Maurita Harris, who received her Associate of Arts Degree from BCCC as a member of the first graduating class of Hyde County Early College High School (now Mattamuskeet Early College High School), is now conducting research at the Technische Universität Berlin in Germany under a Fulbright Fellowship.
Harris credits three courses at BCCC — Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Abnormal Psychology — with helping her choose a field of study.
“Like many high school students, I had no idea exactly what I wanted to do upon graduating and going to college. I was interested in so many different things at the time that I could have ended up in almost any field,” she says. “Each course included topics that I have always wondered about and made me interested in knowing more about the world of psychology.”
After graduating from BCCC, she enrolled at North Carolina State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, taking extra courses in German and Spanish to extend her time as an undergrad student to three years.
“I wanted to slow down and enjoy my time as a college student,” she says.
Harris then earned a Fulbright Fellowship, under which she is now conducting research and studying in Berlin. The Fulbright Program is a prestigious, merit-based grant that sends students, teachers and professionals from the U.S. to study abroad, and vice versa. Harris’s research is focused on creating a video game to teach German Sign Language, and her courses are in Human Factors Psychology. When she returns to the U.S., she will be attending Georgia Tech to pursue a Ph.D. in that field, also known as Engineering Psychology.
“From there, I hope to become a professor and have my own research lab where I can make an impact on students,” she says.
For Harris, who grew up in Fairfield, N.C., located in Hyde County, BCCC and the Early College High School gave her an opportunity to get a head start on her educational career, and by all accounts she has established a track record as an exceptional student. She is one of many remarkable representatives of Eastern North Carolina and Beaufort County Community College.
“Maurita had all the qualities of a scholar from her first days at BCCC,” says Social Sciences Lead Instructor Judith Luna Meyer. “She is inquisitive, motivated, persistent, diligent, and inspired. Maurita has never feared a challenge, as her outstanding academic career so clearly exhibits! … I’m quite sure she will be an outstanding psychologist who will make significant contributions to the field.”