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As Go the Tropics ...

Alumna Sandra Harding (Ph.D., Sociology ’94) asks a deceptively simple question: “Is life in the Tropics getting better?” But don’t be fooled by the simplicity of that question: her quest for the answer, and her leadership as an economic sociologist, stand to change the world. Harding, vice chancellor and president of Australia’s James Cook University, chairs the State of the Tropics, a first-of-its-kind partnership with 12 research institutions around the globe.


Where Diplomats Are Concerned

Gentry Smith (Political Science ’83) speaks Arabic and has lived in Japan, Egypt and Burma — a long way from his hometown in Halifax County in eastern North Carolina, where both his parents were schoolteachers. Meet the director of the Office of Foreign Missions at the State Department.


Congrats, #NCState15!

Our alumni numbers swelled on May 9, when 950 NC State students earned their undergraduate or graduate degree in Humanities and Social Sciences. Dean Jeff Braden shares his pride in them, and his hopes for them.


Poet's First Book of Verse Wins Prize

NC State MFA alumna Noel Crook has achieved what felt like an unattainable dream: She is a poet, and a prize-winning one at that. Crook won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award, a national prize providing up-and-coming poets with the opportunity to publish their first book. Crook, who earned her MFA in creative writing from NC State in 2008, gave her $2,500 prize money to NC State to support the MFA program, telling the university’s development office there wouldn’t be a book without John Balaban, the university’s emeritus poet-in-residence.


Seeking Optimal Outcomes for Children with Autism

The brains of autistic girls appear to be wired more normally than those of autistic boys — and that can be both a blessing and a curse, according to Kevin Pelphrey (Psychology ’96), the Harris Professor at Yale University and director of Yale’s Center for Developmental Neuroscience. Pelphrey is the principal investigator on a five-year, $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that is investigating why autism is more prevalent in boys than in girls. His grant is one of the largest awards the NIH has given for autism research.