Russell Gorga is a professor of textile engineering and the director of undergraduate programs and associate department head in the Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science Department at NC State. He’s also the first Park Faculty Scholar from the Wilson College of Textiles, which means Park Faculty Scholars have now come from all of NC State’s colleges. Gorga is originally from Bridgewater New Jersey and earned degrees from Drexel University, Rutgers University, and Iowa State University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at MIT.
At NC State, Gorga is involved in research on the creation of new processing modalities for nanofiber fabrication which has applications ranging from tissue scaffolds for regenerative medicine, antimicrobial fabrics, and filtration applications. He is also extremely interested in classroom innovations and continually seeks new ways to make the classroom a learning-focused environment. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing, hiking, kayaking, photography, and music. Gorga and Suzie Goodell serve as Park Faculty Scholars for the Class of 2024.
What is the best part about being a professor at NC State?
By far it is interacting with students on a daily basis!
What is something all Park Scholars should know about you?
I care tremendously about each and every one of you! I am a good listener and I’m always available if you need to talk!
What inspired you to become a Park Faculty Scholar?
I care so much about all of our students and I thought this would be a good way to connect with students outside of my department.
Share a fun or inspiring story about a Park Scholar.
I was a Park Faculty Mentor for a Park Scholar – Sarah Paluskiewicz ’16 – who was so passionate about Habitat for Humanity that it was emotionally uplifting for me to witness. I loved seeing how engaged she was in such a wonderful organization.
Which Park experience are you most excited about?
I really enjoy the one-on-one interactions I’ve been having with the Park Scholars and I’m looking forward to more face-to-face interactions with individuals and groups.
What has been the most surprising or challenging aspect of your involvement with the Park Scholarships program so far?
The most challenging aspect has been to try to help everyone stay motivated and engaged throughout the online learning modality due to COVID-19.
What is one thing someone might not know about Park Scholars?
Park Scholars are people too. We all have fears, insecurities, and imperfections, which make us all perfectly imperfect.
What advice would you offer to Park Scholars?
You are not perfect and no one expects you to be. Get comfortable with failure; if you learn from your mistakes you will grow exponentially.