The following Park Scholars and Park Faculty Scholars have received media attention in recent weeks for their entrepreneurial ventures, anthropological breakthroughs, and commitment to regional dialect preservation:
Neal Robbins ’01 is publisher of the North State Journal, a soon-to-be-launched online and print newspaper that will provide statewide news coverage. Raleigh’s News & Observer recently published an article about Robbins’ endeavor. Robbins, who graduated with a BS in chemical engineering then went on to earn MBA and law degrees from Wake Forest University, has previously worked as a chemical engineer, a lawyer, and the director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs at the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He serves on the Park Advisory Committee.
Susanna (Rankin) Sawyer ’08 is first author of a scholarly article entitled, “Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from two Denisovan individuals.” While at NC State, she earned her undergraduate degree in zoology, then went on to complete a master’s in evolutionary biology from Sweden’s Uppsala University. Now she’s part of a team of geneticists and anthropologists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany whose analysis of a fossil tooth from Siberia reveals that a human-like population called Denisovans lived alongside modern humans and Neanderthals for tens of thousands of years on the Eurasian continent. Hear from Susanna and her team in this National Geographic article, and find out more from this New York Times story.
Walt Wolfram, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English at NC State and Park Faculty Scholar for the Class of 2005, has pioneered research on social and ethnic dialects since the 1960s and published more than 20 books and more than 300 articles. He is particularly interested in the application of sociolinguistic information for public audiences, including the production of a number of television documentaries, the construction of museum exhibits, and the development of an innovative middle school social studies dialect awareness curriculum endorsed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This article features Wolfram and his mission to preserve the languages and dialects of the American South.