When other NC State students were preparing for their first job interviews after graduation in December 2003, Sherard Griffin ’03 didn’t have to look far. He planned to be his own boss.
After majoring in computer science and minoring in music, he was busy starting his first business. AvanGuard Solutions, a company of four, focused on mobile technology and consulting.
But Griffin had no one to guide him. And that lack of a mentor and AvanGuard’s failure have pushed the entrepreneur to start a new business. NoodleShare fully launched on the Internet last week.
“This came out of a struggle I had,” Griffin says. At AvanGuard he made rookie business mistakes like assembling a team of partners who only had technical know-how, but no marketing experience. “With this one, I just want to make sure people have a place to go.”
NoodleShare will house an online community in which people can present innovative ideas for businesses or products. “We want to start with the inception of the idea and let the community give you feedback on the idea and incubate it,” he says. Then, Griffin and his team will link those people with business partners who can turn the idea into a commodity. “It can be a grandmother who has thought of a new utensil. She can post her idea and look for someone to fund and develop it.”
Griffin and his partners will also hold meetings with local businesses to imbue a sense of entrepreneurship in the Triangle and to teach others from the mistakes that have taught him to revise his approach.
“Four technical people are not good at selling products,” Griffin says. “This time we did the opposite. We have one technical person, and everyone else is in marketing strategy.”
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Courtesy of Historical State Collection at NCSU Libraries.
Former women’s head basketball coach Kay Yow will be honored in Raleigh tonight with the Naismith Good Sportsmanship Award.
Presented by the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, the award celebrates contributions to basketball on and off the court.
Yow died of breast cancer in 2009.
“No one demonstrated the value associated with the award like Kay,” says Don Fish, the executive director of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. “She promoted the game like no other. She has mentored so many youngsters. I don’t know anyone who does not look up to Kay Yow. She is simply the best of the best.”
Yow, who was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, will be honored alongside Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and UNC legend Dean Smith.
“I think it’s three different people,” says Ian Naismith, founding director of the Naismith International Basketball Foundation and grandson of Dr. James Naismith, who invented the sport of basketball. “They all have the same standards.”
Athletics Director and sister Debbie Yow says Kay Yow respected no standard more than winning the right way with integrity and the respect for the “personhood of all players.”
“I don’t think Kay ever really tried to create a place for herself,” says Debbie Yow, who adds that she wishes her sister was here to accept the award personally. “She acted on her own values. This is another well-deserved honor in my opinion.”
In conjunction with tonight’s activities, Gov. Beverly Perdue has officially proclaimed today “Basketball Day.”
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The Senior Class officers of '41: Ralph B. Williams, William "Bill" Friday, Lee Roy "Shorty" Barnes
William “Bill” Friday was president of the senior class at NC State in 1941. Seven decades later, that position was held by Kristy Craig. And a lot of things changed at NC State during those 70 years.
NC State magazine recently arranged for Friday, Craig and Lee Roy “Shorty” Barnes, the senior class vice president in 1941, to get together to talk about some of those changes. The three of them talked about everything from the social scene on campus to the impact that various wars had on campus. Excerpts from that chat can be found in the upcoming Summer issue of the magazine.
Until then, here’s a taste of the discussion the three student leaders had about the impact that World War II had during the years Friday and Barnes were in school and the impact that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had during Craig’s years in school.
Friday: We graduated in June of ’41, and then came Pearl Harbor. But most people don’t remember that the war began in North Africa. In our class, they were the people who were on the front in North Africa.
NC State: Do today’s students talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Craig: We do. It is something we talk about, but it’s a little bit different. Everyone knows about it and it’s definitely something that still hits home, whenever you have friends who are going. So I’m sure it was that way for you guys, knowing that your classmates, as soon as they graduated, were getting ready to go off and protect and defend our freedom.
Friday: I think we had 230 classmates. And more than half of them walked across that stage (at graduation) and had orders at the other end. We were the war class.
Barnes: I got orders from the Army for one year of active duty, the day after I got out of school. I went to Fort Bragg first and then I went to Fort Benning. After Fort Benning I joined a tank destroyer battalion. I ended up in what they would call the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
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They’re called vanity plates, but we think of them as another way to show your Pack pride. Legions of Wolfpack fans have personalized their license plates to let other drivers know of their affinity for NC State.
We would love to know what combination of letters, numbers and symbols you have used to show your allegiance to NC State. Share your creativity with other readers of our blog. Send us pictures if you can!
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Photo courtesy of GoPack.com
Lorenzo Emile Charles, who scored the winning dunk for NC State in the 1983 NCAA national championship game, died in a bus wreck Monday afternoon near Cary.
Charles, 47, also briefly played with the Atlanta Hawks and played professional basketball in Europe for more than a decade.
After retiring from basketball, Charles returned to Wake Forest and drove buses for transportation companies. He was driving a bus for Elite Coach of Apex when the vehicle careened off Interstate 40 and crashed into some trees.
Charles, who regularly attended NC State basketball games, leaves behind his wife, Theresa. He will be forever remembered by Wolfpack fans for his buzzer-beating dunk during the 1983 NCAA Tournament against the favored University of Houston Cougars. The play gave NC State its second men’s basketball title.
Share your memories of that legendary game and post condolences to the Charles family on our blog’s comment section.
To read more about Charles’ career and to view a photo gallery from his time at NC State, visit GoPack.com. To watch a video of a 2008 interview with Charles, visit WRAL.com.
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Students at NC State are always looking for ways to push the envelope of scientific inquiry, to take their research to new levels and find creative ways to answer important questions.
So why not drop an 80-pound ball of Silly Putty off the roof of D.H. Hill Library?
That’s what a group of high school students attending an engineering camp at NC State plans to do on Tuesday. They are dropping the large ball of Silly Putty 10 stories onto the Brickyard so that they, as the official press release says, can “see how materials react under pressure.”
What the press release doesn’t say is that it will just be plain fun to watch a huge blob of Silly Putty explode when it makes contact with the Brickyard. If you want to see for yourself, be at the Brickyard by 2:45 pm on Tuesday. That’s when they are planning to drop the Silly Putty.
University officials say the 80-pound ball will be the largest ever dropped from the roof of the library. Students attending the same camp in past years have dropped 50-pound balls of Silly Putty. They shattered on impact.
The Materials Camp is a weeklong summer outreach program for rising high school juniors and seniors hosted by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering.
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Construction continues next to the Park Alumni Center as crews work to complete the new residence for Chancellor Randy Woodson and his wife, Susan, by this fall.
Kevin MacNaughton, associate vice chancellor for facilities, says the chancellor’s new residence is on pace to be completed in October.
“Furnishings and personal effects will be moving into the new residence in October,” MacNaughton says, “and the Woodsons will enjoy Thanksgiving in the new residence.”
The process, which began March 2010 when ground was broken, has been documented on This Red House. The cost of the residence sits at $3.5 million. Becky Bumgardner, executive director for university development, said in an email that the residence is being fully funded by private and in-kind donations.
College of Design Dean Marvin Malecha is the designer. The residence will replace the current chancellor’s residence, which was built in 1928. It will serve as the new home of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design.
Visit our Flickr website to view photos of the chancellor’s residence under construction.
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More than 250 people attended a networking event yesterday at the Research Triangle Foundation in Raleigh.
The free event was hosted by the NC State Poole College of Management and introduced attendees to the college’s Business Collaboratories executive education program.
Business Collaboratories offers a series of seminars from innovation management and cloud computing to supply chain and enterprise risk management.
Dan McGurrin, director of Poole College’s Executive Programs, spoke of how Business Collaboratories utilizes a cross-disciplinary team of industry experts and business leaders to design proven tools and techniques to tackle business problems. To learn more about the Business Collaboratories program, visit execed.mgt.ncsu.edu.
The NC State Alumni Association is a member of the Business Collaboratories network. Alumni Association members receive a reduced rate on some Business Collaboratories courses. To learn more about membership, visit our website.
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Raymond Murray, professor emeritus and a pioneer of the atomic age, died Wednesday at Springmoor Retirement Community in Raleigh.
The Bulletin reports that Murray played a role in many milestones of nuclear engineering and atomic power, from the Manhattan Project to the Three Mile Island recovery.
Murray joined a new nuclear engineering program at NC State as a physics professor in 1950. He contributed to the design, construction and operation of the first university reactor.
Murray was named Burlington Professor of Physics in 1957, and headed the physics department from 1960-63 and the nuclear engineering department from 1963-74.
Murray received many honors, including the O. Max Gardner Award from the University of North Carolina system, the Arthur Holly Compton Award and the Eugene Wigner Reactor Physicist Award of the American Nuclear Society.
Check out the Bulletin for more on Murray, his life and career at NC State.
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DeMario Pressley is pushing trucks, chasing bouncing balls and swimming laps. He’s running along the canals of New Orleans and lifting weights with players for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints.
Pressley, a former defensive tackle for NC State, is trying to make sure he’s ready whenever the NFL is open for business again.
“We’re just waiting, doing whatever we can physically or mentally to be prepared,” Pressley said in telephone interview this week. “We have to be prepared whenever the lockout is done with. We could go right into training camp, maybe even a game, so we have to be ready.”
Pressley was drafted by the Saints in 2008, but acquired by the Indianaopolis Colts earlier this year. But because of the lockout, Pressley has not been able to talk with his new coaches.
“We can’t call them, they can’t send us film – no contact at all,” Pressley said.
Because he is going to a new team, Pressley says he has to be ready to make a good first impression with his new coaches and teammates when the lockout is over. One of his training partners, nose tackle Marlon Favorite of the New England Patriots, is in a similar situation.
“We feel like we have to work harder,” Pressley said. “We feel like we have to be in better shape than the other guys. We push each other.”
Pressley is living in New Orleans, where he trains every day with about a dozen other NFL players. He said they do drills to help with strength, quickness and conditioning. On Fridays, the trainer sometimes makes the players push a truck 40 yards. On other days, the trainer stands 10-15 yards away from Pressley and drops a small, bouncing ball. Pressley is expected to catch it before it bounces a second time.
“I love that drill,” Pressley said. “It’s like I’m coming out of my stance full speed to sack the quarterback.”
Normally, Pressley would be working out with other members of the Colts. But he says all NFL players are “in the same boat” during the lockout, so it makes sense to train with players from other teams.
“These guys might be enemies when the season comes around, but right now they’re my teammates,” he said.
Even with the daily workouts, Pressley has plenty of spare time on his hands. He has visited family and friends in Greensboro a few times recently and made it back to NC State for the spring football game, where he enjoyed showing off his Super Bowl ring. Pressley says he has watched each episode of “House,” his favorite television show, three or four times.
He has also spent a lot of hours playing “Call of Duty” on his Xbox with other friends in the NFL. “I’m the man,” Pressley says of his video game prowess.
Pressley says fans frequently approach him to talk about the lockout. He recalled one fan who told him the players needed to stop being greedy. “I feel like it was just a deal that needed to be done,” Pressley said. “The owners had their points and the players did, too.”‘
Meanwhile, Pressley says his focus will remain on being ready whenever the lockout is over.
“I expect to go out there and immediately make an impact,” he said. “I’m going to be in shape. I’m going to be ready. I plan to be that guy that they can depend on.”
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