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College of Sciences
What Matters to Us What Matters to Us

What Matters to Us

With your support, we’re helping extraordinary people change the face of science.


Student in lab

Our college has ambitious goals. Among them: Prepare a new generation of well-rounded scientists to make extraordinary contributions that change the world.

In 2018, we’re ready to make even greater strides toward that important purpose. It’s the first year under the leadership of our new dean, Chris McGahan, we will mark our fifth anniversary as a college in July, and our people and the work they do just keep getting better.

Supporting the students, faculty and staff of our college means finding new ways and means to help these creative minds solve society’s biggest problems. “Our science moves people and has real impact,” McGahan said. “We have a lot of momentum going into this key year for the college, and we’re ready to join with our community of alumni and supporters to see what else we can accomplish.”

Keep reading to find out what matters to us and how you can help make a difference.

The Confidence to Achieve

Gabriella Mamlouk has known for years that she wants to be a doctor. In high school, she completed a rigorous 135-hour medical internship at a senior living center, did clinical work at WakeMed hospital, and became a certified nurse aide. She dreamed of helping people and saving lives as a hospital physician.

But while she could see the goal, she didn’t always believe it was within her financial reach.

“Coming from a middle-class family, I wasn’t sure that becoming a doctor was realistic,” said Mamlouk, a junior biological sciences major. “By the time I completed my undergraduate education and medical school, I would be overwhelmed with debt.”

Donor support reminds students that we can achieve anything despite the financial or personal obstacles in our lives.

Receiving scholarship aid, including the Solomon Scholarship from the College of Sciences and the Goodnight Scholarship from NC State, helped her see that her dream could become reality.

“Without my scholarships, I would have to take on a part-time job to cover my expenses,” Mamlouk said. “They give me the freedom to dedicate my time to academics and extracurriculars.”

Support Our Priorities

Make your gift to the College of Sciences Excellence Fund today to support our extraordinary vision.

Mamlouk is making the most of her opportunities. She’s putting her passion for medicine to work as an undergraduate researcher in the Williams Lab, which focuses on using synthetic biology to discover new pharmaceuticals. She serves as a Goodnight Scholars Program ambassador and volunteers with Operation Smile and the Urban Ministries Open Door Clinic in Raleigh. Her NC State experience has also taken her around the globe to volunteer in a summer environmental restoration project in Iceland and complete a study abroad program in Spain for her Spanish minor. And she has already registered for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

She credits her scholarships with providing her with not only freedom to pursue these opportunities but also confidence to believe in the brightest future for herself. “Donor support reminds students that we can achieve anything despite the financial or personal obstacles in our lives,” she said. “The impact it makes is life-changing.”

Gabriella Mamlouk (left) and her mentor, Sam Carpenter, at work in the Williams Lab.
Gabriella Mamlouk (left) and her mentor, Sam Carpenter, at work in the Williams Lab.

Tackling Grand Challenges

The College of Sciences tackles and overcomes the world’s toughest challenges through research. Every day, we work with leading partners and use cutting-edge technologies to solve the most difficult problems and answer the deepest intellectual questions.

Marine science doctoral student Kayelyn Simmons makes notes while on a research dive studying underwater soundscapes off the Florida Keys.
Marine science doctoral student Kayelyn Simmons makes notes while on a research dive studying underwater soundscapes off the Florida Keys.

Our researchers are studying key issues like mathematical models for computing radiation therapy treatments, GenX exposure in Eastern North Carolina residents and subglacial water storage. We are winning awards, making important new discoveries and solidifying NC State’s reputation as a top research institution.

One important way we are furthering our research mission is by stepping outside of the traditional science silos. Interdisciplinary collaborations with other scientists, and professionals in other fields like design, are leading to new ways to think about science and to communicate those ideas and findings to the public.

Graduate students are a key part of advancing this important research, and fellowships and stipends bring many of the best and brightest students to NC State.

Stephen Lacina, a first-year Ph.D. student who holds the Jiang and Tsu-yunn Luh Graduate Award in the Department of Mathematics, said that his fellowship has given him more freedom to focus on his coursework and research interests. “The cost of education is rising rapidly, making graduate school unattainable for some people,” he said. “My fellowship has allowed me to not have to worry about needing to make extra money.”

Geology students Adam Lee (left) and Dustin Travels study the effect of beavers on stream flow.
Geology students Adam Lee (left) and Dustin Travels study the effect of beavers on stream flow.

Investing in Creativity

Faculty are the cornerstone of our college, driving crucial research and teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists. Professorships honor College of Sciences faculty who are leading the way in research, teaching and creativity.

1,900 supporters

gave to the college in 2016-17

These endowed positions provide top faculty with funds and freedom to go beyond their everyday work and imagine the extraordinary. Here are just a few of the things distinguished professorship funds are allowing these leading teachers and researchers to do to further their work and benefit students in our college.

Recruit and support top students and postdocs: Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are attracted to universities with abundant resources and opportunities for everything from travel to basic support. H. Thomas Banks, the Leroy B. Martin Jr. Distinguished Professor in Mathematics, said, “These funds enable me to expand significantly our research program to include more undergrads, grad students and postdocs, supporting both their salaries and their travel to conferences to present their research.” Marie Davidian, the J. Stuart Hunter Distinguished Professor in Statistics, has used her funding to “supplement existing grants to better benefit students” and to support their travel to conferences.

Go inside the work of H. Thomas Banks, Leroy B. Martin Jr. Distinguished Professor in Mathematics.

Investigate new ideas: In a research environment, funds mean freedom. Faculty who hold these professorships often use the funding to expand the boundaries of their work. “Funding from the endowment allows me to be driven by curiosity and ingenuity and take risks — to tackle new projects and test new ideas that are too challenging or too preliminary to be funded in a risk-averse funding environment,” said Harald Ade, Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Professor in Physics.

Expand laboratory infrastructure: Many professorship holders are using their funds to purchase key equipment to advance their research capabilities. Phil Castellano, Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Chair in Chemistry, investigates photochemistry, or the chemical effects of light. “With the professorship resources, I will be able to expand our spectroscopic laboratory infrastructure, enabling new capabilities in ultrafast laser science at NC State,” he said.

Alun Lloyd (right), Drexel Professor of Mathematics, works with graduate students.

Extraordinary Impact

The future is bright, but limited resources make it more challenging to help our college and its people meet their full potential.

70 percent

of the college’s Think and Do the Extraordinary campaign goal reached as of January 2018

In late 2016, NC State kicked off a $1.6 billion Think and Do the Extraordinary campaign to help NC State achieve its potential as one of the most vital and prestigious research universities in the world. The College of Sciences is playing a key part in that effort. With more than three years remaining in the campaign, the college has raised more than $42 million of its $60 million campaign goal.

There are many ways to support the college through a gift to the NC State College of Sciences Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes our educational, research and service programs. The college has many opportunities for donors to make annual gifts or create endowments that benefit generations of NC State science students.

Find out what an endowment is and how these funds seed NC State’s success.

Donors who give unrestricted annual gifts of $1,000 or more to the college’s Excellence Fund and enhancement funds for each of its six academic departments become part of the college’s Dean’s Circle leadership giving society. These funds give the college and its departments freedom to meet urgent needs as they arise.

McGahan sees alumni and friends as among the college’s greatest strengths. “With your continued support, our future has never looked brighter,” McGahan said.

CATEGORIES: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, February 2018, General News, Magazine, Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Research and Innovation, Statistics

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