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Stars of Sciences

A higher education leader, a groundbreaking cardiologist, a service-oriented attorney, and an up-and-coming chemist were honored at the first College of Sciences awards dinner in October.

Two graduates were named winners of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, given to alumni who have brought honor to the College’s programs through accomplishments in research, business, education and public service.

The College also awarded its Zenith Medal for Service, which recognizes alumni or friends for contributions or advocacy that help the College meet its goals, and the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, given to accomplished early-career graduates.

The winners are listed below with their NC State degrees.

2013 Distinguished Alumna
Dr. Saundra W. Williams
B.S. Mathematics, 1985
M.S. Applied Mathematics, 1987
Ph.D. Adult and Community College Education, 1996
Senior Vice President and Chief of Technology, N.C. Community College System

Williams is one of the most important figures in higher education in North Carolina. She runs the technology unit of the community college system, which with 58 institutions and more than 850,000 students is one of the largest systems of its kind in the nation. Her expertise in technology leadership has been featured in books, leading technology media and national chief information officer forums. She also chairs the Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council at NC State.

2014 Distinguished Alumnus
Dr. J. Tift Mann
B.S. Zoology, 1965
Cardiologist (retired), Wake Heart & Vascular

Mann is among the nation’s most innovative cardiologists. He developed a balloon angioplasty whereby a physician can mechanically open obstructed arteries. He was later involved in the development of what’s known as “transradial access” for catheterization procedures. The procedure uses an artery in the wrist, as opposed to the groin, in order to reduce bleeding complications. The technique has now been adopted worldwide. By the time Mann retired in 2012, he had performed 17,000 cardiac catheterizations.

Zenith Medal for Service
Charles D. Case
B.S. Physics, 1973
Partner, Hunton & Williams

Case is one of the most prominent environmental lawyers in North Carolina and has handled matters involving all major environmental programs. He is serving his sixth four-year term as a member of what is now the Sciences Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served on campaign committees, reviewed bylaws, and provided the College with invaluable advice and counsel. He is also a generous financial supporter and was an inaugural member of the College’s Dean’s Circle leadership giving society.

Outstanding Young Alumnus
Dr. W. Stephen McCall Jr.
Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, 2007
Agricultural Research Scientist, BASF

McCall is one of the College’s most promising young alumni working in industry. He previously lectured in general chemistry at NC State and was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Christian Melander and for the company Melander co-founded, Agile Sciences. So McCall has seen NC State from the perspective of a student, a lecturer, a postdoc and a team member at a university spinoff. McCall, now working for BASF in Germany, has greatly expanded the College’s relationship with the company.