NC State’s Summer Adventures – Faculty

Members of the NC State community spent the summer making an impact on campus and around the world. From teaching and conducting research to engaging in acts of service and even a little relaxation, faculty took the Think and Do spirit to new heights. Here are a few of their stories.

Computer Science For All in NC (CS4ALL) Initiative Team

The Friday Institute, College of Education, Center for Educational Informatics, and Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering

Computer Science for All team Our CS4ALL team, initially funded by NC State’s Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP), has worked together this summer to develop a diverse range of professional learning opportunities, research, funding, partnerships, and policy recommendations that have established NC State as a leading hub for computer science education research, professional learning and policy development. Composed of multiple NC State organizations including the Friday Institute, College of Education, Center for Educational Informatics, and Department of Computer Science, our team aims to bring computational thinking and computer science into the K-12 curriculum and to broaden participation by including more students from underrepresented groups.

To achieve this goal, we’ve collaborated with groups across the country including RTI International’s Division for Education and Workforce Development, the College Board,, and UNC-Charlotte. This summer, we conducted nine multi-day workshops including edcampCode, Computer Science Discoveries for middle school teachers, Engage in STEM+C, and The Beauty and Joy of Computing, collectively serving more than 285 teachers in North Carolina. In addition, researchers at the Friday Institute are currently developing a Research Practice Partnership in conjunction with a Wake County middle school to make sure trained teachers can have maximum impact when they return to their classrooms.

As a result of our work with the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and the superintendent’s office to develop recommendations for a statewide Computer Science Education Initiative, the state legislature approved funding earlier this summer for $500,000 in recurring support for the initiative. A substantial part of the appropriations will be used to further increase professional development opportunities across the state. Our team also submitted five research grant proposals this summer that have the potential to bring in more than $7 million in funding, including a grant with UNC-Charlotte to research building better models for integrated computer science in middle schools.

Working collaboratively, our results so far have been promising, and we are on our way to achieve our goal to contribute to the field of computer science education research and development in order to expand opportunities in computer science for K-12 students in North Carolina and nationally.

NC State China Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program

Department of International Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Engineering

China Study Abroad program NC State’s China Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program in engineering; science, technology and society (STS); and international relations traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou, Wujian, Huangshan, and Shanghai this summer with 18 students and three faculty. Over the course of six weeks, this academic and cultural immersion program, based at our partner university, Zhejiang University (ZJU), provided students with a range of cultural enhancement experiences alongside academic and practical ones. These experiences included: collaboration among NC State and ZJU engineering students on a redesign project in the solid mechanics class, and undertaken in partnership with Caterpillar in Clayton, North Carolina and Wujian, China; examination of energy issues in one of the fastest growing regions of the world in the geographies of energy class (STS); investigating contemporary trends in relations between and among countries in the introduction to international relations class; and enhancing cultural competence by learning basic Chinese in the elementary Mandarin class. This study abroad program is in its twelfth year, and our team — Clifford Griffin, associate professor, political science (program director); Lisa Marshall, outreach director and lecturer, nuclear engineering; and Yong Zhu, professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering — looks forward to sharing these and other experiences with another group of NC State students during summer 2019.

Sally Almekinders

Associate Professor
Department of Health and Exercise Studies, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Renee Harrington

Department of Health and Exercise Studies, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Renee Harrington While competing for Team USA, Department of Health and Exercise Studies faculty Sally Almekinders and Renee Harrington both placed at the World International Triathlon Union championships in Denmark this month. Harrington competed in the Olympic distance dualthlon, placing eighth overall and fourth for Team USA. Additionally, her picture is being used on the World ITU website, and in their press release. In her age group, Almekinders placed sixth in the aquathlon, and eighth in the sprint distance duathlon.

Peter Askim

Director of Orchestral Studies
Department of Music, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Peter AskimThis year marked the sixth season of the summer music program I founded, The Next Festival of Emerging Artists. Designed to provide early-career performers, composers and choreographers with real world experience and support for their careers, the Festival combines performance opportunities, artistic mentorship and entrepreneurial strategies for success in a changing artistic landscape. The program is focused on contemporary music and presents numerous new works and world premieres, in close consultation with the composers themselves.

This summer, the Next Festival continued its innovative workshops for young composers and choreographers and was in residence at the NYU Center for Ballet in the Arts. The musicians performed the works of living composers at prestigious New York City venues, and the festival made its debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The remainder of the summer I spent composing songs for NC State faculty member Jennifer Beattie. We are really excited about this project. The songs are based on translations of Vietnamese poetry by John Balaban (retired NC State professor of English and poet-in-residence). The first song will have its world premiere on public radio this month.

The Next Festival of Emerging Artists Website:
Next Festival Performance videos:

Autumn Mist Belk

Teaching Associate Professor
Department of Health and Exercise Studies, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Autumn Belk As coordinator of the dance minor in the Department of Health and Exercise Studies, it is not unusual for me to be dancing throughout the academic year. Over the summer, however, I took the opportunity to continue to interact with the dance community and also to share my expertise through several international conferences.

In early June, I traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to present my engagement research in dance film and screendance as part of the Cascadia Dance Cinema Festival. Later that month, I traveled to New York to take part in the Institute for Community Action Training at Gibney Dance. Stemming from what I learned in this conference, I look forward to creating a new service-learning course at NC State as part of the dance minor in the Department Health and Exercise Studies. In early August, I traveled to the University of Buffalo to present my research (Preparing for and Teaching Handstands and other Inversions) at the Dance Science and Somatics Educators Conference. Then on August 12, I presented my newest screendance work (tectonic plates) at the third annual FAD: Film-Art-Dance on Screen locally at The Cary Theater.

Kyle Bunds

Assistant Professor
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, College of Natural Resources

I spent the summer on a University Guest Professorship at the Technical University of Munich in the Department of Sport and Health Sciences. While there, I taught courses in political economics of sustainability and qualitative research in sport, health, and physical culture to undergraduate and graduate students. I also conducted research on the political ecology of a carbon neutral Bundesliga soccer stadium, leisure time walking behaviors related to air pollution, and work life balance of international scholarship.

For fun, I hiked in the Alps, traveled to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and around Germany. Upon my return in late July, Eric Money and I spent one week with our summer Geospatial Applications for Problem Solving high school students, taking them to industry partners to showcase career pathways in geospatial technologies.

Carla Delcambre

Director, Graduate Program
Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design

Muntazar Monsur

Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), College of Design

landscape architectureLast summer, we were awarded the DELTA Exploratory Grant (2017-18) for creating immersive learning tools for the course Landscape Construction, Materials and Methods (LAR 457). This summer, we continued to work on that grant with our DELTA partners to create an immersive, 3D environment that students can explore using virtual reality (VR) headsets to learn about various sustainable construction techniques in landscape architecture.

The computer generated immersive environment represents an outdoor courtyard area where students would be able to walk through and interact with different construction elements with the handheld controller of the virtual reality device. Once the students (or any other user) selects a particular construction element, they can choose to see real-life construction videos or 2D construction drawings of that particular type of construction. They can also choose to experience different phases of constructions being three dimensionally immersed in that space and read short descriptions on them. There is also an immersive animation experience of storm water drainage system in the rain garden located at the center of the courtyard with realistic sounds of rain and thunder. Videos and 2D construction drawings combined with the VR environment will allow students to get a realistic experience without physically being at a specific site.

One of the core challenges in landscape architecture education is to teach students the conceptual connectivity between abstract design/drawings and the concrete realities of dynamic landscape architectural practice. We are hoping that this experimental immersive environment will close that gap and provide an innovative way for teaching landscape construction, materials and methods. The immersive environment is the main deliverable of the grant but there will also be a WordPress site hosting a browser version of the environment and a collection of resources (videos, time-lapses, images, construction drawings etc.). The project will be fully deployed by September 2018.

Francis de los Reyes III

Professor and University Faculty Scholar
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
Global Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) Cluster

Francis de los Reyes Nearly two billion people on earth use pit latrines as the primary way to defecate and urinate. Pits often overflow with human waste and trash, leading to the critical public health need for emptying services. Shockingly, people often perform the dangerous and undignified task of cleaning out waste by hand. I received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to prototype, test, refine and manufacture a fast, hygienic and scalable pit latrine emptying device. I traveled to Kisumu, Kenya, to test the latest designs with the people that will use it the most: manual emptying workers. My team anticipates finalizing the design and initiating production this fall.

Beth Wright Fath

Department Head, Teaching Associate Professor
Department of Health and Exercise Studies, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Beth Wright Fath I was elected to be the advisory director of state affiliates on the advisory board of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). For the past several years, I have served as a founding board member and treasurer for the North Carolina state affiliate, NCDEO. NC State will be hosting the NCDEO state conference in February 2019.

Chris Frey

Glenn E. Futrell Distinguished University Professor
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

Chris Frey On June 26, I delivered the 48th Annual Critical Review of the Air & Waste Management Association at the A&WMA’s annual meeting, held in Hartford, Connecticut, on the topic of “Trends in Onroad Transportation Energy and Emissions.” The Critical Review, which was also published as a 50-page article in the June 2018 issue of the Journal of the A&WMA, was well-received by the audience and a live panel of five internationally recognized experts.  

I traveled to Hong Kong for the month of July, where I continued work on a multi-year research project with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The work with HKUST includes measurement and modeling of human exposure to ambient air pollution both outdoors and from infiltration to enclosed locations such as transit buses, subway trains, home, school, office and others. I am working closely with HKUST faculty Drs. Alexis Lau, Wenwei Che, and Zhi Ning, and with multiple graduate students.  

I was also was the lead instructor for a summer course at HKUST on Urban Air Quality. I delivered seminars on my work regarding measurement and modeling of vehicle emissions at HKUST, Hong Kong University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I also visited Chang’an University in Xi’an, China to deliver a seminar, exchange research ideas and learn more about transportation energy use and emissions challenges in the Chinese mainland. During this time, I continued to work with my graduate students at NC State, with a focus on preparation of several journal manuscripts pertaining to measurement and modeling of energy use and emissions of cars and trains.

Carla Fröhlich

Associate Professor
Department of Physics, College of Sciences

Carla Frohlich The theme of this summer was international engagement as Teacher-Scholar. I organized and led the Second Fulbright-Cottrell Junior Faculty Professional Development Workshop in Berlin together with Jun.-Prof. Olalla Vazquez from the University of Marburg in Germany. Jun.-Prof. Vazquez (a Fulbright-Cottrell Scholar working in chemical biology) and myself met in 2016 at the Annual Cottrell Scholar conference, where the success of other Cottrell-Scholar-Collaborative led workshops (CSC New Faculty workshop; ALT Workshop) inspired us to apply for funding through the Cottrell-Scholar-Collaborative for a Junior Faculty Professional Development Workshop in Germany.

The goals of this workshop are to support young faculty in Germany, increase awareness of the Teacher-Scholar model and the Fulbright-Cottrell program, and to create a community of Teacher-Scholars in Germany. Based on the success of the first edition in Mainz in 2017, we partnered with Fulbright Germany and successfully applied for a grant from the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) for the second edition this year in Berlin. We had another successful workshop with 43 participants, six US-based facilitators, seven Germany-based facilitators, and a program officer from the DFG (German Research Foundation). We hope to host a third edition in 2019.

Together with graduate student Sanjana Curtis, current postdocs Broxton Miles and Benjamin Wehmeyer, and former postdoc Kevin Ebinger, I attended the International Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos in Italy. We had two oral presentations and three poster presentations on our research on core-collapse supernovae, nucleosynthesis, chemical evolution and pair-instability supernovae. Congratulations to graduate student Sanjana Curtis who won a poster prize for her contribution “PUSHing core-collapse supernovae to explosion: Nucleosynthesis Yields.”

Maria Gallardo-Williams

Teaching Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Organic Laboratories
Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences

Maria Gallardo-Williams This has been an interesting summer for me. I worked with a team from DELTA during the 2017-18 academic year on the development of a virtual reality organic lab experience. In Summer Session I we were able to test our very first lab with students and the response was overwhelmingly positive. We assessed the student outcomes and compared them to a population of students that completed the in-person lab and found that there are no significant differences in learning outcomes between the two groups, which indicates the possibility of using this tool to offer this organic chemistry lab experiment via distance education. Students that tried the virtual reality experience reported a high degree of satisfaction with the product and no significant usability barriers. These VR experiences could be useful for students who are unable to be present in lab due to disabilities, attendance challenges such as pregnancy, or safety concerns.

The VR experience takes an average of 15 minutes to complete and can be viewed at this link: It can be downloaded to a smartphone and viewed wearing a GearVR headset; it may also be accessed using Google Cardboard with iOS and Android devices enabled with the Wonda VR app.

At the end of SSII I saw another year-long effort come to fruition. I organized the first ever storytelling session at a chemical education conference (Biennial Conference on Chemical Education 2018). Working with Holly Walter Kerby (University of Wisconsin-Madison) we recruited nine storytellers from across the chemical education community including middle and high school teachers, faculty from universities and colleges, young and retired teachers, an entrepreneur, a chemical education research professor and a graduate student. The Mole Storytelling Jam premiered on Tuesday, July 31 from 5-6:30 p.m. in McKenna Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame with more than 120 in attendance.

Nora Haenn

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Nora Haenn This summer I joined the University and Citizen Network for Democracy to serve as an observer of Mexico’s national elections. The Network fielded some 300 observers, the largest delegation for this year’s balloting. I carried out my observations in a part of the country where I have been conducting fieldwork for 25 years. Watching another country’s democratic process was incredibly inspiring. It was also a great way to give back to a community that has given so much to me.

Above all, I was impressed by the level of citizen engagement I witnessed. Colleges and universities emptied out as young people traveled home for the Sunday voting. Polling sites are run by volunteers selected via a lottery system not unlike our requirements for jury duty. At each polling site, there were seventeen people holding one official position or another monitoring the process. Dozens more onlookers, mostly young people, watched events by peering into windows. The vote count itself was about as transparent as possible. Ballots were displayed one-by-one for all to confirm.

My op-ed on the election ran in The News & Observer on July 4, a nice complement to the editorial board’s own message that day. The N&O’s editorial board used the holiday to call for national unity. My op-ed pointed out that our nation, and North Carolina in particular, has significant ties to Mexico. Given the family, community, and business ties between North Carolina and Mexico, I called for a citizen-based diplomacy to carry us through the changes elections on both sides of the border inevitably create.

Melissa Hendrickson

Coordinator, Associate Program in Agribusiness Management; Senior Lecturer of Agribusiness Management
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Melissa Hendrickson This summer I led a group of students to Italy where we investigated similarities and differences between agriculture and agribusiness as conducted in Italy compared to our practices here in the U.S. We toured farms, gardens, farmers markets, agribusinesses and national parks. We had discussions with farmers and researchers about the effects of the bad winter storms they experienced earlier this year and how that is impacting the olive and grape harvest this season.

At the Vatican Gardens pictured in the accompanying photo, NC State students discussed the care and maintenance of the gardens and the employment opportunities for horticulture majors. We also discussed drought and changing weather conditions and how this changes the management plan of the gardens. The building in the background is the residence of the current pope.

George Hess

Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, College of Natural Resources

George Hess Each year, Sustainable Use of Natural Resources brings together undergraduate students from NC State, Purdue University and the Swedish Agricultural University to examine sustainable agriculture, cities, fisheries, forestry, and wildlife management during a four-week summer study tour. This year, along with Gary Blank, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources director of undergraduate programs, and faculty from the other two universities, I led a group of 22 students from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, through Washington and on to Oregon.

We examined the challenges of conserving biological diversity in large cities, First Nations’ perspectives on natural resources management, a variety of approaches to forest management from conservation to industrial use, some of the tensions between recreation and conservation, and the challenges of living sustainable at the urban-wildlife interface. Students worked in cross-cultural teams, learning from one another about different approaches to natural resources management. Cross-cultural experiences included early-morning outdoor calisthenics led by the Swedes and going to an American college baseball game.

Roland Kays

Research Associate Professor
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, College of Natural Resources

Roland Kays I visited the Max Planck Institute in Konstanz, Germany, to help them set up two citizen science-based urban ecology projects that replicate our efforts from the Public Science faculty cluster here at NC State: Cat Tracker and Urban-Wild Camera Trapping. Settlement patterns in Europe are much different than the U.S., with less sprawl and more hard boundaries between towns, farms and forest. The urban adapted species are also much different. For example, hedgehogs are common in backyards, while there are no larger predators like coyotes, which are known to affect cat movement. This citizen science research will generate important data to compare with our results from Raleigh, and also create new ways to engage with the German public on science and conservation topics.

Jonathan Kramer

Teaching Professor
Department of Music, Arts NC State, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Jonathan Kramer In May, I attended the 21st International Meeting of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research in Lisbon, Portugal. There, I gave a presentation on the role of traditional Chinese music in the undergraduate World Music Curriculum. Specifically, I discussed the role of Chinese music in the text book I wrote with Dr. Alison Arnold called What in the World Is Music? and published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis in 2016.

In addition, I performed two concerts of Chinese art music adapted for cello and traditional Chinese seven-string zither, guqin, one performance in the large auditorium at University of Lisbon to a packed hall. In June, I taught cello and chamber music, and gave two public performances for the summer program at Converse College, Chamber Music on the Hill. For nearly 20 years, I have taught for a few weeks each summer for this program, which used to be held at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem.

Additionally, in July it was announced that I am a 2018 Recipient of the Raleigh Medal of Arts.

Nathan Leaf

Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor
Department of Music, Division of Academic and Student Services

Nathan Leaf The summer of 2018 started with a bang, as I took about 40 members of the NC State Chorale, our premier choral ensemble, on a nine-day performance tour in Central Europe. Departing the day after commencement, we performed at the Salzburg Cathedral, Biedermannsdorf Church (outside of Vienna, Austria), St. Nicholas Church on the Old Town Square in Prague, and the Czech Museum of Music, also in Prague. In addition to performances, the students were immersed in the culture and history of Austria and the Czech Republic through guided tours and interactive experiences. The attached picture was taken in Salzburg, on our way to our concert in the Salzburg Cathedral, when we stopped for an impromptu song in Mirabell Gardens, on the famous steps where they filmed part of the Do-Re-Mi song in The Sound of Music.

My other major undertaking this summer was a recording project with my wife, Kathryn Mueller. Kathryn is a nationally acclaimed soprano, and I served as the producer. While I have done many recordings as a conductor and singer, I have never produced a professional recording project, and it was very exciting to develop a new skill set. We recorded in UNC-Chapel Hill’s wonderful recently renovated recital hall, and our collaborators from UNC and the North Carolina Symphony were a joy to work with. Other activities included continued community outreach and preparation for my second year in my role as artistic director of The Concert Singers of Cary and receiving an exciting new choral music commission from the Male Chorus of the American Scandinavian Institute in Minneapolis.

Karen K. Leonas

Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, College of Textiles

Karen Leonas During the first week in June, I traveled to the Pacific Northwest with nine students from the College of Textiles as we explored the textile and apparel industry. The area is known as a cluster for apparel and outdoor gear companies and is part of the technology corridor on the West Coast. This integration of clusters leads to the development of highly innovative and technologically advanced products and processes, which are disrupting and transforming the industry.

Our trip included visits to the Nike World Headquarter Campus; the Adidas North American headquarters and their Maker Lab (we made luggage tags using laser printing); and Columbia Sportswear in Portland. In the Seattle area, we visited REI Headquarters and toured their development and testing laboratories. We also went to Zumiez headquarters, where everyone brings their dog to work and they have an onsite skate park where product developers conduct field and observational research!

Other highlights included a visit to Filson headquarters, where they have their cut-and-sew operations in the same facility with their flagship store; Microsoft Prototype labs — yes, textiles are used in computers (and we have two College of Textiles alums working there); Zulily — a  dot com company with a very different business model utilizing technology that is disrupting the traditional distribution models; SanMar, in Issaquah — not a well known name to consumers but they employ more than 4,000 people nationwide and offer 21 retail, mill and private label brands; and, finally, we had a great time visiting the headquarters of lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama. We met with College of Textiles alums at most of our locations, which all of the student participants loved, and the North Carolina Textile Foundation hosted alumni events in Portland and Seattle; it was great to see College of Textiles graduates from the 1960s to 2018. Will we do it again…I hope so!  

Frances S. Ligler

Lampe Distinguished Professor
Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University

Fran Ligler I and George Ligler, Dean’s Eminent Professor of the Practice, of the BME department visited three Camp Inventions for elementary school inventors this summer — two in Raleigh and one in Hyattsville, Maryland. The camps give our youngest students the chance to explore their own creativity. The camps are sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and about 200,000 kids attend each summer.

Jim Martin

Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences

Jim Martin For the fifth consecutive summer, I opened up my lab and classrooms for professional development workshops to high school chemistry teachers across the state of North Carolina.  ChemPD-1 is a foundational workshop that reinforces teacher’s understanding of chemistry while developing teaching strategies built on hands-on discovery and critical thinking. ChemPD-2 invites alumni from the first workshop back to campus to work together to develop new discovery-based projects that can be incorporated into teacher’s classrooms.  

This year the team developed a simple device and laboratory experiment that provides analogy to the classic Rutherford/Geiger/Marsden experiment that demonstrated atomic nuclei were small with respect to the total size of an atom, but contained the majority of the atom’s mass.  By measuring the scattering of steel shot, students are able to determine the relative size of a “nucleus.”

Lisa Marshall

Director of Outreach, Retention and Engagement, Lecturer, Advisor
Department of Nuclear Engineering, College of Engineering

Lisa Marshall For three weeks in July, faculty, staff and students led lectures, labs, group projects and industrial field trips with 18 rising high school juniors and seniors from North Carolina, Maine, New Jersey, Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, and Shanghai, China. The Young Investigators’ Summer Program in Nuclear Engineering provides an opportunity for students to investigate nuclear science and technology and experience university life. Subjects covered included nuclear materials, fission reactors, plasmas in the health sciences, environmental assessment and energy policy. Students visited PetSolutions, a radiopharmaceutical company in the RTP area, traveled to Framatome’s nuclear training center in Lynchburg, Virginia, and interacted with our nuclear reactor program staff on reactor operations.

Carrie Pickworth

Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

student holding a piglet With a baa, a neigh, an oink, and moo too…35 diverse youth from across North Carolina, Maryland, and Bolivia gathered together at NC State for a weeklong residential Livestock Science Camp. Enthusiastic high school students, many without prior farm animal experience, completed the Think and Do motto by engaging in hands-on experiences with livestock species with the support NC State undergraduate student counselors. Campers became familiar with animal husbandry and expanded their interest in the plethora of careers in animal science beyond veterinary medicine.

Kanton Reynolds

Director, Undergraduate Programs
Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, College of Engineering

Kanton Reynolds As a part of the Summer 2018 U.K. STEM Study Abroad, students in ISE 311 – Engineering Economic Analysis and English 331 – Communication for Engineering and Technology visited local industrial facilities in the London area including Coca-Cola European Partners, IBM Hursley Development Labs, BMW/Mini Manufacturing Plant and the European Union’s Education and Outreach facility.  

Students were able to see how the wide variety of Coca-Cola beverages were manufactured and distributed, the latest technological innovations on the horizon as a part of IBM’s “5 in 5,” the entire fabrication, production and assembly process for the ubiquitous Mini Cooper and learn more about the effects of Brexit on the U.K. economy. The site visits gave them unique perspectives on how truly global companies must operate in a constantly evolving legal, regulatory and financial landscape.  

Mary Schweitzer

Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences

dinosaur fossil hunt This summer has been a busy one for Schweitzer labs, as we set out to explore some new dinosaur-bearing exposures in Northern Montana. I was joined by my postdoctoral researcher, Elena Schroeter; Doug Czjaka, a recent Ph.D. from the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; an NC State undergraduate student, Kaitlyn Tiffany; and a colleague from Sweden, Johan Lindgren. We met up with partners from Montana State University. It was pretty desolate country, but quiet (except for the mosquitoes) and peaceful (except for the mosquitos) and far away from the hassles of city life.

At the Judith River Formation, sediments were laid down about 80 million years ago, during the reign of the dinosaurs. And that was our goal. Dinosaurs! So we set out to explore lands that had never been searched for these amazing animals. And, we found them. Not always in the easiest places to get to, but DEFINITELY dinosaurs were present. One of the bones we found is assigned to a ceratopsian, related to the more famous and more recent Triceratops. But, there was abundant evidence for other types of dinosaurs (and other critters) as well.

We were hoping this bit of bone would be skull material, because in the same layer, just inches away, we found….part of the tooth of a meat eating dinosaur! However, most of our time was spent excavating a specimen that may be very important, but that I can’t talk about yet. Suffice it to say the quarry we explored is very big, seems to be very complete, and will guarantee that we go back next year!

Julieta Sherk

Associate Professor
Department of Horticultural Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Julieta Sherk Summer construction and planting design landscape architecture students collaborated to envision a management program and an interactive land art piece that provides an engaging sense of the restored Rocky Branch Creek ecosystem at Carmichael Gym. Management programs were applied during a hands-on restoration-planting workday, and land art designs inspired by the “You are Here” exhibit at the NC Museum of Art were presented at conclusion of Summer Session I.

The planting restoration/design will be a strong part of a proposed future landscape that celebrates the restored stream that was once hidden underground and flowing through a pipe beneath a parking area. These efforts were focused on extending or “elevating” the “experience” of the stream to the area above, in hopes of attracting community interaction. The goal is to enhance the creek entrance area to better support access for all members of the community, contributing to quality activity programming by including rich plantings that define a path, and gathering spaces that incorporate a delightful interactive “land art” piece.

The collaborator from the landscape architecture construction class was Carla Delcambre, teaching assistant professor of landscape architecture. The collaborators from the landscape architecture planting design class were: Julieta T. Sherk, associate professor in horticultural science; and teaching assistant Austin Bowman, candidate for master of landscape architecture.

Stream restoration was organized by Barbara Doll, civil engineer, assistant professor and water quality specialist. Grounds and buildings services was organized by Steve Ratzlaff, university specialist and stormwater/parking lots supervisor.

Erin Sills

Edwin F. Conger Professor
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, College of Natural Resources

Erin Sills I attended the launch of the Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa (EPPSA) project hosted by Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources. EPPSA is a $5 million research project on energy poverty funded by the National Science Foundation, led by UNC-Chapel Hill, also involving RTI and the University of Michigan. The photo shows NC State researchers (myself; two of my doctoral advisees: Wizaso Munthali in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and Yu Wu in the  Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy; Steve Kelly in the Department of Forest Biomaterials; Andy Grieshop in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering) along with forestry officials visiting a charcoal production site in the miombo woodlands of southern Malawi.

Hiller Spires

Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor
College of Education & Friday Institute

Hiller Spires This June I traveled to Kitale, Kenya to conduct the New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute (NLI) with 60 teachers affiliated with the Hope Education Centre, directed by Peter Wanyonyi. The purpose of our trip was to support teachers in learning how to use technology in their classrooms and conduct inquiry-based teaching. The Kenyan government has created a policy that all schools must increase technology in the schools but resources are scarce in many of the rural areas. We also conducted a day-camp for 350 children who came from the surrounding villages.

I traveled with my former Ph.D. student Shea Kerkhoff, who is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and who received a grant from the International Literacy Association to do this work. From NC State, the project was supported by a travel grant from the  Office of Global Engagement, the College of Education, and the Friday Institute. Two colleagues from our college joined me: Michelle Falter, an assistant professor in English education, and DeLeon Gray, an associate professor in educational psychology. Director Wanyonyi will visit NC State this November to participate in a symposium about our work with the Hope Education Centre and how we can continue to support the teachers as they make digital shifts in their classroom.

Kristen Turner

Department of Music, Arts NC State, Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Kristen Turner I was invited to attend a workshop called “Writing Blackness and Gender into American Classical Art Music History” held at the University of Michigan and funded by that university’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender. This group of 14 musicologists, music theorists, and performers discussed our own research, as well as the institutional and systemic biases that continue to erase the contributions of women and people of color to art and music, and discourage these populations from entering the academic study of this repertoire. We left the workshop determined to help lead the ongoing discussions and changes within our fields over the continuing inequities in the study of music, as well as today’s professional marketplace through coordinated activities that include research, writing and pedagogical efforts.

Yuan Yao

Assistant Professor
Department of Forest Biomaterials, College of Natural Resources

Yuan Yao From July 4-6, I attended the second Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting hosted by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in Rome, Italy. The TAG was formed by the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership in FAO early this year to address the global need of understanding and measuring the environmental impacts of animal feed additives used in the livestock sector.

As an expert in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and system modelling, I help stakeholders understand and make informed decisions on sustainable production and manufacturing. I am working with other experts from different countries and technical backgrounds in the TAG to contribute to the development of an international guideline on performing LCA for animal feed additives. The guideline will be published globally by FAO next year.

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