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Rubik’s Cube: Easier Than English?

Zeli “Jeff” Qian is a cubist — as in Rubik’s Cube. The Zhejiang Province native can finish the cube-shaped puzzle in 18.27 seconds, a time that’s listed in the World Cube Association’s record books. Qian brought that same determination to NC State, where he’s studying mechanical engineering. He’s also honing his English speaking, writing and research skills through Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures courses for non-native speakers of English.


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.


Student Melds Business Entrepreneurship With Service

Meredith Davis, a sophomore majoring in social work, is combining business entrepreneurship and service as she works with staff from NC State's Social Entrepreneurship Initiative to establish a chapter of Nourish International on campus.


An Intensive, Interdisciplinary Study of Ebola, Maymester-Style

Maymester offers students intensive learning opportunities, including an interdisciplinary exploration of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Maymester, a spring program that compresses a semester's study into three weeks, was successfully piloted by Humanities and Social Sciences over the last several years and is now being adopted by colleges across NC State University.