Sarah Halfacre

Sarah Halfacre

East Tennessee State University initiated George L. Carter Scholarships this fall to encourage bright high school students who live within a 250-mile radius of campus to come to ETSU.

One of the first Carter Scholars is Sarah Halfacre of Marietta, Georgia.

“My mother noted that I was eligible for scholarships at ETSU,” she says, “and encouraged me to apply. I scheduled a tour over spring break my senior year in high school, but I was wary because I’m a city person, and Johnson City is pretty different from Metro Atlanta.

“But the aura and energy here is amazing and everyone has made me feel like I’m at home. After touring four schools, I felt it was clear that I was meant to be an ETSU Buccaneer.”

Halfacre had a high school career that nurtured many of her talents. “Fast pitch softball is my passion,” she says. “I began playing at the age of 7 and was a varsity athlete all four years of high school. Whether it was 5 a.m. workouts or two-day tournaments, I always enjoyed playing.

“When I was 13,” she adds, “I suffered a broken ankle. If it hadn’t been for the athletic trainer on duty and her fast thinking, my injury could have been a lot worse. Thanks to sports medicine doctors, I made a full recovery and was back on the field in less than eight months.

“That experience started an interest in becoming a student athletic trainer. I shadowed our school’s head trainer, who also worked with the Atlanta Falcons and Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta. I learned to splint minor injuries and watch for the signs of heat-related illness.

“I thought I’d found my career path,” she adds. “I became a certified emergency responder (EMR) during my junior year in high school. I completed the class and took the National Registry exam. It was perhaps the most nerve-wracking, difficult test I’ve ever taken, but as an EMR, I am prepared for most medical emergencies and can handle situations until medical help arrives. I feel good knowing that if something goes wrong, I can help.”

That knowledge assisted Halfacre recently when she injured the same ankle during a visit home and came back to campus on crutches. Of course, the crutches are decorated in blue and gold.

Halfacre also enjoys working with words and ideas. She is an avid reader who often rereads her favorites. In her senior year in high school, she took a journalism class. “I began to take an interest in something other than sports medicine,” she says. “I have declared mass communication as my major and I am interested in public relations and advertising. I believe I will really enjoy working in a fast-paced environment with a need for close attention to detail, leadership, multitasking and adaptability.”

Like most freshmen, Halfacre experienced at least a week of homesickness. “I come from a family of six: my mother, stepfather and three siblings, plus two cats and a dog. I didn’t know a soul at ETSU and the transition was incredibly difficult.”

Then she participated in Preview, made friends, settled into campus life and found her niche.

“I am the Residence Hall Association (RHA) liaison for the Lucille Clement Hall Council, and I’m involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America/Strategic Media Club. As an active member of the Residence Hall Association, I will be the only freshman attending the South Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference and will shadow their National Communications Coordinator.

“In addition, I am involved with multiple committees within RHA. I am especially looking forward to the Halloween season, since I am on the Annual Haunted House Committee.”
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