Campus News Category
Too often, talk around the water cooler on Mondays involves this wronged football fan griping about that blown call by the refs. (Luckily, that’s not the case for NC State fans today, as the Wolfpack rolled South Florida on Saturday, 49-17).
But technology that NC State researchers have introduced may help to mute some of the grumbling and Monday-morning officiating.
David Ricketts, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dan Stancil, department head for NC State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are part of a team that developed the Magneto-Track System. It’s technology that helps television viewers track the football with their eyes when they’re watching a game.
“It’s not meant to replace the chain, but to enhance the viewing experience,” Ricketts says. “When the quarterback hikes the ball, you don’t see it. The next time you see it, someone’s running it or the quarterback is throwing it.”
The research began at the Disney Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, where Ricketts and Stancil taught before coming to NC State. Ricketts says they were trying to do some research with sports visualization, and since Disney owned ESPN, it made sense that the team turned to football.
How Magneto-Track works is pretty easy to understand. There is an antenna inside of the football, wrapped around the belly of the ball. Also enclosed under the pigskin is a transmitter, which can be picked up by various antennae set up around the field.
The exchange is predicated on a magnetic field, not radio waves. “Why that is important is that radio waves, like with cell phones, get blocked by people,” Ricketts says. “But with magnetic fields, it goes right through. We can figure out where the ball is.”
An antenna and a transmitter are placed inside the football under the pigskin, making the tracking possible.
Ricketts believes the technology is ideal for situations where the ball goes missing at the bottom of a pile on a goal-line stand or at the bottom of a rugby scrum. In fact, he adds, one of the leading rugby manufacturers in Europe has expressed interest in adding the technology to their balls.
But as of now, there’s not any discussions between the researchers and the NCAA or the NFL to introduce Magneto-Track to their respective games.
UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University had already decided by the summer of 1973 that they would make prescription services available to students who wanted birth control.
Yet NC State still had made no call as to whether it would provide those services.
That all changed on this day 41 years ago, when the university announced Clark Infirmary would offer prescriptions that would enable students to get birth control pills. The service, however, did not directly dispense the pills to students.
The move was partially made in response to a growing sense among Wake County, N.C., health department officials that there were too many students using the county’s clinic, according to an article in the Technician.
It was the Technician’s lead story on this day in 1973, when prescriptions for birth control pills first came to NC State’s campus.
“This is part of the overall health care of the student community and has been inappropriately publicized,” said Dr. Nina Page, a physician at NC State’s infirmary. “The infirmary is not by any means condoning or promoting premarital sex by offering the service.”
There was an $8 fee attached to the physical examination and prescription for the females who wanted them. And they also received educational information detailing multiple forms of contraception when they received the prescription.
The Technician also pointed out that all medical records at the infirmary would remain confidential. “Why should we notify the parents when we do not notify them in any other health situation?” Page asked. “This should be a very private, personal thing.”
Campus officials announced earlier this week that a new boutique hotel will take up residence on Centennial Campus in 2016. It’s just the latest building on the campus in a line of new development, including a clubhouse at Lonnie Poole Golf Course, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and Wolf Ridge Apartments.
But it was on this day in 1988 that Centennial Campus first started to round into form, as officials announced the proposed streets and thoroughfares that would run through campus.
The plans were actually a composite of several plans that had been proposed by various entities, including NC State and the city of Raleigh, according to the Technician.
“The ‘X’ plan, which called for two large intra-campus streets to criss-cross one another, and the ‘Y’ plan which called for a main street which would branch off into two dissipating streets have been abandoned for the composite plan,” the Technician reported. The cost of the planned road work came in at a total of $2 million, according to the article.
NC State officials also announced that there was an ongoing study to research the feasibility of a monorail system that would connect Centennial Campus to main campus.
With the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts being founded as a men’s college, it set forth a history ripe with potential firsts for the gender-barrier being broken on-campus in Raleigh for many years.
In 1899, the trustees first started to debate whether to admit female students. Jane S. McKimmon became the first woman inducted into the college’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. And later that year, in June, the college first conferred degrees to women. One of those women was Mary E. Yarbrough, the first female graduate to complete all of her graduate coursework at the college.
And it was on this day in 1988, that another historic first for women happened on campus. Aquinas House, NC State’s Catholic Student Center, welcomed its first female staff member as Sister Mary Lynch started as an associate minister.
“I feel that it is important for me to be present, visible and seen,” Lynch said in the Technician. “I am looking forward to whatever opportunities open up for me at NC State.”
One of Lynch’s main goals, she said, was to serve as a role model for young women on campus. She cited that women then comprised 38 percent of the student body and said it was important for them ” to see a woman in a predominantly-male occupational field such as the Catholic ministry.”
Lynch is now director of silent retreats at the University of Notre Dame.
We caught up with our master Wolfpack brewers over at NC State’s research brewery for an article in the winter issue of NC State magazine, which should be hitting mailboxes soon. The brewery is housed in the basement of Schaub Hall and conducts research on bioprocessing issues like fermentation technology and automation processes.
Though the research is fascinating, we thought it would be nice to talk with Blake Layfield, one of the brewers and graduate student in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, about the beer the lab produces for campus events. (Alas, it is not for sale to the general public.)
What is the most requested beer you provide? Our seasonals are our most popular. In the fall, it’s our Wolf-toberfest that’s incredibly p0pular. In the winter, it’s our Pullen Porter. If you’re talking our year-rounds, it’s our Brickyard Red. It’s easy to drink.
Since it’s winter, tell us a little more about the Pullen Porter. With most winter beers, you think of high alcohol and a heavier body. You want something to warm your insides against those cold North Carolina winters. [The Pullen Porter] ranges from dark brown to black. It has a pleasant bitterness to it. It’s roasty, and some might even call it smoky. It has some chocolate notes in it.
You have a beer called “Ma Blonde Do’r.” What does the mean? It means our “blonde girlfriend.” …I actually have a brunette wife, and she hates the name of it. It has some very light character. It’s very easy to drink during your summer months or during your sporting events.
Blake Layfield. Photo by Marc Hall.
How do you come up with the names? We just kind of put things in there to make us think of State. Alliteration is very easy to do. Pullen [Road] runs through the center of campus. We have our Brickyard Red. It’s totally for fun.
And Chancellor Randy Woodson even has his own favorite? The chancellor does indeed like the [Chancellor's Choice] IPA. He has tasted it …He’s actually had it multiple times, so much so that he requested it at his house for an event with some ACC administrators. I was the bartender. He’s actually a homebrewer himself, so he has come over and looked at our setup. We try to help him as much as we can since he’s the boss.
Roland Kays is a research associate professor and director of the Biodiversity and Earth Observation Lab at the Nature Research Center at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.
We talked with Kays for the winter issue of NC State magazine about his role on a team that confirmed a new mammal species, the olinguito, during a 2006 expedition to the cloud forests of Ecuador. News of the discovery — which came after research in museums and elsewhere suggested that such a species might exist — captured the attention around the globe when it was announced last summer.
Our interview with Kays covered more ground than we could fit in the magazine, so here are excerpts from the rest of the interview:
What do you know about the olinguito’s diet? We definitely saw them eating fruit, so we know they eat fruit. If you look at their teeth, they’re kind of pointy like a predator or like an insect eater. So we think they might eat some other stuff.
How were you able to get so much information about the olinguito by looking at in the trees? Well, we shot one and put it in the museum collections. If you want to describe a new species, you need to have a voucher specimen. You need to have that in your hand. We didn’t want to kill any of them. It’s not very fun. But we had to have our vouchers so that other scientists can go back and verify our findings, and also so we can have the fresh DNA to make these comparisons.
What does this discovery tell us about the area where the olinguito was found? It shows that the tree canopies are this sort of frontier of discovery, that there’s still a lot of unknown stuff up there. I’m sure there’s more discoveries to be made in these forests, and especially in the canopies.
How does the olinguito compare to other olingos? This one is a lot redder, has a bushier tail and is smaller – it’s actually the smallest member now of the raccoon family.
How is it possible that we’re still discovering new mammal species at this point? Every year we’re finding new mammals, and most of them are bats and rats and smaller things. But the age of discovery in mammals is still ongoing. There’s still lots and lots to learn.
Why are such discoveries important? There are still things to learn about our planet and still just this basic cataloguing of what’s here that is ongoing. It’s an important endeavor. This discovery, in particular, highlights the importance of these cloud forest habitats, that these are really special places that are really diverse. In addition to the olinguito, there’s a special bear called the spectacled bear that lives only in South America, only in these cloud forests. This is a really special habitat that is under siege by developing agriculture. This really highlights the fact that these are biologically rich places that deserve protection.
Were there any common mistakes in the reporting of the discovery? Yes, but it’s a little complicated so I can’t necessarily blame them. They reported that it’s the first new carnivore [discovered] in 35 years. But when we say carnivore in this way we mean member of the order Carnivora, which is a group of mammals that includes the raccoons, the bears, the weasels, the dogs, the cats. And most of them eat meat, but a lot of them don’t. So in this case, this is a fruit-eating carnivore. And so the press messed that up a lot — they called it a meat eater.
At the time of his appearance at NC State in 1957, Franz Polgar claimed to have put more than one million people to sleep. No, he wasn’t a boring lecturer. He simply used the power of psychology and suggestion to get people to do what he wanted under the power of hypnosis.
And on this day in 1957, he came to campus to demonstrate his mystical powers.
Born in Hungary, Polgar first came to the U.S. in 1933 and started to tour the states showing what people could be willed to do under hypnosis. Such performers would become a staple on the college circuit and still continue to this day.
The Technician was quick to point out that students could take Polgar’s “medical” opinion with a grain of salt: “No medical man, the ‘Dr.’ representing doctors of psychology and doctor of economics acquired in his native Hungary, Polgar nevertheless is convinced hypnosis has many beneficial uses in medical science and is campaigning for its wider application in psychiatry and surgery.”
Rudolph “Rudy” Pate grew up on a tobacco farm in Robeson County, where he learned about the plowing, curing and harvesting of tobacco. He was active in the 4-H, serving as president of the Robeson County Council of 4-H Clubs and winning the county corn championship one year.
But as the valedictorian at Barker Ten Mile High School (so named because it sat halfway between the Barker Methodist Church and the Ten Mile Baptist Church), Pate wanted to write. He had covered the local beat for The Robesonian, the local newspaper in Lumberton, in addition to his farm duties and a part-time job at the Robeson County Cold Storage Company. Pate also knew he wanted to go to NC State, even though it didn’t have a journalism school to help him become a writer.
In the end, it didn’t matter. After graduating from NC State in 1943 with a degree in agricultural education, Pate was was able to combine his knack for storytelling with his love for NC State to become the man in charge of telling the university’s story. As the longtime head of the university’s Office of Information Services and then the university’s vice chancellor for foundations and university relations, Pate was known throughout North Carolina as the man who always had a good tale to tell about NC State and its people.
Pate, who served NC State for a total of 35 years, died Tuesday. He was 93.
“The biggest thrill in my work has been to see NCSU, in my lifetime, grow from a small land grant college to one of America’s 25 top public research universities — an amazing accomplishment,” Pate wrote after he retired from NC State in 1985.
A story in the Alumni Association’s magazine following his retirement described Pate as a “grinning Robeson County farm boy” who knew how to promote his beloved university with homespun stories. The story quoted an unnamed university benefactor talking about his experience with Pate: “I had some money in my pocket once. Got to missing it and thought someone had stolen it. Come to find out, Rudy had talked me out of it.”
But no matter how Pate was described, the story said, most people considered Pate a friend and treasured “the good humor that radiates from him like warmth from a cozy stove. And if, in the glow of a shared laugh, he begins to talk about the important contributions of North Carolina State University, most people find themselves persuaded.”
During his years as a student at NC State, Pate worked in the College News Bureau and wrote for the Technician and The Wataugan, a campus humor and literary magazine. During his senior year, Pate was editor of The Agriculturist, a magazine published by students in the School of Agriculture. He was a member of the YMCA Cabinet, the Student Government Council and Golden Chain, the university’s top honor society.
Upon graduation, Pate went to work as an agriculture teacher at his old high school. It wasn’t long, though, before he felt the pull back to NC State. Within a few months, Pate returned to work at the College News Bureau. A few years later, Pate returned home to Lumberton when The Robesonian offered him a job as city editor. Five months later, Chancellor John Harrelson traveled to Lumberton to convince Pate to come back to NC State, according to a 1952 story in The News & Observer naming Pate “Tar Heel of the Week.”
Pate would go on to serve 19 years as director of the State College News Bureau and 16 years as head of the university’s development and public relations efforts. Between those two periods, he served as associate director of the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta and as assistant to UNC President William Friday, a friend from their days as students at NC State.
Pate was well respected by reporters and editors throughout North Carolina, in part because of his willingness to deal with them on unfavorable stories about the university as well as those that told of the university’s accomplishments.
The “Tar Heel of the Week” story about Pate summarized his philosophy on negative stories: “The quicker you get them over with, the better. Get out all the truth as quickly as possible. That means fewer stories, and the story will die and be forgotten more quickly.”
But Pate loved to tell of the university’s many achievements, even if it required extra reading at home to make sure he understood the work being done in areas such as nuclear physics engineering. He would then write stories about NC State on his Royal typewriter (he employed the hunt-and-peck method with his two pointer fingers.).
Pate’s wife, Paige, also did her part to promote the university — even if it meant resorting to a bit of superstition. In 1967, The Raleigh Times told the story of a red-and-white herringbone skirt that she wore when NC State played Duke in football. The team won three straight years against Duke when Pate wore the lucky skirt. “I’m real happy State won Saturday, but I’m more inclined to think it was because of Earle Edwards and the boys and not my skirt,” she told the newspaper.
During his years at NC State, Pate chaired the committee that created the Watauga Medal and was a member of the committee that created the plans for creating the University of North Carolina Television Network. Private donations to the university and its foundations increased from $1.3 million a year to $6.8 million a year in 1984, according to an account at the time of his retirement.
Even in retirement, Pate continued to serve the university. He was a consultant in the construction of the Park Alumni Center, home of the Alumni Association, on Centennial Campus. His daughter, Mary Paige, and her husband, Bill Murray, are both graduates of NC State.
“NCSU provided ‘a window to the world’ for me, as a student, and opened up the doors for me,” Pate wrote upon his retirement. “With the help of many fine people (and especially Paige), I was able to walk through those doors and proceed to this point in my life. I will, therefore, always be indebted to the University for its guidance and inspiration and hope, in some minor manner, to be able to continue to assist it.”
Pate, who lived in Georgetown, S.C., is survived by his daughter, Mary Paige Murray, son-in-law, Bill Murray, of Georgetown, S.C., his granddaughter, Cameron Kelly, her husband, Chad Kelly, of Raleigh, and brother and sister-in-law, Eugene and Phyllis Pate of Lumberton, N.C.
The family will receive visitors at 1 p.m. Friday at Mitchell Funeral home, 7209 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. Interment will be at Raleigh Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Rudolph Pate Endowment, N.C. State Alumni Association, attn: Becky Bumgardner, Office of University Development, Campus Box 7501, Raleigh, N.C., 27695-7501 or Tidelands Hospice, 2591 N. Fraser St., Georgetown, S.C., 29440.
Throughout the early part of the 20th century, there were discussions of a consolidated education system being implemented in North Carolina. And those talks heated up in 1930 when then-governor O. Max Gardner proposed it.
Gardner, who graduated from NC State in 1903 , took office in 1929 and immediately asked the Brookings Institution to study the state’s government and to make suggestions that could lead to greater efficiency, according to Alice E. Reagan’s North Carolina State University: A Narrative History. And one of the recommendations submitted was a consolidation of UNC-Chapel Hill, the North Carolina College of Women (today, UNC-Greensboro) and the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering.
Many remained skeptical of such a system, even as a bill was passed in March of 1931 that called for a consolidation commission and for the boards of trustees at those three institutions to be replaced by one board.
“State alumni feared that the board would be controlled by ‘Carolina men’ to the detriment of the Raleigh institution,” Reagan writes.
The consolidated commission went right to work and formed a survey team of outside observers to help with their recommendations. And on this day in 1932, that team recommended that NC State College change to a junior college and that upper-level curriculum be moved to UNC-Chapel Hill.
Luckily, State College had the governor on its side. “Governor Gardner and several other members of the commission declared that this proposal was unfeasible and it was dropped, but State College supporters remained concerned,” Reagan writes. “Critics in Raleigh believed that the study committee, composed largely of Midwestern experts, failed to appreciate the historical development of education in North Carolina.”
Consolidation would continue to be a hot-button issue into the 1960s, when alumni protested the changing of NC State’s name to UNC-Raleigh.
For a leader who was NC State’s first female student body president, it’s a bit odd to hear Cathy Sterling say she can’t exactly remember why she got involved in student government. She said in an interview for NCSU Libraries’ Student Leadership Initiative, a project showcasing former Wolfpack student leaders, that she had never really been involved in student government and had always viewed it as nothing more than something North Carolina governors had on their résumés.
But then 1970 happened, and people wanted some change to the status quo on campus.
“It was a just a period of time when people were like, ‘We need a change,’ like that and ‘Why don’t you do that?’ and I’m like, well, okay,” Sterling said.
One of Sterling’s chief concerns was the administration’s use of student fees. She saw leaders directing money to programs like the Friends of the College concert series, but doing so without seeking any input from the students. So she felt compelled to make that a focus in her administration after she won as a write-in candidate in 1970.
But she would be confronted with push back to her historic election. “I was really naive about hostility,” she said in the interview. “I was raised in a religion that was very gentle and very loving and very positive, so it was like a bath in cold water to look at somebody and go, ‘But you don’t like me just because of the opinion I hold. I mean you really, really don’t like me. You’re really angry at me?’”
Sterling talked about how she dealt with such emotions in her interviews with the Student Leadership Initiative. She also talked about how she saw the student union’s mission transform and how she transferred to NC State after a disastrous freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill as a music major.
“I didn’t know music theory,” she said, “and I look back and I think who in the world thought this was a good idea? Someday, I’ll write it up because it was the classic freshman experience of everything going wrong.”