The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (PAMS) was very much in the computer age in mid-1988, housing NC State’s computer science department.
But that all changed on this day 26 years ago, when the department moved from PAMS to the College of Engineering.
The change did not affect incoming freshmen that year, nor did it bring any immediate change to the computer science curriculum and degree requirements. It did, however, shift the responsibility of signing off on diplomas from the PAMS’ dean to the College of Engineering’s dean.
According to the Technician, the move was an outgrowth of a movement in the computer science department. “During the departmental vote last spring, the CSC faculty ranked their preference for reorganization among several alternatives,” the paper reported. “As their first choice, 17 voted to move to the College of Engineering as an autonomous unit, while eight voted to transfer to the College of Engineering and merge with computer engineering…. Four voted to remain in PAMS.”
The faculty members felt they already were working more closely with their colleagues in the College of Engineering and that their new home might hold more resources, according to the Technician.
NC State’s computer science department still calls the College of Engineering home, and PAMS became a part of the newly formed College of Sciences in July 2013.
Emerson Fullwood says that he has been part of two revolutions in his lifetime.
The first came in 1966, when Fullwood entered NC State as one of the first African-American men to attend the recently integrated university. The second came years later but was also transformative.
“It was a great time to be at NC State because we had a chance to lend our voices to civil rights, but also to all of the other changes that were happening, such as the Vietnam War, ending apartheid in South Africa and the fight for individual freedoms for everyone,” the Wilmington native says.
Fullwood was recently honored for his contributions to civil rights by the Countywide CDC Committee on the Humanities and the Arts, a nonprofit organization that sponsored an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
He remembers joining friends to picket pizza parlors and taverns along Hillsborough Street for the right to have a meal. They succeeded. But what Fullwood is quick to emphasize is the way that NC State supported integration and fulfilled his goal to attend one of “the best universities” that he could find.
“I was looking for an exceptional education, which of course I did get at the university,” says Fullwood, who graduated in 1970 with an economics degree from the Poole College of Management. “On the academic side, it was an incredible experience, and it was so incredible because outside of the classroom was so extraordinary during the 1960s.”
After graduating, Fullwood went on to receive an MBA from Columbia University and then landed the job where he spent his entire career – at Xerox, the Fortune 500 corporation that has been providing printers and other document management tools to businesses worldwide for more than 100 years.
He started in sales and quickly moved into the executive ranks, eventually working in offices in Europe, Asia and Latin America. When he retired in 2008, Fullwood was executive chief staff of developing markets operations for the company.
He says being at Xerox allowed him to witness the second revolution – the rapid growth of modern technology and its effect on every aspect of society today.
“I got to be a big, big part of a global, iconic company that literally changed the way business was done around the world,” said Fullwood. “When I was in school, we could not have had a discussion on mobile devices. We did not have computers and iPads in front of us. I was able to be a huge part of a place that revolutionized communications and brought technology to the forefront.”
Growing up in Nebraska, Kelley Dennings loved the outdoors, was reading Greenpeace magazine in the sixth grade and started her high school’s first environmental club. Still, the self-professed tree-hugger says she “didn’t know a lick about trees.”
But today, she can tell her longleaf pine from her oak – and she’s teaching others, too. Dennings is director of behavior change strategies at the American Forest Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that helps woodland owners learn how to take better care of their forestlands.
It’s an important step in environmental protection and sustainability. More than one-third of America’s forests are privately owned, but Dennings says many landowners don’t realize that their property needs maintenance to stay healthy.
It’s not always easy to convince them, either. Most of the targeted audience are 60 to 80-year-olds who inherited their woodlands from family members. Some of them are distrustful of the unknown and confused by the various entities and options that are available to them.
“We have worked really hard to create the right message, in the right tone,” said Dennings, who graduated from NC State in 1998 with a degree in natural resources. “Somebody might not want to manage for timber, but they might want to manage for wildlife and don’t necessarily understand that those two can be complementary.”
Together with state forest services and other agencies nationwide, Dennings coordinates campaigns that will encourage forest owners to become engaged in state-specific projects to protect their land. In New England, that means explaining about the benefits of conservation easements. In the West, the priority is encouraging forest thinning to prevent catastrophic wildfires.
Identifying the landowner is a tedious process that comes from poring over tax rolls and weeding out property owners who aren’t viable prospects, such as farmers. Then the AAF turns to a direct mail campaign, sending multiple letters to woodland owners to encourage them to learn more about what they can do to protect their forests. Those that reply can get a free handbook with information about what can be done or request that a forester come to walk the land and offer suggestions.
Dennings says the good news is that woodland owners usually can pick what interests them, such as attracting wildlife to their land, hunting, species restoration, conservation or timber production.
But those same landowners may not reap the benefits of the efforts they make for decades, which makes engagement a harder sell.
“We’re asking people to do things they wouldn’t necessarily think of, so it’s out of their comfort zone,” said Dennings. “We have to engage with these landowners for years and years and years to get to our desired outcome.”
NC State magazine profiled the university’s efforts in regenerative medicine in the summer issue, which should be in mailboxes soon.
But it turns out there’s a Wolfpacker also stressing regenerative efforts at the Naval Medical Research Center that could become standard practice across the globe.
The center, located in Silver Spring, Md., focuses on solving battlefield medical problems, studying infectious diseases, and understanding health problems associated with non-conventional weapons.
Capt. John W. Sanders III
And Capt. John W. Sanders III, who graduated from NC State in 1987 and is the center’s commanding officer, believes investments in regenerative medicine research will help to develop better ways to help tissue heal after traumatic blast injuries.
“This is a level of trauma that historically people did not survive,” says Sanders, who adds that today’s resusciative techniques help produce a 98 percent chance of surviving for those who suffer the injuries.
The Naval Medical Research Center is working to develop tests that can help doctors judge how well a particular wound is likely to heal and which strategies would be best to promote healing, such as adding anti-inflammatory therapies or transplanted cells. When soldiers are evacuated from Afghanistan or Iraq, any tissue removed from blast wounds is collected and analyzed in detail—the cell types and body chemicals that are present and in what amounts. The resulting database will help researchers discover which chemicals or cells are most important in healing these devastating wounds.
The center also works to improve prosthetic limbs, in collaboration with regenerative medicine pioneer Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where researchers are developing ways to prepare prosthetics so human skin will bond to better and prevent infection.
Sanders, whose expertise is in tropical medicine, says that NC State’s new investments in regenerative medicine are wise.
“Regenerative medicine is part of the evolution of our medical care, both for soldiers and sailors injured in battle and for civilians who may suffer a blast injury,” he says. “Like so many other examples of military technique, we expect techniques developed to take care of combat injuries will ultimately end up being used in other areas of medical care, from cancer to reproduction.”
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.
It had been four years since Jim Valvano had led NC State to the ’83 national championship in basketball, but his name and coaching prowess still resonated, stretching even as far north as New York City.
Valvano had spent the summer months during 1987 flirting with the NBA, specifically with the New York Knicks. He was one of five candidates, along with University of Kansas Head Coach Larry Brown and Providence College Head Coach Rick Pitino, that the Knicks were reportedly considering making their head coach, according to the Technician.
But it was on this day 27 years ago that Valvano closed the door on the New York courtship and pledged to stay with the Wolfpack.
Illustration courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
“At this time, I would like to state that I am definitely remaining at NC State University,” Valvano announced. “My family and I are extremely happy at NC State, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. I have the utmost respect for the New York Knicks and their management. I will always remain a Knicks fan, and I wish them the best of luck.”
The New York native admitted he had met with the Knicks but had never been formally offered a job.
“I love NC State. I’m excited about the future — of what we can become,” he said.
The Knicks eventually hired Pitino, now the head coach of ACC foe Louisville.
Mital Patel always knew he wanted to pursue a career in technology. But the 2005 computer science graduate didn’t know that idea would lead him to a different field of study.
Patel helps local businesses from the ground up at his boutique business law firm in Raleigh. He says he first gained an interest in law while he was on an Alternative Service Break trip to Ecuador during his time at NC State.
“We were doing a reflection on the trip, and I realized I wanted to do something to help other people,” Patel says.
Patel, 30, decided that that “something” was to help small businesses with legal advice, so he attended Elon University School of Law, where he graduated in 2009. Shortly after graduating, he started his law firm, Triangle Business Law, in Raleigh.
Patel jokes that he didn’t want to be too far away from NC State football and basketball. But his main reason for not straying was the technology and startup business he saw growing in Raleigh.
That caused him to want to get involved with the entrepreneurship side of business law. “We always want to be entrepreneurial with the law firm itself,” Patel says. “Providing legal services to growing companies is very different than dealing with companies that aren’t entrepreneurial.”
Some of the areas which Triangle Business Law focuses on are contract review and negotiation, incorporation, and intellectual property law. Having a background in technology has been extremely helpful for Patel when it comes to his clients who are technology or software companies because it allows him to fully understand what they are trying to do with their business.
“We really try to provide the full spectrum for the small companies that just got started yesterday to clients we have that are multinational corporations and have offices all across the world,” Patel says.
Business law is not the only way that Patel is involved in entrepreurship. He is also a leader in Startup North Carolina and many Startup Weekends, seminars that can help new businesses grow, throughout the state. He has traveled all over the world to present at entrepreneurship workshops and even presented on entrepreneurship at the White House in 2013.
“We learned a lot about the way the rest of the world is approaching entrepreneurship,” Patel says, “and we learned a lot of unique points that we took back with us to North Carolina to apply those principles at home and make the best community we can.”
Jeremy Burleson. Photograph by Lauren Carroll.
Like a number of alumni NC State sends into the sport of NASCAR, Jeremy Burleson came to college thinking he wanted to be an engineer. But he soon discovered that a career in electrical engineering didn’t allow him to apply his skill set as a people person as much as he’d like.
So he made a turn and got a business degree, a move that paved a different path for him to take into motor sports.
Burleson now works at Richard Childress Racing, one of NASCAR’s longstanding teams, as managing director of partnership marketing and communications. (RCR is, in fact, full of Wolfpack alumni — Scott Frye as its chief financial officer, Mike Brown as its vice president of licensing, and Luke Lambert as crew chief for driver Jeff Burton.)
And though Burleson does not work on making Burton’s car go faster, the sponsorships he deals with are critical to making the car go. “We can’t do our jobs from the business communications side of things without competition doing well on the rae track,” he says, “and competition can’t do what they do without having the monetary support. It’s really a bit of a revolving cycle.”
RCR has more than 40 sponsors, whose money makes it possible for the race cars to be designed, built, transported and raced for 38 races during a NASCAR season. Burleson is responsible for how the sponsors, like Caterpillar and Cherrios, are presented at the race and on the car.
And he’s always looking for new sponsors, which has become more challenging in the current economy. “These days, more often than not, it’s how do we get more for less,” Burleson says. “Rarely do you have a primary sponsor that is going to pick up an entire race season.”
But it’s a challenge that Burleson welcomes because it enables him to use his personality to keep those sponsors happy on race weekends. The key is to expose the people who represent the sponsors to something they’ll never experience in a sport like football, where a fan can’t stand in the huddle and listen to a team talk before it runs a play.
“The access in our sport is second to none,” he says. “[In NASCAR] you’re literally taking a picture with a driver before he gets into the car. You’re literally down with the crew. You’re within arm’s reach of the crew chief. You’re wearing a headset. You’re listening them to call the plays.”
In the summer issue, NC State magazine profiles the jobs of Wolfpack alumni finding success in NASCAR, the professional stock car circuit, as engineers. Be sure to check out how they use the latest technology to find faster speed for their drivers on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Abe Harman.
The NC State men’s rugby club team took on UNC’s club team a couple of weeks ago in what was supposed to be another close affair in what’s been a fairly even rivalry.
But the contest ended up being something so much more. First off, the Wolfpackers beat the Tar Heels in historic fashion, downing them, 100-0. “It’s usually not like that,” says Abe Harman, NC State’s club president. “All credit to Carolina. They usually have a competitive side.”
And on top of hitting the century mark and securing a shutout, the club team saw in that game the culmination of its efforts to grow the last couple of years. Three years ago, the club team was competing against smaller club teams, like Duke and East Carolina, on the Division II level. But they finished eighth in the nation in 2010 and qualified to movie up to Division I. The Carolina game was validation that they now belong.
“We’ve been building as a club the last couple of years,” Harmon says. “We’re starting to get really competitive at the Division I level now.”
Photo courtesy of Kyle O'Donnell.
NC State’s club rugby team has been building for a while, in fact. Dating back to 1965, they are one of the oldest teams in NC State’s club sports program, which is housed under University Recreation and welcomes student, faculty and staff from across campus to participate. Having such a rich heritage is very profitable for the current team. “We have a really big group of alumni,” Harman says. “We have a great index. They help us out as far as funding travel.”
Harman says several of the club’s alumni are still in the area, having gone on to play for the rugby club the Raleigh Vipers. One of those alumni, Jim Latham, serves as NC State’s club team’s head coach. While filling that slot was easy, Harman also says that its recruiting players that sometimes presents its challenges.
Photo courtesy of Kyle O'Donnell.
“We’ll get good athletes [coming] out,” he says. “They’re not rugby guys. They’re football guys and soccer guys. So that first year they play, there’s a lot of them getting the intricacies of the game.”
Currently, the team has its sights set on the Collegiate Rugby Championship that will be held in Philadelphia in June. And it’s the first collegiate rugby championship in the United States to be covered on television. It will air on NBC Sports.
Harman says it’s just another example of how far the club team has come. “We’re at a unique position where a lot of those things are coming to head,” he says.
For more on club sports at NC State, check out the Spring 2013 issue of NC State magazine. We profiled the rich program at the university and featured different club sports teams, some of which are the most successful and the best-kept secrets on campus.
There was a time on NC State’s campus when basketball was an afterthought. In fact, until 1911, there was no thought given to the sport that came to define so much of Wolfpack athletics’ history, according to Bill Beezley, author of The Wolfpack: Intercollegiate Athletics at North Carolina State University.
“Until then, the student newspaper reported, athletics hibernated for the winter between football and baseball seasons,” Beezley writes. “Even with an intercollegiate team, student interest in basketball grew slowly. A&M had no gymnasium on campus. Besides, many students, especially athletes, thought it was a ‘sissy’ game.”
But a sea change started to take place on this day in 1911, when A&M traveled to Wake Forest to play its first intercollegiate basketball game. “The Farmers lost 33-6, but the concensus [sic] was that the A&M squad had played well considering they had no coach and no regular practice gym,” Beezley writes.
The 1910-11 N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts basketball team.
Five days later, the Farmers welcomed the Wake Forest Baptists to play the first intercollegiate basketball game ever played in Raleigh, according to Beezley. The teams played in Pullen Hall auditorium, whose floor was in slippery shape after hosting a student dance the prior evening.
That night marked the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts’ first win in basketball, with the team edging Wake, 19-18.