Year in Review: Our Top Stories of 2017

Rupert Nacoste

It’s been a busy year for the college.

Our students continue to redefine what it means to think and do, stepping outside the classroom and into research labs, competitive internships and study abroad experiences. Our faculty are not only creating new knowledge, but also sharing their unique expertise to solve social, environmental and technological problems in the community. And our alumni, wielding interdisciplinary perspectives and diverse skillsets, are helping change the world — in business, in government and through their philanthropic efforts. 

Take a few minutes to scroll through some of our favorite stories of 2017. You can also view this collection as a photo gallery.

Language and Life Project Produces “Talking Black in America”

A still from Talking Black in America.
A still from Talking Black in America.

Drawing on decades of research, NC State’s Language and Life Project produced its latest documentary, Talking Black in America. The film showcases the history and symbolic role of language in the lives of African Americans and highlights its tremendous impact on the speech and culture of the United States.

Psychology Alum Benny Suggs Inducted into Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Benny Suggs
Benny Suggs (left) was presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Burley Mitchell, retired chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Alumnus Benny Suggs (Psychology ’69) received North Carolina’s prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine award on Jan. 21. Suggs is the executive director of the NC State Alumni Association and vice chancellor for alumni relations. Among the most prominent awards conferred by the governor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine acknowledges exemplary service that goes beyond the call of duty, makes a significant impact and strengthens North Carolina.

Historian’s Award-winning Book Reveals a Different Side of President Carter

Nancy Mitchell Jimmy Carter letter
President Jimmy Carter wrote this personal note to history professor Nancy Mitchell after reading her book, Jimmy Carter in Africa. Photo courtesy of Nancy Mitchell.

In her new book, Jimmy Carter in Africa: Race and the Cold War, NC State history professor Nancy Mitchell drew on her extensive research to reveal a side of the president few have seen. Mitchell’s book received the American Academy of Diplomacy’s prestigious Douglas Dillon Award. President Carter also offered praise for the book in a personal note to Mitchell.

Training the Next Generation of Nuclear Security Experts

Bill Boettcher worked with his colleagues in CNEC to create and launch a graduate certificate in nuclear nonproliferation science and policy in spring 2017.

The Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities does crucial work in training the next generation of experts in nuclear security policy. One of the leaders of that effort is Bill Boettcher, associate professor of political science in NC State’s School of Public and International Affairs. Boettcher is a nuclear security and nonproliferation policy expert whose work with CNEC focuses on curriculum development and teaching.

At the WHO, Alum Aims to Remove Barriers Across the Globe

Alumna Lianne Gonsalves in Caldwell Lounge.

After discovering a passion for international relations, diplomacy and development at NC State, alumna Lianne Gonsalves (International Studies, Biological Sciences ’10) entered the real world looking for a way to put it all together. And she has. Working as a technical officer at the World Health Organization, Gonsalves studies how to better connect young people with information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health.

Annual Contest Swaps Roles For Student, Dean

Jeff Braden and Kaitlin Fritz
Dean Jeff Braden and student Kaitlin Fritz.

As the winner of the Side by Side with the Dean contest, student Kaitlin Fritz spent March 22 with Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jeff Braden. Fritz, who earned her B.A. in English in May, got a glimpse at the inner workings of the college while Braden experienced what it’s like to walk in a student’s shoes.

Grad Student’s Pop-Up Exhibit Brings African-American History to Life

A visitor examines an artifact during “In the Writing,” a pop-up exhibition curated by Master of Arts in Liberal Studies candidate Carl Wilkins in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library Teaching and Visualization Lab, on Monday, April 24, 2017.

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies student Carl Wilkins brought key moments in African-American history to life during a pop-up exhibit on campus. His April 24 curated show, “In the Writing: Personal Letters of African-American Leaders from the Mark E. Mitchell Collection,” featured letters from the renowned Mark E. Mitchell Collection of African American History.

Army Sergeant Serves His Country, Earns His Degree

Sergeant Jason Davidson earned his undergraduate degree online at NC State while serving his country.

NC State’s Leadership in the Public Sector degree program was the perfect fit for Sgt. 1st Class Jason Davidson, who oversees the day-to-day operations and training of nearly 40 paratroopers at Fort Bragg.

Advisory Board Member Kathy Council Honored with Red Torch Award

Kathy Council
Kathy Council, center, was presented the 2017 Godwin Award by Chancellor Randy Woodson and Trent Ragland, chair of the Foundation Board of Directors.

NC State alumna and Humanities and Social Sciences advisory board member Kathy Council received the 2017 Jerry and Elizabeth Godwin Red Torch Award. The NC State University Foundation award recognizes individuals or families who have volunteered with leadership, dedication and distinction to advance the university and to further the foundation’s mission.

Student’s Documentary Captures ‘Common Link’ Between Us

Student documentary "Common Link"
A still image from The Common Link.

Recent alumna Laila Knio (Psychology ’17) maximized her four years at NC State. Between her responsibilities as a Park scholar, avid traveler and pre-med student, she managed to create an entire film. The Common Link is a 45-minute documentary that chronicles the tales of eight different Lebanese people.