Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Emergency Management Major, Krystina Cato, already has a heavy hand in the United States Coast Guard (USCG). She is one of two USCG College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) Scholarship Program recipients. The program included attending a summer USCG Boot Camp, monthly drills, as well as eventually earning commission into the organization. 

Thanks to Cato, and other students and faculty, the USCG is now set to have a presence at ECSU as a Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program. The group’s function includes promoting awareness of Coast Guard activities, organizing events and training, and fostering a community for ECSU students interested in the Coast Guard.

“The need for an auxiliary chapter arose to provide opportunities for students to engage with the Coast Guard, learn about maritime operations, and potentially pursue careers in the Coast Guard or related fields,” Cato said.

ECSU Assistant Vice Chancellor and Deputy Chief of Staff William Lewin said Cato’s dedication and hard work makes way for a new generation, also dedicated to community service and helping others. Lewin is also a retired USCG member. 

“Krystina is an inspirational student and citizen,” he said. “She is making a difference with our students and community in so many ways and is a shining example of what our students are going to bring with them as our future leaders.”

Other students involved in the university’s USCG auxiliary group include Nuri Cowell, who will serve as president, and Peter O'Connor who will serve as treasurer. Cato is also a peer mentor with ECSU TriO, and president of the ECSU Rotaract Club.  

Additionally, Cato’s work with the university’s emergency management response team and her other outreach endeavors are a positive nod toward the goodwill being done on and off campus, Lewin said.

“We are very proud to have her in our Viking family and excited for her future,” he said. “Others like her are opening up campus opportunities that will be of great, long-term benefit.” 

An official ceremony to announce the university’s auxiliary chapter is scheduled for February.