When students are on campus, Elizabeth City State University junior Colin Gilley can
be seen wearing his Coast Guard “true blue” uniform, heading from one emergency management
class to another, and likely hanging around his favorite campus location, the STEM
Mr. Gilley is part of the of the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative, or CSPI, and an emergency management major. He says he’s passionate about being a part of the ECSU Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, because it puts him the position of being of service to others.
“We have done activities such as forklift training, Stop the Bleed training, and instructing students on basic first aid at the campus health fair,” said Mr. Gilley. “I enjoyed these events as they were focused on helping others or preparing students to help others. I love helping others and these campus events facilitated that passion of mine.”
One of Mr. Gilley’s influences is the emergency management program coordinator, Dr. Kevin Kupietz. Dr. Kupietz, says Mr. Gilley, has worked with him closely to achieve his goals.
“He works in the emergency management world in real life and he provides us with knowledge and skills that will be useful to us in and out of the classroom,” said Mr. Gilley. “He cares about the students’ success and will go out of his way to help them.”
Mr. Gilley, who is a Chesapeake, Virginia native, has just finished his second semester at ECSU. He transferred from Tidewater Community College.
“I chose to attend ECSU for the emergency management degree, the CSPI program through the Coast Guard, and the school’s proximity to the Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City,” he said. “I had high hopes for ECSU because of all of those features and it has proven to be even better than expected because of the staff and the opportunities that have been afforded to me.”
Mr. Gilley says attending ECSU has been “one filled with opportunity.”
“I have been given many opportunities that challenged me these past two semesters, providing me with the skills necessary for my career once I graduate,” he said.
Once Mr. Gilley graduates from ECSU, as a member of the CSPI program he will go on to the Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School. From there he hopes to go on to flight training in Pensacola, Florida where he hopes to become a helicopter pilot.
ECSU, he says, is “extremely military friendly.”
“They have accommodated all of my needs and facilitated an encouraging learning environment,” he said.