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Extraordinary Students, Faculty and Staff

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As a top-tier research university, one of the many outstanding opportunities that NC State offers students is the ability to engage in hands-on research throughout their academic careers.

The many examples of exciting discovery happening across campus every day is one of the key reasons we are the “Think and Do” university. For instance, the undergraduate students in Alice Lee’s Microbiology 360 course recently tested soil to see if they could isolate microbes to produce antibiotics, and then educated others about the problem of antibiotic resistance. They captured their research and its impact in “Crowdsourcing Antibiotics,” which won first place in the CDC and Small World Initiative’s “Do Something about Antibiotics Challenge.”

I am also pleased to share that Christopher Cooper, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and economics, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Churchill Scholarship. His current research looks at ways to create soft electronic devices, such as liquid-metal fibers, that can be used as sensors. This is the second consecutive year NC State has had Churchill scholar.

Research doesn’t need to win awards to have significant impact, though.  Lisa Johnson, a PhD student, is researching farm-level food losses and working to reduce them. She found that at least 20.2 million pounds of edible crops in United States are wasted ever year, and she’s collaborating with the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering to create a low-tech harvest aid to help farmers retrieve the last portion of produce out of their fields. This has a real impact for family-owned farms, the larger agricultural industry, and the grand challenge of food insecurity.

Academic discovery such as this would not be possible without exceptional faculty dedicated to scholarship, teaching and outreach. Our faculty’s work is far-ranging. Mary Haskett is conducting life-changing research on the mental health needs of children experiencing homelessness. Across campus, Afsaneh Rabiei is working on composite metal foams that can shield against X-rays, gamma rays and neutron radiation – and turn bullets into dust.

Our faculty’s work is recognized nationally and internationally. Jay Narayan and Paul Turinsky will be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering on October 8, 2017, bringing NC State’s membership in the National Academies to twenty-five. Three College of Engineering faculty members are being named fellows by the National Academy of Inventors and will be inducted on April 6, 2017: B. Jayant Baliga, Ruben Carbonell, and Frances S. Ligler. NC State now has seven current NAI Fellows. Jere Confrey has been named a 2017 American Educational Research Association Fellow, and she is the first faculty member at NC State to receive this honor. Rodolphe Barrangou will receive the 2017 National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology for his work in genome engineering. We are so proud of these accomplishments, and there are so many more I could mention. We truly have a wealth of resources in our faculty and their groundbreaking research.

Our outstanding students, faculty and staff enable NC State to Think and Do the Extraordinary. I hope, like me, you are proud to be part of this great university community – one that daily makes our region, our state, and our world a better place.

Thank you,

Randy Woodson