Student News Category
Brian Schuster, a Caldwell Fellow at NC State, has been nationally recognized as one of the New Faces of Engineering for his work in chemical engineering. The National Engineers Week Foundation gives the award through the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). “It feels good (to be recognized),” says Schuster. His list of accomplishments in the field of chemical engineering is lengthy.
In his four years at NC State, Schuster was vice president of industry relations for the AIChE chapter at NC State, an honors fellows liaison for the Quad Area Council, an event leader for the North Carolina Science Olympiad, committee chair to the Engineers’ Council at NC State and a recipient of the AIChE freshman recognition award. He also was a member of the University Honors Program.
Schuster will graduate later this month, but he is already in Michigan working as a processing engineer at American Process, a company that specializes in developing new technologies to create ethanol fuel that don’t compete with food supply. As if this wasn’t already an accomplished resume, Schuster is excited to begin graduate work at Stanford. “That’s more of a point of excitement for me these days,” he says.
Schuster is taking an online course to finish his degree at NC State. He will finish his undergraduate career with a degree in chemical engineering and a concentration in honors molecular science, he says. Schuster spent most of his undergraduate years doing research.
“I did research with several different professors,” he says. Schuster started his research career the summer before even beginning school at NC State through the RISE program, which teaches incoming freshman about undergraduate research in the sciences. “Then, I applied for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center research grant and got that,” says Schuster. “I did research on bacterium that converts plant materials into ethanol directly and published research on bioenergy research. I also researched enzyme effects on iron.”
In 2011, Schuster took an alternative spring break trip to Belize, a trip that focused on long-term development in that country. He also dedicated his three other spring break trips to Habitat for Humanity programs.
The Caldwell Fellows program is an intensive leadership-development scholarship program that was created by the Alumni Association to honor the legacy of Chancellor John T. Caldwell.
The Center for Student Leadership Ethics & Public Service at NC State sends students who love to serve out into the world on what are known as Alternative Service Breaks. Students can choose between fall, winter or spring break and between programs that feature different countries or more locally-focused service projects. The stories in this series are just a few of many students who will be going out and developing leadership and service skills over spring break, which begins Monday.
Chelsea Bowman, Belize
Chelsea Bowman in El Salvador last year
Chelsea Bowman is excited to motivate others this spring break and contribute to a healthier environment.
Bowman, a junior from Randleman, N.C., is a student co-leader on the CSLEPS spring break trip to Belize. Since June, she planned to travel with a group of fellow NC State students to focus on environmental and agricultural issues in the area near Punta Gorda.
Bowman and her team will be working throughout the week with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, or TCGA. The growers association is focused on creating a better life for its farmers through competition and ecologically-friendly practices.
“We’re working at the garden,” says Bowman. “So (the trip) focuses more on environmental issues.”
The team will also coordinate with the House of Chocolate, a museum that features the story of the Cacao plant. The Belize team might help build drying racks for the beans, but the garden will be the main focus, says Bowman.
The service trip will also have a lot of fun activities for the students.
“Through the week we just work with (the TCGA), have lunch in town and then on the weekends we have extra-curricular activities,” says Bowman. “That includes Mayan ruins and snorkeling, water falls. We only work Monday through Friday.”
Chelsea Bowman, right, working in El Salvador
This kind of volunteering is not new to Bowman. Last year, she spent her spring break and first time out of the country with another CSLEPS program in El Salvador. She laid foundations and poured concrete for houses with the Fuller Center for Housing program.
“I’ve always felt the need to do more activities, become a leader,” says Bowman. “I really enjoy service, I did in high school.”
Bowman, an education major, would like to let that love for service carry over after college. “I’d like to join the Peace Corps,” she says. “Just wherever they send me, the location doesn’t matter to me.”
Bowman became a leader because of all the love she has for volunteering. She hopes it inspires others on the trip. “My biggest hope is for my team members to become as inspired as I am to become involved with serving, here at NC State and carrying over what they learn to be a leader themselves,” says Bowman. “I hope they become leaders in service like I have. That’s what I really want; and to also make an impact with the TCGA.”
– Molly Green
NC State students in El Salvador
Come March 2013, the world of premium denim clothing will grow by one more brand. MeFiver – launched by alumni Carly Giammona ’04 and Veronica Tibbitts ’12 – will have all the qualities high-end shoppers look for when selecting premium denim, but with one important difference. It will be sustainably made.
“The standard process for making denim is one of the dirtiest processes in the textile industry. Indigo dyes – which color the material – naturally do not bond well to cotton fibers, so the process requires lots of water, chemicals and energy,” says Giammona. “We’ve created a proprietary process that uses reactive dyes instead of indigo.
“Beyond coloring, the process for distressing denim to give it character is extremely labor intensive and requires a series of washes, which causes considerable water waste and pollution,” she says. “We found a way to create those same vintage, distressed looks digitally using a fraction of the waste.”
Vaughn, Giammona, Tibbetts of MeFiver
MeFiver, says Tibbitts, has the ability to rejuvenate the American textile industry. The company has gained national attention by being recently named one of the top five most innovative start-ups in the world by Startup Open – a competition held as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week – and featured on CNBC.
“Sustainability is absolutely the future of the fashion industry. This is where we should be heading,” Tibbitts says. “It’s been hard for other longstanding companies to make the leap. They are deeply rooted in the processes they’ve used for so long. Going sustainable seems like too big of a change for them to make even though it needs to happen.”
Giammona began developing the process in 2009, while working for textile giant Cotton, Inc. With their blessing, she left to develop MeFiver, bringing on Tibbitts and University of South Carolina MBA graduate Alana Vaughn. The company officially launched in August, and the team has been hard at work developing five distinct collections to be available in stores come March.
The Archives collection will be for the traditionalist, while Anaglyphics – which will include 3D images on the denim – will be geared toward the more fashion-forward. The company will also offer an Executive collection that will include designs such as pinstripes and herringbone, ROYGBIV which highlights bold, beautiful colors, and a very unique Visual collection.
“The Visual line will truly highlight the digital technology we’re using. We’ll be able to inlay photorealistic prints on top of the jeans,” Giammona says. “This stuff has never been done before. Even our colored denim, a trend that is extremely popular right now, will be different from any other brand. Our dyes will allow us to develop colors that other companies can only dream of.”
The jeans, which will retail between $250-$350 per pair, will be sold at high-end clothing boutiques and eventually spread to other luxury retailers. MeFiver is setting up their office in downtown Durham, N.C., and the entire production process will take place within North Carolina. This commitment to local production recently earned them a $50,000 grant though NC IDEA, an organization dedicated to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina.
“Working in the textile industry, I was very aware of how dirty clothing manufacturing processes can be, and that needs to change,” Giammona says. “I want shoppers to consider their choices ecologically and change the way they purchase their denim. I hope MeFiver can ignite a paradigm shift across the fashion industry. That’s my dream.”
— Caroline Barnhill ‘05
Six years ago, the Alumni Association started placing student class rings in the Bell Tower the night before they were given out at the ring ceremony. That duty has always fallen to Thomas H. Stafford Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs, who would tuck the rings in at night in the historic landmark.
Today, students will experience a new twist on that already popular tradition.
For the first time ever, students receiving class rings at Sunday’s ring ceremony are invited to place the rings in the Bell Tower themselves. They can show up today at 4 p.m. at the Bell Tower’s base to receive their rings in the box — but remember, opening it and taking the ring out is bad luck — and listen as Stafford describes the significance of the tradition.
There are 330 students receiving rings, the most ever in a spring semester. On Sunday morning, the rings will be removed from the Bell Tower and taken to the Park Alumni Center for two afternoon ring ceremonies. One is at 2 p.m. and the other is at 4 p.m.
If you have any questions, please contact Meredith Craig, Alumni Association marketing coordinator, at (919) 515-0559, or by email at email@example.com.
Four graduating seniors have been selected to receive the Mathews Medal, the highest non-academic distinction awarded to students. The Mathews Medal is modeled after the Watauga Medal and is administered by the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program.
The award is named after Walter J. Mathews, the first student enrolled at the N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1889. It recognizes seniors who have made significant contributions based on leadership and service. The medals will be awarded at a ceremony April 22 at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center.
Here are this year’s recipients:
Sam Dennis of Jamestown, N.C. Dennis, a Caldwell Fellow, was president of the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program, where he helped organize pep rallies and other events. He served on the Student Government Traditions Commission and was co-editor of The Brick, an annual publication designed to give students more information about NC State traditions.
Alyse Flick of Raleigh. A pre-med student, Flick was president of the Pre-Med and Pre-Health Club. She provided meals to the homeless through Imagine No Hunger and raised money for and worked to build a home for Habitat for Humanity. She was awarded a grant to develop educational materials to help teach elementary children about skin cancer.
Lindsey Pullum of Wilmington, N.C. Pullum was the elections chair for Student Government. She founded the university’s first Arabic Club, and as a resident adviser, she organized educational and cultural programs for other students. At the Students Advocating for Youth Village, she mentored an elementary school student and a number of incoming freshmen.
Chandler Thompson of High Point, N.C. Thompson served as student body president. She was co-editor and creator of The Brick and a founding member of Kappa Delta sorority. She served on the NC State Board of Trustees.
– Sylvia Adcock ‘81
Two NC State students have been named as recipients of Udall Scholarships. The scholarships are designed to help students pursue careers related to the environment, and to help American Indian students pursue careers in tribal public policy or health care.
Brian Schuster (right), who is majoring in chemical engineering, is a Caldwell Fellow and a member of the University Honors Program. The Caldwell Fellows program is supported by the Alumni Association.
Gretchen Stokes, who is majoring in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, is a Park Scholar and a member of the University Scholars Program.
NC State has had a total of 12 Udall Scholars since the Udall Foundation was established in 1992 as an independent federal agency. It is rare for universities to have two Udall Scholars in a single year.
Four NC State students have been chosen to receive Goldwater Scholarships to help them pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. NC State was one of only four institutions (the others being the universities of Georgia, Kansas, and Nebraska) to have four recipients of the scholarships for sophomores and juniors.
One of the recipients, Brinda Monian, is a Caldwell Fellow, a program supported by the Alumni Association. Monian,who is majoring in chemical engineering and biochemistry, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering with an eye toward a career conducting medical research for applications such as biomaterials or tissue engineering. Monian is a member of the University Honors Program.
The other recipients from NC State are:
Richard Deans is a Park Scholar majoring in chemistry. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry and conduct research in organic synthesis with biomedical applications as a principle investigator at a research-intensive university. Deans is a member of the University Honors Program.
Ian Thomas Hill is a Park Scholar who is majoring in biochemistry and polymer & color chemistry. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry or molecular biology and conduct research and teach at the university level. Hill is a member of the University Scholars Program.
Heidi Klumpe is Park Scholar who is majoring in chemical engineering and English. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and conduct research in RNA engineering for therapeutics and teach at the university level. Klumpe is a member of the University Honors Program.
The one- and two-year Goldwater Scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986 in honor of U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater.
It’s been a big few weeks for NC State basketball, what with the team’s exciting run to the Sweet 16 and the news yesterday that the team finished in the top 20 in one end-of-the-season poll.
And then, of course, there was Staats Battle, a freshman walk-on from Raleigh who was the winner of an ESPN online contest to pick the “Coolest Name” among the players in the NCAA basketball tournament.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Battle, who had fun watching as thousands of people voted to keep advancing him through the online bracket. The news came Tuesday that Battle had won the championship match against Marquette’s Vander Blue.
“It’s amazing to think that that many people have seen my name out there,” Battle told us in an interview today. “Just from being a regular high school student last year, a walk-on not getting that much attention this year, and now everyone pretty much knows my name.”
Battle is named after his father, and says he has always enjoyed his distinctive name. But he says he could always count on teachers mispronouncing his name (it rhymes with dots) on the first day of school and that no one is able to spell it correctly. When he orders from Char-Grill, a popular take-out spot in Raleigh, Battle uses the name “Scott” to avoid the confusion of someone trying to read and call out his given name.
Battle says he first heard he was a contestant in ESPN’s “Coolest Name” contest from Twitter mentions and text messages. As a #6 seed, Battle didn’t like his chances in the tournament. “I thought I had a chance to win the first round and maybe the second, but no chance to get past the Sweet 16,” he says.
The competition got tougher once he got to the Sweet 16, where he had to face-off against Dakota Slaughter of Alabama (a #2 seed) for a likely match-up against Bak Bak of California (a #1 seed) to get to the Final Four. “I knew if I could just get past them, I had a chance,” Battle says.
Battle did what he could to help his cause, casting his own votes and making sure his teammates voted for him. He says he was ecstatic when he learned from ESPN that he had won, and that his teammates mobbed him when he told them about it in study hall. “They celebrated like we had won the Sweet 16,” he says.
Battle says there aren’t any perks for winning, other than a few additional greetings from students on campus. Battle wouldn’t mind if he gets his own cheering section at games next year.
How about getting athletics officials to change the front of the basketball jerseys, from STATE to STAATE? “That would be funny,” Battle says. “I might mention that to them.”
While the contest has been fun, Battle said it didn’t compare to the experience of State’s run in the actual tournament. “The Sweet 16 was definitely the highlight, to accomplish so much during the first year under Coach Gottfried,” he says.
And Battle is already looking forward to next year, hoping that ESPN will give him a chance to defend his title when NC State returns to the NCAA tournament.
“I hope I’m a number one seed next year,” he says, “instead of a number six seed.”
An old Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.” This summer, a group of NC State students will put that proverb to the test as they travel to Guatemala to teach business and marketing techniques to help a community launch a sustainable business.
Thestudents are part of Nourish International, an organization that reduces poverty through student action, and strives to make a stand against poverty in a tangible way. Since 2004, Nourish students have completed 45 international projects, which range from holding public health screenings in Guyana to creating gardens in Thailand.
This year, the NC State chapter is partnering with the University of Florida chapter to raise money for the trip. Their goal is $1,500, and the NC State chapter is already making a huge dent in it by selling pancakes on campus every Thursday night.
The fundraiser is called Pancakes for Poverty, and they sell pretty much any type of pancake you can imagine. Along with buttermilk, chocolate chip and M&M pancakes, they sometimes put bacon into the pancakes, which has been a huge hit.
The uniqueness of the organization is what inspired current chapter president, Nathan Sink, to take part. “I know we have a lot of socially conscious clubs, but we address it in a totally different way,” he says. “We are looking at ways to go to the root of the problem and then solve that.”
Students from both chapters will fly to Guatemala after exams are finished in May, and host workshops on business, marketing and administration. The group wants to connect the business with the global market. “We will be a liaison for them,” says Sink, a senior from Lexington, N.C.
Sink and other members of the chapter have been talking with local jewelry retailers about selling the community’s jewelry here in the United States. “We want to connect them with that so they can have a craft market and what they make will fill a want for handmade things here,” he says.
All of the money they raise through fundraising will go directly to the project. The students are in charge of funding their own personal expenses, including plane tickets, food and other necessities. Donations can be made to the UF and NC State group on their fundraising website.
One current student and one alumna will make their way to New York this week to present their research on women’s issues to the United Nations. The pair will represent WomenNC.org, a nonprofit organization that formed out of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Becca Bishopric ‘11 and Anuja Acharya, who will graduate in May with a degree in political science, were fellows the past year with WomenNC.org. They each spent time researching a topic dealing with rural women in North Carolina and wrote a paper on those findings.
This week, they will spend a few days attending U.N. workshops and seminars covering issues affecting rural women around the world. On Thursday, they will present their findings.
“In the past, there’s actually not a whole lot of youth going to this conference,” says Bishopric, who worked as a student at NC State to combat violence against women. “Part of what WomenNC is trying to do is to show that there can be young faces at these conferences. There are people who’ve been there who don’t necessarily have the same perspective as young people do in our world today.”
Bishopric, who has an interest in global public health, focused her research on human sex trafficking in North Carolina. She says research shows there are more slaves in the world today than ever recorded in human history and that the problem extends to North Carolina, where there are large proportions of homeless youth in rural counties.
It’s an issue, she says, that has gone ignored. “Nobody knows about it and nobody wants to talk about it,” she says. “But it really hit home to me that this is a huge problem.”
Acharya, who first gained an interest in politics in high school when she read George Orwell’s 1984, researched political involvement of North Carolina rural women. She interviewed several women who had served, who are serving or who had run for state office.
One common response was that those women said they didn’t necessarily have political role models. And it had never occurred to some to even run for public office until a specific issue, like education, personally affected them. “The had issues they held some connection to,” Acharya says. “They had a strong sense of purpose.”
Both women will be blogging about their experience this week for WomenNC.org. The organization selects four to five fellows each year who research issues the U.N. finds itself dealing with. Past issues have dealt with gender equality in Beijing, China, and women’s access to education, science and technology around the globe.