We posted recently about alumnus Daniel Herrington ’09, who’s racing in the Indy Lights series, which is sanctioned by the Indy Racing League (he’s No. 6 in the points race right now). Today, a press release about Drew Herring came across my desk. A junior mechanical engineering major, he’s the points leader in the USAR Pro Cup Series, a stock car series that has produced NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers such as Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth. A transfer student from Johnston Community College, he’s trying to balance studying and racing:
“I do probably three to four hours, at least, a minimum of homework at night,” Herring explained. “It’s tough, but I get all that done during the week and then I try not to have any on the weekend, during race weekend.”
Even though Herring may not want to bring his homework to the track, the engineering concepts he’s learning are invaluable.
“I definitely feel like once I really get into the heart of it and start learning some of those things, that I can apply them to the racing and help me out,” Herring remarked.
I grew up in a textile town and had a grandmother and other family members who worked in the mills for decades. Knowing the beating apparel manufacturing has taken, I always smile a little when I see businesses like Raleigh Denim thriving (even if I can’t afford a pair of the jeans). It’s run by the husband-and-wife team of Victor ’04 and Sarah Lytvinenko ’09. From today’s N&O:
Their passion is a large part of their success. Theirs is an ideal husband-and-wife business partnership, each bringing experience and a different style of energy and enthusiasm. She was studying at N.C. State University’s College of Design and was involved as a designer in the popular Art to Wear fashion show. He was an NCSU business major who taught himself to sew so he could make himself a pair of jeans that fit him the way he wanted them to.
They’re sourcing local, too, getting most of the cotton from the Carolinas and using shuttle looms that ran 60 years ago in Cone Mills’ White Oak plant in Greensboro:
Almost every part of Raleigh Denim is from North Carolina. The jeans are cut and hand-sewn by a crew in a production space in Stewart’s building on Bloodworth Street in Southeast Raleigh. The denim and labels come from Greensboro, the zippers from Oxford, the thread from Mount Holly, and the screen-printed pockets from Raleigh.
Michael Chinneck ’06 has a degree in middle grades language arts and social studies. But in 2008, he began working for Central Texas College, running education centers on military bases in Afghanistan. After spending several weeks helping to set up education centers on different Army bases, he settled at Forward Operating Base Sharana, in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There he oversaw the offering of college courses to the more than 3,000 members of the 62nd Engineer Battalion. He returned to North Carolina in May and talks here with former NC State intern Ryan Greene about his year of challenge, danger and personal growth.
On his job
[It encompassed] setting up classes for soldiers to take on site. I hired teachers [and] worked with universities to facilitate getting books to their students there. One of the things that soldiers have is goarmyed.com. [The military] gives [them] $4,500 while on active duty to take college courses. There were over 300 different colleges within the system, and the number of degrees was in the thousands. So there were a lot of choices for the soldiers.
On the importance of the work
It sets up their career after the military. I saw soldiers positively working toward something they thought could be attainable in the future. And it provides an outlet for them while they’re deployed to take their mind off the combat environment. I saw soldiers going to classes at night, and they said, “This is the only thing I have besides going to my room and just sitting there and thinking about what’s going on.” On the base, you really don’t have anything else. You have maybe a small [Morale, Welfare and Recreation area], which provides computers and phones. But when you have 20 computers and over 3,000 soldiers on the [base], it’s really not going to be feasible for them all to do that.
On the dangers
Our bases got attacked a couple times while I was there. One base in particular, Salerno, it was attacked twice in two days. About [2 a.m.], I heard something fly by and thought, “That does not sound good.” (more…)
It isn’t often that a golf course architect gets to design a course for his or her alma mater. But that’s what happened with the Lonnie Poole Golf Course, NC State’s new course on Centennial Campus. It was a “dream come true,” says Brandon Johnson ’97. He worked on it with fellow alumnus Erik Larsen ’77, who’s executive vice president and senior golf course architect at Arnold Palmer Design. We spoke with Johnson, an architect for the company, about the course.
What was different about this course from others you’ve worked on?
It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a golf course for the university you attended. The piece of property was really good. . . . What was different? Not so much the method, although we did do a test bunker, which was quite interesting, to get the idea of the natural bunker look across to everybody. It was a thought of the direction we wanted to go. It would make the golf course look different from the other courses in the area. That was a really fun process at the front end of the construction, to get out there and watch them build a bunker, help them build the bunker and try to convince everybody that this is the direction it should go in, not only for aesthetics, but also for maintenance and sustainability. Introducing those native grasses and natural areas would significantly reduce the amount of irrigated acreage. That was something we were pressing that we thought was important. If we were going to build this golf course, we should be responsible. That was something that was a little bit different. It was fun to do. It added to the overall look and sustainability of the project.
What’s the most difficult hole?
I think No. 3, just being the length, if it is played as a par 4, would be the most difficult. One of the things we did that people don’t always see is how (more…)
Did you feel in danger when you were documenting the possession cult in Venezuela? (Editor’s note: see photo 12 in the slideshow)
Yes and no. They don’t like journalists or photographs. When I first found the violent stuff going on in the mountains — it was a very remote, isolated place — I was chased away several times and threatened with my life. I just kept going back, trying to explain who I was until I was accepted into the inner circle. And then people were used to us and let us work. There were people very opposed to us being there, and because it’s Venezuela’s more poverty-prone population, there’s also a more violence-prone people involved. These are people who after throwing corn on the ground to make these symbols and thrashing around and bleeding and screaming and sweating and stepping all over this stuff were picking up the kernels of corn to cook for dinner. That’s how poor they were. Me walking around with $30,000 of camera equipment strapped to my back, it’s pitch dark in the middle of the jungle with thousands of people in various states of possession. It’s a little worrisome. (more…)
Shack-a-thon kicked off on the Brickyard yesterday. Technician has the story, and News 14 has a short video about the fundraiser, which benefits Habitat for Humanity. The Caldwell Fellows Programs, a scholarship and leadership initiative the Alumni Association sponsors, has a shack there, and Caldwell Fellow Jeffrey Huber, a junior majoring in industrial engineering and economics, checked in after the first night:
The Brickyard. This vast expanse normally reserved for passing library patrons cramming for tomorrow’s test is a veritable village. Those of us not pre-occupied with people-watching try to squeeze in some homework. Laptop screens light the faces of most thanks to wireless, but a few just shoot the breeze. I put on some good music, lean back in a white plastic chair and try to do a little of everything while enjoying the cool night air.
Shack-a-thon is always a fun part of the year. It is one of the foremost traditions of NC State. To me it is more than anything else, a time of community, seeing old friends and making new ones. Last year a very competitive game of four-square popped up. Not-so-competitive corn-hole seems like the favorite this year. (more…)
About 25 NC State students are participating in EcoCAR: The Next Challenge, a three-year competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and Argonne National Laboratory. The team is one of 16 from universities around the country that are working to convert a 2009 Saturn VUE into an electric, hybrid or fuel-cell vehicle. The students completed their design the first year and will now begin transforming the VUE, which they received in August. NC State magazine intern Deborah Neffa spoke with the team’s outreach leader Erik Schettig ’08 about the project.
How did the first year go?
Considering this is the first time NC State is participating in the competition, [it] went very well. We were able to keep up with other universities that have participated in the competition for many years and have bigger teams—upwards of 40 or more people. . . .
Who’s on the team?
It’s a mix of undergraduates and graduate students from all departments throughout the university. The faculty adviser also gives some kind of assignment through the mechanical and aerospace engineering department so students can participate on the team for a few months to get credit. Even people who have already graduated and are working can become involved. . . . I am an education [graduate student] and have nothing to do with the engineering aspects, but we have people from [all over campus] working together. It really helps better the product.
What’s special about your vehicle?
I’d have to say that our vehicle is closer to what the public will be seeing in EREVs (extended range electric vehicles). [It has] a B20 biodiesel engine (which runs on (more…)
In the Summer 2009 issue of NC State magazine, we asked readers to tell us their memories of living on a student budget. We received nearly 175 responses and printed many in the Autumn 2009 issue. Below is a submission from (Ret.) Col. Ralph Brake ’40.
Ralph Brake '40, from the 1940 Agromeck.
Not only did he send us his story (below), he loaned us the ledger in which he recorded his income and expenses for his junior year (1938-39). We’ve reproduced images of pages from it at the end of the post.
How much did college cost? I estimated my freshman year expenses at $400. Expenses went up approximately $100 per year for my sophomore, junior, and senior years. For my junior year, September 1938 to May 1939, I kept a written ledger of my income and expenses.
I had to work to stay in college. I had no bank account. I was fortunate to have three older sisters who provided financial support during my four years at NC State. My father and mother died before I enrolled.
Beginning with the second term in January 1937, I worked daily in the dairy, milking cows by hand starting at 3:30 a.m. The building for milking cows in 1937 was located near the site of Reynolds Coliseum. I occasionally dropped off to sleep at 8 a.m. classes. At the end of my freshman year my roommate, Bruce Hildebrand ’40, informed me that I had a choice: I either get a new job or get a new roommate for my sophomore year. I got a new job in the botany department doing typing, filing, etc. A bonus was working for Prof. Murray Buell occasionally as a babysitter.
Brake's ledger, where he recorded his expenses for the 1938-39 school year.
[After] my first year at NC State, I was given summer employment working for the U.S. Forest Service doing a timber survey of Pisgah National Forest between Asheville and Blowing Rock. This job helped pay for part of my sophomore year expenses.
In September 1938, I was accepted for the Advanced ROTC program, which provided some additional income. I also was offered a job in the ROTC Military Department for my junior and senior years, which helped pay my expenses. During a six-week ROTC camp at Ft. McClellan I was given extra duty as the company clerk in addition to the required training, but no extra pay.
Another source of income was from selling pecans. My father had planted about 5 acres of Stuart Pecans on his farm. I sold and delivered about 100 pounds of these to faculty members and students each fall.
Editor’s note: Click on the images for a closer look. There are more after the jump.
This time, NC State student Joe Carnevale’s creation was legal. The N&O has the story:
So Saturday morning, he set up the truck-sized dinosaur on Hargett Street for SPARKcon, downtown Raleigh’s celebration of arts and ideas, and then reported for duty, helping the organizers set up tents and mark a grid on Fayetteville Street for chalk artists.
In short, the new Barrel Dinosaur was so legit it was practically sponsored by the Wake County District Attorney’s office.