Alumni News Category
Kyle Blakely loves his job at Under Armour. It helps that he finds himself surrounded by other graduates of NC State.
At least 17 NC State alumni work at the Baltimore headquarters of the sporting apparel company, according to Blakely. “It’s a lot for a small company,” says Blakely, who graduated from NC State in 2007 with a textiles degree.
Blakely, director of material development, works with a team to develop and engineer textiles that Under Armour uses for their athletic wear. “We’re engineering the fabrics that go into garments,” he says. “Part of that is working with our mill partners and the other part is working with design partners here.”
The view from Kyle Blakely's desk at Under Armour
Blakely attributes the large number of employees at Under Armour from NC State to the education that the university provides. “Most of us are from College of Textiles,” he says. “But, one is from sports marketing – that’s a big deal. I think there are a few with engineering degrees, but it’s mostly textiles. We do have other fields present and we even have a few from UNC. Most of them majored in finance.”
It’s nice to have so many colleagues who share his Wolfpack background, Blakely says. “Baltimore – it’s a great city, but we’re from North Carolina,” he says. “Anyone from North Carolina that has lived there for an extended period has an understanding about how great it is down South. It’s nice to have people here that understand your culture and your background.”
Blakely and his coworkers have filled their walls with NC State paraphernalia. “I have an NC State jersey on the wall,” he says. “It’s everywhere. You can tell NC State people because we have it all over our desks. Everybody displays their NC State stuff with a lot of pride.”
In addition to hiring so many NC State graduates, Under Armour has developed a more formal partnership with the university. “We have a great working professional relationship with NC State,” says Blakely. “We show some of our designers our school, show them the textiles machine. We take proofs to NC State and (the designers) have a whole new perspective. It’s beyond just us working here.”
The success that Blakely and his NC State colleagues have enjoyed at Under Armour, he says, undercuts any suggestion that a degree in textiles is not useful in today’s economy. “While the manufacturing side isn’t as heavy as it used to be, there are still mills in this hemisphere and they are thriving,” he says. “There are many job opportunities and brands (in textiles) … In all reality, there is more opportunity than ever, especially since we’re specialized and there are not a lot of us (textile majors).”
Blakely says his textiles degree has worked well for him. “When I came into textiles, people were like are you kidding me?” he says. “I couldn’t be happier. I have the coolest job on the planet.”
In July 2014, Raleigh resident Neil Ramquist – a 1989 NC State graduate with a degree in industrial engineering – will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. But he won’t be doing it alone.
Ramquist will be joined on the expedition by his 10-year-old son Charlie. “Around the age of 2 or 3,” Ramquist says, “Charlie was diagnosed with a rare inflammatory disease called eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), which simply put means he’s actively allergic to almost all foods.”
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a disease in which the body produces an excess of esophageal eosinophils – a type of white blood cell – causing chronic inflammation, tissue damage and potentially permanent scarring in the throat and upper gastrointestinal tract.
Ramquist and his son are members of Team Climb for EE (Team Kili) – a diverse group of individuals including adolescents and adults diagnosed with EE, relatives and family friends of those affected by EE, as well as doctors, college students and outdoor enthusiasts, all hoping to raise money and awareness for the disease through the CURED Foundation.
Next summer, Team Kili will travel to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Before beginning the 37-mile hike, Ramquist, Charlie and the rest of the group will spend a few days volunteering at a small orphanage for children.
For many of the climbers diagnosed with EE, preparations for the trip have already started. “This will require a lot of physical training, and we’re going to be dealing with a lot of dietary restrictions,” says Ramquist, who manages a team specializing in green energy development for Siemen’s Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc. “Currently, there are only eight foods my son can eat, such as turkey, chicken, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes. A handful of the kids going, however, can only have formula.”
“As a protective dad, the idea of my 10-year-old son doing something like this is nerve-racking,” Ramquist says. It was ultimately the enthusiastic “You should go for it!” from his wife, who started a local EE support group in Raleigh, that convinced Ramquist to submit his and Charlie’s applications for the Climb for EE expedition.
Ramquist is grateful that the trip has given his family “an avenue to talk more about what we’re going through.” “Now,” he says, “we’ve accepted the disease, and we’re trying to figure out how to handle it. We don’t want Charlie to feel like a victim, but I also don’t think he understands what it will be like for the rest of his life – especially the medical aspects like the cost of formula and dealing with insurance companies.”
Additionally, Ramquist worries about Charlie’s matter-of-fact outlook. “Charlie asked me the other day, ‘I wonder what will be the first thing I’ll eat when we find a cure,’” Ramquist says. “For someone who can barely eat anything, he loves going out to dinner. He’ll walk around smelling what people have ordered, and then rate which foods he thinks would taste the best.”
Charlie was first hospitalized when he was three months old, and it’s been an uphill battle since for him, his parents and his older sister. “We fed him milk supplemented with formula every three hours, day and night. It was a very intense period – a lot of time and effort spent trying to get him to grow,” Ramquist says. Charlie’s symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing and inexplicable abdominal pain, persisted for a few years until he received his official diagnosis. “The only way to confirm EE is through an endoscopy and a tissue biopsy of the esophagus,” says Ramquist.
“We’re incredibly fortunate that Charlie’s pediatrician was really young and had just learned about EE during his residency,” he says. “Most doctors who graduated from medical school more than 10 or 15 years ago have little to no experience with EE and often misdiagnose it as other gastrointestinal disorders. The diagnostic process for Charlie – though it seemed like forever at the time – was much quicker than it is for a lot of kids.”
Shortly thereafter, Ramquist and his wife found out about the leading facility in research on EE, the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED) of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “We elected to participate in one of their clinical trials on allergy testing,” says Ramquist. “Once we finished the trial and had an idea of which food antigens Charlie’s system could and couldn’t handle, we started the long and challenging process of gradually introducing a single food – we’re currently working on watermelon – and then waiting to see how he physically reacts to them.”
This trial-and-error process, combined with endoscopies and biopsies every 3-4 months, is common among patients with EE. The medication regimen for EE generally includes steroids, which coat the esophagus, and antacids. So far, there is no cure, but Ramquist hopes the money raised by the Climb for EE expedition will make a difference.
“This disease is really starting to impact adults as well as children, and it’s increasing significantly in prevalence. We need to raise money, and we need to spread awareness,” Ramquist says. If Team Kili reaches their fundraising goal, they’re hoping to give the CURED Foundation a check for approximately $200,000. “That would be one of the largest donations CURED has ever received, and 100 percent of the funds are applied to research for eosinophilic disease.”
Donations can be made directly through the CURED website. Contributions from corporate sponsors, individual donors, and equipment sponsors can be designated for a specific climber through the Climb for EE team support site.
It was for the love of Lacey that Brittany Saad started a non-profit rescue program for horses with medical conditions that have no other option.
“Lacey was my first rescue horse,” she says. “She had the biggest heart and when we lost her due to ulcers rupturing, I knew then that I was going to rescue horses like her that had no one to speak up for them and give them a chance.”
Lacey used to be a show horse. She developed a condition called Laminitis, which affects a horse’s hooves, and was then left outside to die until Saad found her. “No veterinarian could believe that she was alive,” she says. “Her X-rays were some of the most gruesome that they had seen and no other horse would have survived.”
Love of Lacey Equine Rescue, Saad’s non-profit organization, is named for this beloved horse. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Lacey and how much I miss her,” she says. “It is the extreme love for her and her love for life that I rescue horses.”
Saad, a 2006 NC State graduate, stays busy with her organization, which is based in Wake County. “I work with ten rescues, soon to be 11 when a foal is born this month,” she says. Saad was encouraged to begin her journey with her own horse rescue program after the death of her father. “When my dad passed away in August, I had to have something more to do with my life,” she says. “So I chose to help my life by doing what I love more than anything … and start my rescue.”
Saad knows her dad would approve. “He always told me I was going to have a rescue someday,” she says. “(He) really inspired me through my life with following my dreams and was always going to the barn with me. This is a dream come true.”
Saad works a full-time job as a veterinarian technician at Hilltop Animal Hospital in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and cares for her ten rescues – horses that have been abused or neglected – and her own three horses every night. Her healing methods include gentle therapy and trust-building exercises that make the horses who have known mostly fear feel comfortable with her. “They have been neglected or abused by people,” she says. “Treats are a great way to show pleasurable responses to these guys as they are very food motivated.”
The length of time a horse spends with Saad is dependent on the kind of life the horse had before. “Horses that have been raced or over-ridden get a minimum of six months just learning to be a horse – eating, playing, just getting to have some time off,” she says. “They need to just get love and be a happy, grazing, playing horse. It is good therapy for their mind … they normally have not had that privilege in their lifetime.”
Love of Lacey mostly survives on fundraisers and donations. Adoption fees, which start at $400 a horse, also go back into funding the rescue. “The horses are adopted (by) homes that have been approved for horses and we hold partial ownership of the horses as a security measure,” she says. “This prevents the horse from being sold or given away.”
Saad loves her job and her work with horses, and hopes to go to veterinarian school and major in equine medicine in the near future. “It will certainly make things much more difficult but I am not a person that can just do one thing,” she says. “I don’t know what to do with myself if I’m not being pulled in five directions.”
— Molly Green
Ted Brown being congratulated his senior year on "Ted Brown Day."
Former NC State running back Ted Brown was expecting a simple return home when he arrived back in Minnesota in early May, fresh off a trip to Florida. But when Brown went through his mail, he came across a package that caught his attention.
The package was from the National Football Foundation, and Brown was puzzled because he doesn’t know anyone working there. Then he saw a football in the package, which didn’t strike him as odd since people frequently send him memorabilia to sign. But what was printed on the football welcomed him to a special place for an athlete.
“Ted Brown, North Carolina State University, Member of the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class.”
The College Football Hall of Fame honor, Brown says, caught him off guard because it’s been a while since he ran over Wolfpack foes from 1975-78. In those four seasons, Brown became the ACC’s all-time leading rusher with 4,602 yards and 51 touchdowns.
“I was surprised but pleased to finally be recognized for the hard work I put in through college,” he says. “I had thought my numbers were good enough. …I felt a little overjoyed. Better late than never.”
Brown’s promise as a runner was realized in his first game as a freshman, running for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the contest against Indiana University. That game helped Brown believe he could do something special. But, he adds, he never set his sights on being one of the greatest running backs in college football history.
“My goal was to play and do the best I could for my teammates,” he says. “The camaraderie we had was so tight. That is so important in sports. If you get any individual honors, it’s probably because you were surrounded by great people.”
And win honors he did. Brown was named first-team All-ACC all four years at NC State, and he was a consensus All-American in 1978. He had a decorated career in his eight seasons for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. And last fall, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame, an honor he says will always stand out for him.
“Having been in the first class,” Brown says, “it speaks volumes since the school has been there so long. …That feels like family. It felt like my family was recognizing me. [The College Football Hall of Fame] is a great honor, but it wouldn’t have been possible without my having been at NC State.”
Jarrett Joyce never thought he would be on television. “I’m the guy that ran from the home movie camera,” he said. “Not in a million years did I think I would be on TV. I always knew I would be an entrepreneur and I knew I wanted to work for myself.”
Joyce, a 2000 graduate of NC State, is working for himself. But his work is being televised — Joyce is one of the shippers on A&E’s “Shipping Wars,” a reality television show that follows shippers like Joyce as they carry unusual freight around the country. The shows air on Sundays.
“Being on the show for me was really scary to begin with because everything is filmed, all of your worst moments are being put on TV,” Joyce says. “But, you kind of realize that your worst moments make good TV.”
Joyce, who majored in agricultural business at NC State, sold concrete and asphalt until he lost his job in December 2010. In February 2011, he decided to try the shipping business.
His journey with “Shipping Wars” began with a visit to a website, www.uship.com, to bid on potential shipping jobs. The show looks through shipper profiles on the site to pick out potential personalities for upcoming seasons. That’s how they found Joyce.
“I actually thought it was a joke,” he says. “I figured it was one of my friends, so I gave the guy a hard time and he said, ‘No, I am for real.’ It was really unbelievable.”
Two years later, Joyce is still considered the new guy of the show and spends weeks on the road for filming and shipping. “Last year, the whole filming season was March to October,” he says. “They try to plan it two weeks on the road and a couple of days home.”
But the shipping business is year-round and the cargo comes first to Joyce. The time spent out on the road when “Shipping Wars” isn’t filming can add up – and Joyce has had some long runs. “I was on the road for 40 straight days once,” he says. “When I took time off in January for myself, I shipped a printing press from San Diego to Connecticut.”
Joyce doesn’t often get to interact with the other shippers on the show except for when they get together in Texas to film interview segments. “Every character is exactly like they are on the show,” he says. “We all get along, but it’s a professional relationship.”
As with any show, viewers have opinions about the shippers. And their opinions are not always positive. “I don’t really pay attention to the negativity,” Joyce says. “There’s always going to be people who disagree or put something down. I just see it as a light-hearted, fun reality show, no need to worry.”
Joyce’s last two seasons have included a few wild rides. “The very first thing I ever shipped for the show was the entire set of the play of Little Shop of Horrors,” he says. “The biggest piece was the giant plant Audrey II, and it barely fit in the trailer. I took it from New Jersey to San Diego.”
The next season’s shipments got even crazier. “I did a giant lumberjack statue,” he says. “It wouldn’t fit in my trailer, it was supposed to. The show makes it look like I measured wrong. I had to put it on a flatbed trailer.”
This created more problems, however. “I didn’t even consider that the base was like a giant parachute or sail. It caught the wind and the wind resistance would not let my van go very fast at all,” he says. “It was basically like a parachute behind my van.”
In the summer of 2012, Joyce shipped a custom casket, designed to look like a car. “This guy had just ordered a custom casket from a place in Kansas,” he says. The place “had anything you could possibly imagine. He bought the casket and wasn’t completely satisfied with it. He sent it back to the manufacturer. He wanted to change the interior, the pillow lining.”
Joyce has other forms of income besides the shipping business. “I still live in Winston-Salem,” he says. “I’ve got a courier business in Greensboro that I run every single day. I’ve got guys to work for me while I’m gone.”
Joyce also helps his family sell Christmas trees in the winter. Joyce says he has always been interested in a little bit of everything. Because of that, he is open to different possibilities once his run on the show is over.
“The show is kind of at a point where we’ve got plenty of viewers,” he says. “I would really love to stay with this either on camera or behind the camera … I’m just sort of blowing in the wind right now seeing where this is all going to take me.”
— Molly Green
F. Eugene Hester’s passion for wildlife dates back to his childhood.
“I’ve been hunting and fishing since I was a kid,” Hester says. “Grew up in Wendell, just east of Raleigh.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that the longtime outdoorsman – known as “Gene” among his friends – ended up graduating from NC State in 1954 with a degree in wildlife conservation and management.
Hester recalls the undergraduate project that first ignited his curiosity about a particular waterfowl – one to which he would later dedicate the majority of his career. “I was taking ornithology with professor Tom Quay, who focused his field research on how birds adapted to their habitats,” Hester says. “Each student in the class had to select a species of bird to study. I chose the wood duck because I’d seen them on my family’s farm pond.”
By the end of his school project, Hester says he was intrigued by many of the wood duck’s unique behaviors, “like how they nest up in trees rather than in the brush or marshes.” His interest in wood ducks’ nesting habits broadened to include their migration patterns and brood rearing. Hester pursued these subjects further with the goal of becoming a zoologist, completing his master’s degree in 1956 at NC State and his PhD at Auburn University in 1959. Laughing, Hester muses, “Who knew what started out as intrigue would turn into over 50 years of research.”
“One day,” Hester says, “I thought to myself, ‘Well, I really ought to write all this up,’ because I wanted people to have access to that information.” In the spring of 2012, he did just that. Last February, Hester published his newest book, Wood Duck Adventures – now available for purchase online through Five Valleys Press and Amazon.com.
Wood Duck Adventures narrates the progression of Hester’s research – from its inception in 1953 through his present conservation efforts – but the zoologist’s story isn’t the only one featured. The book is also a tale of Hester’s collaboration with wildlife photographer Jack Dermid. The two have worked together as colleagues and friends for over five decades to document the lives of wood ducks.
Their study began with a “desire to provide nesting opportunities,” Hester writes in the opening chapter. He and Dermid made their first nest box, intended to mimic the tree cavities wood ducks often inhabit, by attaching a portion of hollow log – with boards covering the top and bottom – to the side of a tree trunk. Upon later discovering a female wood duck nesting in the box with several eggs already incubating, Hester and Dermid began constructing more nest boxes on trees in other ponds and swamps throughout Eastern North Carolina.
From their observations and photographs of the nest boxes – as well as their efforts banding and web-tagging to track the birds’ ages and distances traveled – Hester and Dermid gained insight into the activities of wood ducks. Included in Wood Duck Adventures are detailed descriptions of courtship, egg incubation and hatching, brood rearing and migration.
Hester (left) not only wrote Wood Duck Adventures, but also contributed the majority of the book’s photos. “Photography first started as a hobby for me,” he says. “Jack [Dermid] was the professional – working at the time for Wildlife in North Carolina magazine and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.” Over the years, Dermid gave Hester photography tips while Hester taught Dermid everything he knew about the wood duck.
To date, Hester’s photos have been printed in over 60 publications. When he’s not photographing for fun, Hester also takes pictures for several conservation projects.
Wildlife conservation has always been a central aspect of Hester’s career. Shortly after earning his PhD, he returned to NC State as a faculty member in the school’s zoology depart. In 1963, he also became the leader of NC State’s Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Hester’s conservation work for the federal government included esteemed positions in both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.
Though he’s enjoying his retirement, Hester says his original work lives on. “My nephew’s done a lot of nest boxes in Johnston County, so there are still plenty of homes out there for the wood ducks.”
Alan Aitken ‘63 usually needs a good reason to leave his home in Juneau, Alaska, every spring and fly halfway around the globe. And that reason is usually the Final Four, the annual culminating weekend of college basketball that crowns a champion.
But it just so happened this year, he had two. Last weekend, he attended the Final Four in Atlanta, his 22nd in a row, and arrived in Raleigh Wednesday night for the Class of ‘63 reunion, going on this weekend at NC State. That put a cherry on top of his 3,900 mile trip across the country, the longest distance that any alumnus traveled to this year’s reunion.
“I’m looking forward to seeing campus again,” Aitken says. “When I was here, there were 13,000 students. Now you have 34,000.”
Aitken originally came to NC State from New York state in 1961, when the college was the first forestry program to respond to him with an opportunity to transfer out of a tw0-year program in New York. He vividly remembers his first trip to the South and the culinary adjustments Raleigh’s diners brought.
“I ordered two eggs over easy with bacon,” he says. “When the waitress brought it out, I said, ‘Why did you give me Cream of Wheat?’ She said, ‘That’s not Cream of Wheat. That’s grits.’”
But, he says, he quickly liked the people in the South, something he appreciates to this day in his travels. “They’re friendly and they’re courteous,” he says. “They say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Glad to see you.’
Aitken worked more than 30 years for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska, retiring in 1994. And he still remembers where he was when he got the offer to go West here at NC State. He was a senior living in Turlington Residence Hall when he got a call from his mother. She had a telegram with a job offer in Alaska. And it was an easy choice for him.
“It just sounded like a big adventure,” he says.
John Earnhardt was surrounded by farmers as a boy growing up in Salisbury, N.C. “I was just a little country boy who knew how to milk a cow,” he says.
So, naturally, he assumed he would be a farmer when he grew up. Earnhardt once told someone he planned to have the biggest farm around, never mind that he didn’t have much land or money at the time.
Fortunately, Earnhardt also happened to be pretty good at math and science. So his interest was piqued one Sunday when one of the visitors to the church was an engineer. It sounded like interesting work to Earnhardt.
So when he arrived at NC State, Earnhardt was ready to become an engineer. Being from a small town, Earnhardt was struck by how big the campus was when he arrived in 1959. “It was big, although not compared to now,” he says.
Earnhardt, who now serves on the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Advisory Board for the College of Engineering, says engineers still relied on slide rules in those days. While he appreciates the technological advances made with computers, Earnhardt says something was lost when the slide rule was replaced. “You had to think through problems,” he says. “You had to talk with other people, collect the best thinking.”
Today, Earnhardt’s old slide rule hangs on a wall in his house in Mooresville, N.C. — an unfamiliar artifact to his children and grandchildren.
Earnhardt went on to graduate in 1963 with a degree in chemical engineering. One of his faculty advisers suggested that he consider pursuing graduate degrees, but Earnhardt was ready to get to work.
He ended up working for DuPont for 32 years at nine different locations. One of his first projects was helping develop the commercial process to make Nomex, a fire-resistant material, available for market. After retiring from DuPont, Earnhardt started his own environmental management consulting company. He’s also an accomplished bass singer in a barbershop quartet. His group, known as You Kids Get Off My Lawn!, finished 14th in the world championships in Florida in January.
Earnhardt returned to the Park Alumni Center today for the 50th reunion of the Class of 1963. About 130 alumni, family and friends will spend today and tomorrow revisiting some old haunts and seeing some new facilities like the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus. Head football coach Dave Doeren is scheduled to speak at tonight’s Class of 1963 banquet. On Saturday, Chancellor Randy Woodson will speak at a luncheon welcoming new members into the Forever Club and the weekend’s festivities will end with a barbecue dinner at Vaughn Towers.
Earnhardt, permanent president of the Class of 1963, loves what NC State has become in in the 50 years since he graduated. “I’m proud of the work that comes out of here,” he says, “and the people I meet from here are all good people.”
Earnhardt says some of his classmates will be shocked to see how much the campus has grown over the past five decades. He says they will be impressed with what they see.
“I’m looking foward to the whole thing,” he says. “This school’s done so much for me.”
Brenna Eckerson has always had an eye for good stories.
Growing up in Manteo, N.C., Eckerson remembers her first high school job as an usher for Roanoke Island’s “Lost Colony” production and its influence on her passion for storytelling. “Honestly, I just told people where to sit, but I took the job because I’d be near the theater,” she says. After graduating from NC State in 2002 with a degree in mass communications, Eckerson learned to channel her creative energy into screen writing – a skill that’s made her invaluable in the television business.
Prior to joining the Distillery Pictures team as a writer, producer and developer in 2006, Eckerson had already earned post production credits on a number of Discovery Health programs, including “Surviving Sextuplets and Twins,” the show that first shed light on the infamous Gosselin family.
Eckerson says her current project, “Salvage Dawgs” – a documentary-style series starring Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside, the charismatic co-owners of Virginia-based architectural antique shop Black Dog Salvage – is different than anything she’s ever produced. “In addition to character-based reel,” she says, “this show also falls into the category of object-based reality TV.”
“Salvage Dawgs” gives viewers a colorful glimpse into the business of antique reclamation, repurposing and resale. The show’s stars, Kulp and Whiteside, bid on condemned structures to recover architectural artifacts of America’s past – everything from doors and windows to light fixtures and garden statues. “I love the historical aspect of the homes and buildings,” Eckerson says. “If the guys weren’t doing this work, these pieces would end up in a dump somewhere.”
Eckerson laughs as she describes Kulp and Whiteside. “They’re polar opposites, but they balance each other out nicely,” she says. “Tons of fun, tons of personality.”
With a project like “Salvage Dawgs,” Eckerson’s work is a hybrid of several jobs, including field producer, series producer, and series creator and developer. How are the jobs different? “In some ways, I’m currently wrapped up in all those titles for the show,” she explains. “Field producers usually act – at least in the context of the docu-drama and docu-reality genres – as a director in addition to field producing.”
Eckerson (in yellow hat) at work on the show
“Series producers,” Eckerson continues, “oversee an entire series to ensure consistency of tone and character development.” Series creators and developers, by contrast, often work in a more collaborative capacity. “There’s usually a team of us figuring out what the format is going to be,” she says. “We assess each character’s strengths and weaknesses, focus on satisfying the client, and try to decide what the audience wants to see.”
A producer’s role in “Salvage Dawgs” also involves “lots of traveling back-and-forth” from Roanoke, Va., where the show is filmed, to Trailblazer Studios’ production facility in Raleigh, N.C. “I was on all six initial episodes,” Eckerson says. “As far as the information goes, I go out in the field and work with the story and stars, but we’re currently working on the development aspect here at the studio – conducting interviews, holding content meetings, etc.”
One of Eckerson’s favorite aspects of “Salvage Dawgs” is the versatility of its appeal. “The thing I particularly love about this show,” she says, “is that people of all ages and both genders gravitate towards it – some to the construction and deconstruction processes, and others to the creativity and artistry.”
Eckerson shares her pride in the show’s recent promotion to one of the Do-it-Yourself Network’s primetime spots. “We were also just green-lighted for several additional episodes,” she says, “so we we’re really excited.”
Ultimately, Eckerson’s passion for “Salvage Dawgs” derives from her original appreciation of storytelling and context – bridges built between past, present, and future. “It’s carrying on the workmanship of yesteryear into 2013 and beyond.”
Few moments in NC State’s history have been as divisive as the fight over the university’s name that took place in the mid-1960s. Supporters of the consolidated system, including its head Bill Friday, wanted the name to be the University of North Carolina-Raleigh, and students and professors believed North Carolina State College’s unique identity be preserved.
But no voice was more vocal in opposing the name change than the university’s alumni. And on this day in 1963, State College alumni attended an open hearing held by the N.C. Senate and House education committees on a bill that incorporated the use of “North Carolina State, the University of North Carolina at Raleigh.” Though the name was seen as a compromise, alumni suggested the name was just as offensive.
R.W. Graber was one of those alumni who chose to be heard that March afternoon, according to an article in The Technician. And he suggested that the UNC system was trying to “swallow” up NC State, which he pointed out was often an afterthought with insults like “Cow College” being thrown its way. “But beef is pretty tough,” Graber said in the hearing, “and UNC would have a hard time digesting State.”
The fight and the protests ensued for two more years until 1965, when the university was named North Carolina State University at Raleigh, the formal name it goes by today.