Park Faculty Scholar Kanton Reynolds Wins Award with Efficiency, Innovation, and Relationships

Article by ISE Communications | Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Reynolds wins Award with Efficiency, Innovation and Relationships

Returning to NC State, Kanton Reynolds knew he would have the opportunity to contribute to the evolution of ISE’s already strong academic program. But, improving the efficiency of efficiency engineers can be difficult. That is why he has earned an Award for Excellence from the College of Engineering for the innovative ways he has transformed the ISE student experience.

Reynolds has established new processes to transform ISE academic advising, which he oversees for more than 300 undergraduate students. He has implemented an advising kiosk, added automated forms, and streamlined advising appointments based on registration order. “We were one of the first academic departments in the college to adopt the advising kiosk so that students can swipe their ID and their appointment information is pre-populated in the SuccessGPS tool, explained Reynolds. “This speeds up advising appointments, allows us to reach more students in a timely and efficient manner, and helps us better document other things like Study Abroad Approvals.” The transformations enabled our academic advisors to serve more students while enhancing their experience. “It is his reorganization of the advising process that has made it possible for us to support our greatly increased enrollment while maintaining very high student morale and enthusiasm for the major,” said C.A. Anderson Distinguished Professor Reha Uzsoy. “We are all in his debt.”

Kanton Reynolds with Matthew Parker during ISE Engineering Design Day 2019
Kanton Reynolds with Matthew Parker during ISE Engineering Design Day 2019 | Credit: Rob Lasson

One of the most valuable innovations that Reynolds has introduced for student relations is the ISE Student Ambassador program. He founded this program about two years ago. It revolutionized how the department gave outreach to prospective students, provided peer advising for current students, and connected with alumni and corporate partners. Reynolds partners with ISE advisor Wendy Coleman Blue annually to select a truly diverse group of student ambassadors. “Dr. Reynolds is the most hard-working person that I have ever met,” shared ISE ambassador Nikki Gorrell. “Without Dr. Reynolds as my advisor, employee mentor, and program director, I don’t think my experience at NC State would have been nearly as impactful as it has.”

Reynolds also ensures that NC State’s systems and processes serve the needs of underrepresented minorities (URM) in STEM. He created several courses that focus on the engineering contributions of people of color and the diversity and social justice in engineering education. “Since I first met him, Dr. Reynolds has always gone above and beyond to help students in need, especially students of color,” said ISE student Nehemiah MacDonald ’23. “As a Black student navigating a predominantly white institution, I can say that without the support and guidance of Dr. Reynolds I do not think I would be as successful as I am today.”

Reynolds supports the ISE student by giving his personal time by going to games, concerts, plays, and various after-work events. “Dr. Reynolds is a fantastic candidate for this award because of his absolute dedication to the success of his students and the fact that he is always striving to better the ISE program in any way he possibly can,” explained senior Matthew Izzo.

Reynolds knows that no one succeeds alone and gives credit to others. “This award is really about our students,” he said. “Their input and feedback allowed us to develop systems that better serve their needs. I am just exceedingly grateful for the recognition as well as the scope and impact that my work has had on our students and my colleagues. It is the highest honor to have the beneficiaries of your work remark positively about your impact.” He truly embodies efficiency, innovation, and relations at NC State and beyond.

Later this summer Reynolds will compete for the University-level award for Excellence where the winner moves on to compete for the Governor’s Award for Excellence.

This article was originally published by the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.