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Award Winners

Each year, the College of Sciences names winners of its Distinguished Alumnus Award, Zenith Medal for Service, Outstanding Young Alumnus Award and Student Excellence Award.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

(Affiliations listed are as of the date the award was received.)

2023 Ashley Hink
B.S. ’05 – Microbiology, College of Sciences
B.S. ’05 – Science, Technology and Society, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

2022 Nora Gardner
B.S. ’94 – Biological Sciences (also B.S. from College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
Managing Partner of Washington, D.C., office for McKinsey & Company

2021 Bob Starbuck
M.S. ’72 and Ph.D., ’75 – Statistics
Assistant Vice President of Special Projects, Wyeth (retired)

2020 Meredith Williams
Ph.D. ’94 – Physics
Director, California State Department of Toxic Substances Control

2019 Nancy Ridenhour
B.S. ’76 – Statistics
Independent Business Technology Analyst (retired)

2018 Dean Bunce
B.S. ’86 – Zoology
Executive Vice President for Global Regulatory Affairs, United Therapeutics Corporation

2017 John Sall
Honorary Ph.D. ’03 – Statistics
Co-founder and Executive Vice President, SAS

2016 Christina Koch
B.S. ’01 – Physics (also B.S. and M.S. from the College of Engineering)
Astronaut, NASA

2015 John Sanders
B.S. ’87 – Zoology
Head of Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

2014 J. Tift Mann III
B.S. ’65 – Zoology
Cardiologist and Co-Founder, Wake Heart & Vascular

2013 Saundra Williams
B.S. ’85 – Mathematics, M.S. ’87 Applied Mathematics (also a Ph.D. from the College of Education)
Senior Vice President and Chief of Technology, North Carolina Community College System

2012 Sung-Won Lee
Ph.D. ’67 – Experimental Statistics (also a master’s degree from the College of Textiles)
Founder and president, Asian Ski Federation

2011 David Montgomery
B.S. ’68, Ph.D. ’82 – Physics
Senior Physicist and Technology Manager, Becton Dickinson Technologies

2010 Lawrence Ives
B.S. ’73, M.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’84 – Physics
President, Calabazas Creek Research

2009 Cathy Sigal
B.S. ’76 – Chemistry
Director of International Research, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (retired).

2008 LeRoy Martin
M.S. ’52 – Mathematics
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, NC State University

2007 Jun Zhu
Ph.D. ’89 – Statistics
Vice President, Zhejiang University

2006 W. Donald “Don” Johnson
B.S. ’69 – Applied Mathematics (also M.S. and Ph.D. from College of Engineering)
Chairman and Representative Director, DuPont – Japan

2005 Robert L. Bryant
B.S. ’74 – Mathematics
J.M. Kreps Professor of Mathematics at Duke University

2004 J. Stuart “Stu” Hunter
Ph.D. ’54 – Experimental Statistics
Professor Emeritus, Princeton University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

2003 Christine Hemrick
B.S. ’74 – Mathematics
Vice President for Technology Policy and Consulting Engineering, Cisco Systems, Inc.

2002 Eric Doggett
B.S. ’89 – Physics
Serves on the board of directors for the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association and on the board of advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

2001 Eric Bigham
B.S. ’69 – Chemistry
Research Investigator, GlaxoSmithKline

2000 Robert M. Steinberg
B.S. ’64 – Applied Mathematics. Vice Chairman of Reliance Group Holdings, Inc.

1999 Suzanne Gordon
B.S. ’75 – Mathematics, Computer Science, M.S. Statistics
Director of Management Information Systems at SAS Institute. Member of NC State Board of Trustees.

1998 David F. Bocian
B.S. ’72 – Chemistry
Distinguished research in biophysical, physical-organic and materials chemistry. Professor at the University of California at Riverside.

1997 James W. York, Jr .
B.S. ’62 – Physics
Agnew H. Bahnson Jr. Professor of Physics at UNC-Chapel Hill.

1996 W. Michael Peirson
Ph.D. ’83 – Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Established Cherrystone AquaFarms in eastern Virginia.

1995 Anthony J. Barr
B.S. ’62, M.S. ’68 – Physics
Founder and major developer of the Statistical Analysis System from 1966-72; along with three others, formed SAS Institute Inc., in 1976; founded Barr Systems in Florida in 1978.

1994 William Mendenhall III
Ph.D. ’75 – Experimental Statistics
Started the University of Florida’s Department of Statistics in 1963; prolific textbook writer.

1993 Jacob C. Belin, Jr
B.S. ’70 – Applied Mathematics
President of Kern Oil & Refining Company in California.

1992 John E. Bercaw
B.S. ’72 – Chemistry
Professor, California Institute of Technology; member, National Academy of Sciences.

1991 Charles D. Case
B.S. ’72 – Physics
Environmental attorney and active community citizen.

1990 James H. Goodnight
B.S. ’65, M.S. ’68, Ph.D. ’72 – Statistics
Founder and CEO of SAS Institute, Inc.

Zenith Medal for Service

(Affiliations listed are as of the date the award was received)

2023 Brand Fortner
In addition to his time and his expertise as an instructor, Brand gives generously of his resources, which will leave a lasting legacy at the college and the Department of Physics.

2022 Dean Bunce
Zoology alumnus whose advocacy throughout the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign — and his service on the College of Sciences Foundation Board of Directors — played a vital role in the college’s campaign success.

2021 Joe Bridger
Applied mathematics alumnus who has consistently supported interdisciplinary studies and public science engagement efforts in the college.

2020 William E. (Bill) Trent III
Entrepreneur who has supported the college in many ways, including with his time, his leadership skills and his philanthropic contributions.

2019 Maggie LaPlante
Alumnus in applied mathematics and longtime Alumni Advisory Board member, volunteer and donor.

2018 Sherice Nivens
Alumnus who established the Arnater and Viola Nivens Scholarship Endowment for College of Sciences students in 2008 and has been a longtime member of the college’s Dean’s Circle leadership giving society.

2017 Leigh Wilkinson
Alumnus and longtime member and former chair of the college’s Foundation Board who has enriched the college with significant contributions of time, leadership skills, energy and financial support.

2016 Robert Starbuck
Alumnus and longtime member of the college’s Foundation Board whose generous financial support of the college includes helping establish a distinguished professorship in statistics and endowing a Solomon Scholarship.

2015 Linda Balfour and Robert Hill
Key supporters of the college who have endowed merit-based scholarships for college students and served on the Alumni Advisory Board.

2014 Charles Case
Longtime member of the college’s Foundation Board of Directors who has also served on campaign committees, reviewed bylaws and provided invaluable advice and counsel.

2012 Benton Satterfield
Longtime supporter of the college and member of what is now the Alumni Advisory Board.

2011 Damon Butler
Leader in the ongoing efforts to increase participation in STEM opportunities among underserved and underrepresented populations.

2010 Michael Thompson
Vocal and influential champion of PAMS and The Science House for more than a decade.

2009 Dick Ambrose
Longtime supporter of NC State who has been instrumental in establishing partnerships between PAMS and the Lord Corporation.

2008 Nancy Ridenhour
Member of the PAMS Student Council as an undergraduate student who has been a highly engaged supporter of PAMS and NC State for more than 30 years.

2007 Greg Fishel
Highly visible champion of the college who is especially engaged with the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the State Climate Office of North Carolina.

2006 Bob Morrison
Instrumental in completion of the Marye Anne Fox Undergraduate Science Teaching Laboratory building; also has established two scholarship endowments for the college.

2005 Ginger Sall
Advocate of the college known for her far-reaching community service and leadership in areas of education, the environment, and women’s and children’s health.

Outstanding Young Alumnus

(Affiliations listed are as of the date the award was received)

2023 Logan Dawson
B.S., ’12 – Meteorology and Marine Science
Science and Operations Officer at the NOAA/National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center

2022 Albert Hopping
B.S., ’02 – Physics and Mathematics
M.S., ’07 – Financial Mathematics
Lead Product Manager for Risk Engines at SAS

2021 Alex McCall
B.S., ’14 – Mathematics and Mathematics Education
M.S., ’15 – Analytics
Senior Data Visualization Analyst, SAS

2020 Ellison Anne Williams
Ph.D., ’04 – Mathematics
Founder and CEO, Enveil

2019 Jamal Moss
B.S., ’15 – Biological Sciences
Medical student at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee

2018 Tashni-Ann Dubroy
Ph.D., ’07 – Physical Organic Chemistry
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Howard University

2017 Tobi Baker
B.S. ’01 – Meteorology and Environmental Science
Aerial Reconnaissance Weather Officer, U.S. Air Force

2016 Aimee Smart
B.S. ’00 – Microbiology
Associate Vice President for Clinical Development and Regulatory Processes, Lung Biotechnology

2015 Jamila Simpson
M.S. and Ph.D. ’07 – Science Education
B.S. ’00 – Meteorology
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Student Services, College of Sciences, NC State

2014 Steve McCall
Ph.D. ’07 – Organic Chemistry
Agricultural Research Scientist, BASF

Student Excellence

2022 Ashley Tharp
M.S. ’21 – Mathematics
Ph.D Candidate – Mathematics

2022 Gaven Bell
B.S. ’23 – Biological Sciences

2021 Hayley Giordano
B.S. ’21 – Biological Sciences

2020 Regino (Gino) Fernandes II
B.S. ’20 – Biological Sciences

2019 Grant Barkley
B.S. ’20 – Mathematics and Physics

2019 Natalie Truby
B.S. ’20 – Microbiology

2018 Kaylie Kirkwood
B.S. ’19 – Chemistry

2018 Jason Thompson
B.S. ’19 – Statistics and Applied Mathematics

2017 Laura Goodman
B.S. ’18 – Physics

2016 Annapurna Hanumanthu
B.S. ’17 – Biological Sciences