Andrew Ross Alumni Profile
Andrew Ross, a two-time ECU and HHP alumnus, earned his bachelor’s in Recreational Therapy in 2012 and his master’s in Recreational Therapy Administration in 2014. Since graduating, Andrew has worked with several agencies serving the aging population, as both a practitioner and administrator. Andrew returned to ECU in 2016 as coordinator for Lifelong Learning Programs. Under Andrew’s leadership, the Lifelong Learning Program at ECU has quickly become one of the leaders in the state to open the program to all adults and transitioned to offer both virtual and in person learning options. In 2020, Andrew was a recipient of ECU’s Student Affairs 40 under Forty leadership award.
Community involvement has always been an integral part of Andrew’s life and he enjoys serving the needs of aging adults in and around Pitt County. Andrew has co-chaired many community events including the Healthy Aging & Wellness Expo, the “Senior” Prom and the Purple Gala. Additionally, Andrew has enjoyed assisting with Santa for Seniors, Senior Games and serving dinner at Hope Lodge.
In 2017, Andrew and a colleague from Pitt Aging Coalition recognized the void left in the Greenville community by the closure of the local Alzheimer’s NC office—leading Andrew to co-found Pitt Defeats Dementia, a local non-profit that helps promote dementia and Alzheimer’s awareness through educational events and opportunities. A large part of Pitt Defeats Dementia’s focus is fundraising for Dementia Alliance of North Carolina (DANC), for education, research and resources for family members. In the last three years, Andrew has helped raise over $10,000 for DANC.
When asked about his HHP experience, Andrew attributed his professional success and involvement with many organizations to his professors. Through their gentle “pushes” into projects, service hours and community involvement during undergrad, Andrew was able to make the connections that led him to the organizations that provided both job and volunteer opportunities.
One of the most important pieces of advice Andrew has for current and prospective students is, “Step way out of your comfort zone and try new things. Be the first one to volunteer or lead a task, get involved with new groups on campus, or find a local organization to volunteer with. This will help you find new interests, make new friends, and most important, help you grow and become ready for life after graduation. Don’t forget that your professors are there for more than just instruction. They are fountains of knowledge, experience and advice that will help you excel in your career. Most important, embrace the Pirate Pride!”