Dr. Emily Yeager: getting to know the Crisp Center's new leader

Dr. Emily Yeager was named the interim director of the Crisp Small Business Resource Center in March of 2023. She joined the College of Business and the Miller School from ECU’s Department of Recreation Sciences. Her work focuses on rural community development, rural tourism and small-town entrepreneurship. Her current initiatives include the Tar-Pamlico Blue Economy Corridor, Building Rural Community Resilience, an investigation of tourism and recreation business owners in Pitt County, and a feasibility study of the Beaufort County Nature-Based Water Trail.

But who is Dr. Emily Yeager, really?

Proudly borrowing from the Proust Questionnaire, we asked Dr. Yeager some questions so we can get to know her a little better.

What was your first concert?


What are the qualities you like best in a person?

Wittiness, honesty and empathy.

What is your idea of happiness?

Spending time with my family and laying in my hammock at night under party lights

If not a professor, what would you be?

Full-Time Musician. I write my own music, sing, and play piano, guitar, and alto saxophone. The style would be akin to Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae

If you could go back in time and witness anything in history, when and where would you go?

March 3, 1913. Women Suffrage Parade. To be a part of this significant milestone in women’s rights in the United States. It’s hard to believe that it has been 110 years since then.

Who is your favorite hero in fiction?

Yeager with Nicole Outlaw of NC Growth.

Matilda Wormwood because she overcame the impossible and found herself along the way at such a young age. And of course, because she has telekinetic powers.  

Who are your heroes in real life?

My Dad whose military career and other careers in mental health show me the true meaning of public service and compassion to others. Michelle Obama because she has always been a fearless advocate for social justice and remains an international role model for women.

Who are your favorite writers?

Ayn Rand – she inspired my first deep dive into philosophy; I now, ironically, have a doctorate in. Laura Ingles Wilder – her writings reflect a universal struggle of transitioning from childhood to adolescence while also drawing the reader into a world of pioneer days, reminding readers that back then, having candy on Christmas was a true treat.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Playing on my uncle’s cow farm in the summer, jumping on haybales, and swimming in the pond.

What’s your favorite ECU/College of Business memory?

Snowmageddon 2009. Pushing the shopping cart of snowballs up College Hill to prepare for THE snowball fight. I think we made more than 100 snowballs.  When we arrived at College Hill, the mayhem was like a scene straight out of Snow Day.

What’s the one thing people would find most surprising to learn about you?

I wrote and produced an album once that was available on iTunes years ago called Stratosphere. It’s no longer on iTunes but I have a hard copy of the album art still saved … somewhere.

Editor’s note: the search is on for a digital copy of Stratosphere!

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