Rosalyn Eagleton has been a vital member of the Park Scholarships team since December 1999, serving as building liaison and managing human resources, office operations, accounting, technology, and other tasks as needed. Over the years, those other tasks have proved interesting. Filling the role of construction manager during office expansion and remodeling projects has been the most unexpected job duty, Eagleton shares. She appreciates the autonomy of her position and the opportunities to learn new skills such as accounting. The professional development afforded by her role is one of her favorite benefits.
Eagleton explains how it was a twist of fate that brought her to Park Scholarships. “I didn’t actually apply for the position,” she confesses. She started working at NC State in 1995. After four years with the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she applied for a higher position within that department. Her department head was furious to lose her, but Park Scholarships undoubtedly benefited when University Human Resources routed her application to the program’s first full-time director, Laura Lunsford. “I am forever grateful to Dr. Lunsford for allowing me the opportunity to be part of the best program here at NC State!”
Her favorite thing about working for the program is getting to know the Park Scholars. “Learning from the students and working for them has been a great experience,” she explains. “I have truly been blessed to be around so many fascinating and intelligent young people, and hope to see their strength, perseverance, and care in my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
As the longest-serving staff member, Eagleton is the only member of the Park staff to have worked with all classes while they were undergraduates. She mentions the classes of 2000—the first class of Park Scholars will always have a special place in her heart—2005, 2010, and 2018 in particular for making her feel appreciated and part of the team, but all Park Scholars have made an impact on her. She cherishes fond memories of Park Scholars who are no longer with us: Jenny Chang ’00, Vincent Maniscalco ’04, Tripp Polen ’03, and Garik Sadovy ’12. She enjoys keeping up with student and alumni accomplishments around the nation and world. She is deeply appreciative of the alumni who have included her in important personal events, including several Park weddings.
Beyond serving as the backbone of the Park office, a lot has changed in Eagleton’s life over the last two decades. She met her “soul mate” (her husband) and watched her family expand. She currently has two children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren ranging in age from 3 months to 8 years. She says it thrills her to watch them learn and grow, and she marvels at their intelligence as young people. She also enjoys reading, watching “The Good Doctor,” going to jazz concerts, and traveling. Her favorite destination so far has been Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and she hopes to visit Saint Lucia as well as Ho Chi Minh City, where her father was killed in the Vietnam War when she was ten years old.
Over the next twenty years, Eagleton hopes to start selling real estate, finish her degree in human resources management, take a culinary arts course, and teach young girls how to cook. She has a jump on the latter already, working with her twelve-year-old granddaughter in the kitchen. They plan to have a non-traditional Thanksgiving this year, whipping up some exciting Italian recipes.
Eagleton is grateful for the experience to work with Park Scholars, Park Faculty Scholars, and all of the staff, past and present. She hopes to see the program continue to grow its initiatives encouraging diversity and inclusion. She offers the following advice to all members of the Park and NC State community: “Always be true to yourself. Don’t let anybody change who you are.”