Extension and Outreach Category
Alumni from around North Carolina and the country are coming together this weekend to give back to their communities as part of National Wolfpack Service Day.
The projects range from working on Habitat for Humanity sites in Burlington, N.C., to helping clean up an abandoned duplex that is part of a redevelopment project in Minneapolis, Minn. Alumni in Pittsburgh, Pa., will be assembling boxes of school supplies for more than 7,500 school children, while alumni in Washington, D.C., will help staff a Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“Last year our group worked at a water station at a charity race, and it proved to be a great way to get people together in a relaxed atmosphere,” says Jennifer Upchurch Bradley, an alumni network leader in Washington, D.C. “We all know State fans make great cheerleaders, and last year the DC Alumni group had a great time cheering on runners during the Boo! Run for Life event on National Wolfpack Service Day in 2012.”
Closer to campus, the Wake County alumni network has already had its first Service Day event. Volunteers showed up last Saturday to help with SONshine in the Park, a ministry providing meals to those in need. The network is still looking for volunteers for some gardening work at Hemlock Bluff Nature Preserve this Saturday.
Thank you to all alumni and friends who take part in National Wolfpack Service Day. Go Pack!
The Wake County alumni network is taking its volunteer spirit to the bank on Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to noon, when it will volunteer at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Adam Compton, the Wake County alumni network leader, says anyone is welcome to participate.
“It’s open to alumni, non-alumni, their spouses and children, anyone who is a Wolfpack fan, we’d love to have them out,” says Compton.
It’s the first time the Wake County network has volunteered at the food bank, Compton says, but the network’s members have been involved in other volunteer efforts in the past, such as their work on National Wolfpack Service Day.
Compton salutes the Wake County network’s degree of engagement. “One of the things that we’ve been trying to do is increase our community service,” he says. “[NC State] students are constantly doing community service but, when they graduate, it’s a little hard to find opportunities.”
The food bank event serves as a great way for people to interact with and meet fellow alumni, Compton says. It’s also a way for the food bank to impact the community.
“I volunteered personally and everyone always seems to have a good time,” Compton says. “It resonates in our community to see the Food Bank and learn about the work that they’re doing.”
Nashville is one of the South’s most famous cities, sitting proud atop its rich cultural and music history. Most probably know that it’s the birthplace of country music and a vibrant sports town. But when we caught up with some of our Music City-based NC State alums to serve as guides for those heading to the city for the Music City Bowl matchup between NC State and Vanderbilt, we found out that Nashville is also home to the best restroom in America.
Luanne Price Howard
That’s the honor which Luanne Price Howard ’83 says was given in 2008 to the men’s room at The Oak Bar in the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville. Price Howard, a freelance graphic designer, says the Oak Bar is one of the best places in town to get a drink and unwind.
But, she says, any visitor should focus on food. And in Nashville, she says, that means getting used to “meat and three” restaurants, where a patron gets a choice of one meat and three sides. Arnold’s, located on 8th Avenue South, is one of the best in the city, Price Howard says, and the owner, Jack Arnold, is from North Carolina.
When it comes to something more unusual, Price Howard says to stop by Las Paletas, made famous by their gourmet Mexican popsicles. “Keith [Urban] and Nicole [Kidman] are rumored to go there when they want to celebrate,” she says.
Ben Schmidt ’04, a researcher in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at Vanderbilt University, says there are other great choices for eating downtown, like Rotier’s on Elliston near Centennial Park. He says if you want burgers, check out Gabby’s Burgers and Fries and The Pharmacy Burger Parlor.
But, Schmidt says, it’s music that visitors will end up wanting to devour.
“I think visitors should just spend some time wandering through downtown and experiencing all of the music options,” he says. “There are great live country, rock, and blues bands all within a few blocks, and it’s easy to spend the day passing in and out of places. ”
Schmidt is particularly fond of The Station Inn, a bluegrass venue near downtown around 12th Avenue South and Division Street. “Last time I was there, an 11-year-old violinist performed solo and got a standing ovation from the crowd,” he says.
Brock Slagle with Scotty McCreery.
Brock Slagle ’98, one of the owners of BlueSky Filmworks in Nashville, says visitors should not miss out on Nashville’s old standards, like the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry House and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
But he says the best thing about Nashville is the feel of it. “I have been here 13 years and am still discovering new things about the city,” he says. “You can feel the creative juices flowing all the time, and it is obvious by the amazing things that Nashville produces.”
Price Howard, Schmidt and Slagle all plan to be at the Music City Bowl, and all feel good about the chances for a Wolfpack win.
“There is no doubt in my mind that I will be rooting for the Wolfpack!” Schmidt says. “Black and gold [Vanderbilt's colors] reminds me too much of Wake Forest, and I’ve been against them for years. Even though Vandy trounced Tennessee, who we struggled early with in the year, I expect State to put up a strong showing and win by a touchdown.
Students and alumni across the nation will unite this weekend to participate in service projects on National Wolfpack Service Day. Several alumni networks are participating in service events with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, local food banks and schools. The volunteers from the Orlando alumni network will be spending their day in the alligator habitat at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Mary Jevitt, '79, is one of the co-leaders for the Orlando alumni network
Mary Jevitt, ‘79, is one of the co-leaders for the Orlando network and came up with a different sort of service opportunity after collaborating with the business director at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
“We met at a leadership class and both discovered we were connected to NC State,” Jevitt says. “With her help, our network was able to come up with a unique service event that families could participate in together.”
Jevitt moved to Florida eleven years ago, and has been a member of the alumni network in Orlando for nearly nine years. Saturday’s project will be the first service event for the network.
“We really want to reach out to the greater Orlando alumni,” Jevitt says. “We hope that after this event we can start participating in more service events together.”
On Saturday morning, the two American alligators will be removed from the exhibit and volunteers will engage in light manual labor such as cleaning, digging, cutting and removing plants that are overgrown.
The American alligator is native to the southeastern United States and typically lives in habitats like freshwater lakes, swamps and marshes. In the wild, the alligators live in dens in rivers and spend time sitting in the sun. Like all zoos, the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens has an exhibit that imitates the American alligators’ natural environment. Those conditions have contributed to the overgrowth.
“Everything grows so fast in Florida and I think the zoo has been having trouble keeping up with the maintenance of the exhibit,” Jevitt says. “With our help, we will clean the habitat and the alligators will be more visible to the zoo visitors.”
After the service project, the group will enjoy lunch at the zoo pavilion and spend the afternoon at the zoo. The volunteers will get lunch and free admission to the zoo.
“I think National Wolfpack Service Day is a great idea and wish they had something like this when I was an undergraduate,” Jevitt says. “There is no lack of agencies or non-profit organizations in the area that need our help and we are excited to help.”
Alumni in Seattle and Portland will be among wolves this Saturday, both figuratively and literally. They will gather to volunteer at Wolf Haven International for National Wolfpack Service Day, an annual event that allows alumni networks to engage in service projects in their communities.
Wolf Haven International is a nonprofit organization located in Tenino, Wash. Its mission is to aid in and promote wolf conservation, and it has served as a sanctuary to protect wolves and their habitats since 1982.
Wolf Haven International rescues displaced, captive-born wolves and is currently the home to 51 wolves, including gray wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, red wolves and Mexican gray wolves.
Ryan Hester ’02, leader and one of the founders of the Pacific Northwest alumni network, moved to Seattle after graduation and quickly became homesick, with the absence of Wolfpack fans in the area. After finding out there are more than 900 NC State alumni in the Seattle area, he helped form the alumni network in November 2011.
For the last year, members of the Pacific Northwest alumni network have had several social mixers, networking events and game-viewing parties. But Saturday will mark their first service project. More than 20 people are expected to attend as the alumni will work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. pulling weeds, painting and cleaning up the grounds at the sanctuary.
Hester learned about Wolf Haven International while attending an auction on its campus with his wife. Soon after, he began thinking about volunteering at the wolf sanctuary with the alumni network.
In February, a Wolf Haven wolf was featured as the "Photo of the Day" in National Geographic
“I felt that a service day on Wolf Haven’s campus would be a great way to show our Wolfpack pride in the Pacific Northwest,” Hester says. “Volunteering at a wolf sanctuary is so uniquely NC State.”
The Pacific Northwest alumni network’s National Wolfpack Service Day project was selected as the “Most Unique” service day event out of all the national alumni chapters at NC State. As a way to award the network, a local Starbucks will donate hot coffee and the Alumni Association will provide lunch for all volunteers.
Ellen Richardson ’01,’10, the director of outreach with the NC State Alumni Association, will help with the service project and eat lunch with the alumni afterward. A special group photo opportunity is also planned.
Cody, one of the two coyotes living at Wolf Haven International
During his time as an undergraduate, Hester participated in Service Raleigh events and personally organized programs that benefited local organizations and inner-city community programs while he was a resident advisor. Today, Hester believes National Wolfpack Service Day is a benefit for all NC State alumni.
“National Wolfpack Service Day is a valuable opportunity to support our local community while showing our support and love for NC State no matter how far from Raleigh we live,” Hester says.
Members of the Wolfpack community will come together this Friday to raise 1,250 pints of blood to commemorate NC State’s 125th anniversary at the third annual Service NC State blood drive.
Service NC State is hosted by the Center for Student Leadership Ethics and Public Service (CSLEPS) and has been a part of the Week of Welcome lineup since 2003. The service event was originally introduced as a way to show incoming students NC State’s passion for giving and volunteering in the local and national community.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Carmichael Gymnasium on main campus.
Melissa Green, the assistant director of CSLEPS and Service NC State blood drive coordinator, believes the Service NC State tradition is a way to show people in the community that service is a priority at NC State.
“From the beginning, our commitment as a land-grant institution has been to serve the people of North Carolina,” Green says. “With this blood drive, in partnership with the American Red Cross, we have the opportunity to serve those even beyond the borders of North Carolina.”
Last year, NC State hoped to receive 1,000 pints of blood, and expectations were exceeded with a grand total of 1,032 pints collected. If the CSLEPS blood drive meets its goal and collects 1,250 pints of blood by the end of the event, it will be the largest one-day drive in the state of North Carolina. And it could leave a national mark, too.
“If (and when) we reach our 1,250-unit goal, we will be one of the largest drives in the United States,” Green says. “Each unit donated has the potential to save three lives, and collecting 1,250 pints will impact the lives of 3,750 people.”
There are currently 1,100 scheduled appointments for the blood drive, and the number of appointments has increased as students have started classes today on campus. Approximately 30 appointments will be processed every 15 minutes.
“Service NC State goes to show the strength of the NC State community when we all unite to accomplish a goal,” Green says.
Chancellor Randy Woodson is traveling to South Carolina today to meet with alumni in the Greenville/Spartanburg area. It is Woodson’s first chance to visit the area since becoming chancellor.
About 100 alumni and friends are expected to join Woodson and Benny Suggs, executive director of the Alumni Association, for an evening reception sponsored by Fluor, an engineering firm in the area.
Woodson will talk to the group about the latest news from campus, as well as his vision for NC State’s future. There may even be some talk about the new specialized NC State license plate that is now available from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
More than 100 NC State alumni, friends and prospective students gathered along the North Carolina coast last night to visit with Chancellor Randy Woodson.
Woodson is visiting Dare and Beaufort counties this week to meet with NC State alumni and local business leaders and talk about ways that NC State can and does help boost the local economy. Woodson also took time Thursday evening to meet with some local high school students who are considering going to college at NC State.
Bobby Purcell, executive director of the Wolfpack Club, and Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering, joined Woodson Thursday evening for a reception at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.
Woodson is continuing his visit today with a trip through Beaufort County, ending with an oyster roast with area alumni at the home of Lalla and Forest Sidbury. Lalla Sidbury is a member of the Alumni Association’s board of directors.
Chancellor Randy Woodson is visiting Beaufort and Dare counties in eastern North Carolina today and Friday to talk with alumni and business leaders about ways that NC State bolsters the economy of the area and possible partnerships for the future.
The trip, arranged by the Alumni Association, will include visits to the Coastal Studies Institute in Manteo, the PCS Phosphate mining facility in Aurora and the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington.
The trip will culminate in an Alumni Oyster Roast at the home of Lalla and Forest Sidbury in Beaufort County. The local alumni network had the greatest percentage increase in members among Alumni Association networks last year.
Woodson will spend his time today exploring Dare County, starting with a luncheon meeting with local Chamber of Commerce members at Pamlico Jack’s restaurant in Nags Head. The day will end with an alumni reception at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.
Bob Woody, a 1967 NC State grad, is owner of the White Doe Inn in Manteo where Woodson will stay tonight. Woody spent time on Wednesday decorating the inn with NC State banners and memorabilia. “We’re pretty much dyed-in-the-wool NC State fans here at the Inn,” Woody says.
Woody says it is important for the chancellor at NC State to be familiar with what’s going on throughout the state, but said that people in Dare County are particularly proud about some of the ways NC State has helped the economy there. Some of the more familiar connections are in well-known industries such as commercial fishing, but Woody says many don’t realize that the College of Design has helped develop long-range plans for the town of Manteo.
“Tourism is a big economic driver down here, so I’m sure that the folks who are going to show him around are going to be make sure he becomes familiar with how we approach the tourism economy,” Woody says.
On Friday, Woodson will visit Beaufort County. Lentz Stowe, a 1983 NC State grad and director of the Small Business Center at Beaufort County Community College, says it means a lot to a small county to get a visit from the chancellor of the state’s largest university.
“From an economic development standpoint, that excites folks,” Stowe says. “Being from a rural setting like this, we need all the help we can get.”
Mary Pat and Jenna visit with a friend.
Mary Pat Bulfin, a Caldwell Fellow, had just returned from a LeaderShape conference sponsored by NC State’s CSLEPS (Center for Student Leadership Ethics & Public Service). She was looking for a way to translate what she had learned into a service opportunity. She had learned that the key to leadership is forming relationships. It’s about having people around you that you share a common experience with.
So she married that goal with the love she had for Jenna, a Sheltie Shepherd mix she had rescued from an animal shelter in 2005. The result is Pawssibilities, a new student organization on campus focused on outreach. Bulfin started it with three other friends, and right now the group has about 15 members who work with their dogs and with trainers, preparing them to go into hospitals and assisted-living facilities to visit with people.
“The whole goal of Pawssibilities is to empower students to let their love of animals be a catalyst to reach out to isolated communities in society,” Bulfin says.
The organization holds bi-weekly meetings, and Bulfin says NC State has been good about letting members bring their dogs to its facilities. She is especially appreciative to Chris Ashwell, associate professor in poultry genomics, who serves as faculty adviser, helping Pawssibilities solidify speakers to come in and talk about animal-assisted therapy. Speakers will either come help the dog owners train or speak about experiences they’ve had reaching out to those in need of love and contact.
More members of Pawssibilities donate time.
You have to be nationally registered with the Delta Society, a national nonprofit dedicated to animal-assisted therapy, in order to participate in the therapy in these facilities. It’s a process that is quite intense with both a performance exam with the handler and pet and then a written exam for the handler. When they actually go into a hospital or nursing home, the handlers and their dogs interact in different ways, always getting a feel for whatever is needed. It might be some tricks in the form of canine freestyle that Bulfin and Jenna do. Or it may just be sitting still and letting their dogs be petted.
Forging these new relationships with hospital patients or elderly people is a natural extension from Bulfin’s time at NC State. “What the Caldwell Fellows program has brought me is tremendous relationships and has helped me understand leadership is about relationships,” she says. “That whole concept of bringing diverse people together is what the Caldwell Fellows are about. And that’s the core value of Pawssibilities.”