Incoming First-Year Student Andrew Sessions Selected as Belin Scholar
Incoming first-year student Andrew Sessions ‘26 is certain of two things: he wants to study biology and NC State is the place to do it. As the newest recipient of the Jacob and Betty Belin Scholarship — the College of Sciences’ largest award for undergraduates — the Cumming, Georgia, native can pursue his studies at NC State without financial stress.
“The Jacob and Betty Belin Scholarship has given me the opportunity to make an education at NC State much more affordable,” he said. “Thanks to the Belins, I can focus on my academic and extracurricular success rather than financial struggles. I greatly appreciate everything they have done for me thus far, and I hope other students will be able to receive similar support in the future.”
The four-year scholarship is awarded to a deserving student from a Florida or Georgia high school who plans to pursue a degree in one of the following disciplines: applied mathematics, biological sciences, chemistry, genetics, mathematics, microbiology, physics, statistics or zoology. It covers tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies.
At West Forsyth High School, Sessions was president of Science Olympiad, a competitor on the math team and the Academic Bowl team, and a peer tutor. He was also a member of the Science National Honor Society, the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.
Sessions is the third recipient of the scholarship, with the past recipients being Molly Matty ‘12 and Kali Gilson ‘22. Matty, who went on to earn a doctorate in genetics from Duke University, now works as a postdoctoral research fellow at Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego. She will be starting as an assistant professor at the University of Portland in the fall of 2022. Gilson plans to work in a lab in Raleigh for a year or two before applying to medical school.
Sessions will be starting his own Sciences journey in the Life Sciences First Year Program (LSFY).
“While most universities offer a general biology degree, they often do not give students like me the chance to explore different areas of biology before committing to a more specific field,” he said. “The unique LSFY program at NC State is the ideal solution to this dilemma. I can test these different fields of biology without locking myself on a certain path.”
Paying It Forward
Jacob Belin ‘70 understands the value of an NC State education. After graduating with a degree in applied mathematics, the Florida native went on to have a 44-year career in the petroleum industry. He found that the experiences and education he had at NC State contributed in many ways to his successful career in the industry.
To ensure that other students from their home states (Betty is from Georgia) had the same access to NC State’s education and resources, he and his wife established the Jacob and Betty Belin Scholarship in 2002.
The Belins also understand that great faculty are key to a great education. To further support the Sciences at NC State, they established the Jacob and Betty Belin Distinguished Professorship, which supports the activities of a full professor in mathematics, chemistry or physics.
David Muddiman, chemistry professor, director of the Molecular Education, Technology, and Research Innovation Center and the Jacob and Betty Belin Distinguished Professor, has been able to file two provisional patents with NC State and put his students at the forefront of his research, thanks to the professorship.
“My four years at NC State and in Raleigh were inimitable and extremely fulfilling, stretching me academically and intellectually, maturing me socially, exposing me to a significantly different environment in general and instilling in me a deep respect and appreciation for the university,” said Jacob. “Betty and I are pleased and honored to help students further their education and discover that NC State is indeed a great university at which to do that.”