. “I enjoy the experiments, thoughts, and theories that come along with the subject.”
During Burroughs sophomore year, she expressed a desire to pursue veterinary medicine. “I shadowed other vets around my area and worked in different clinics,” she said. “However, by my junior year I shifted my focus to genetics. I shadowed at many clinics and hospitals observing the daily life of a genetic counselor. I was very intrigued in how they played a major role in medicine and human understanding of disease.”
In addition to schoolwork and athletics, Burroughs works as a science tutor for the UMO Academic Resource Center. She is a member of the Science Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and the Honors Program.
As a member of the Honors Program, Burroughs has had meaningful experiences and developed close friendships. “The Honors courses offer us a chance to work with students from many different backgrounds, have thoughtful discourse, and even travel together,” Burroughs said. Last year she traveled with the group to Central Europe. She has also traveled to visit several of her international teammates to places like England and Austria. She plans to spend a month in Colombia with a teammate after graduation. “I have been able to travel and see so many things that would not have been possible if my path did not lead me to UMO,” Burroughs said.
Burroughs is on track to graduate in May. After graduation, she plans to pursue career opportunities in the RTP area. Burroughs is the daughter of Jeff and Tiffany Burroughs.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, in Smithfield at Johnston Community College, and online. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.