College roommates and fellow computer science majors Ben Darnell ’02 and Mark Voelker ’02 recently crossed paths within the open source software industry. Longtime open source enthusiasts, both have established themselves as significant contributors in this realm: Darnell as co-founder and chief technology officer of startup Cockroach Labs, and Voelker as chief OpenStack architect at VMware, a publicly-traded global virtualization technology company.
The following Park Scholars, alumni, and faculty received media attention in recent weeks:
Following is one of 28 first-person alumni profiles that were compiled in a photo book for the Park Foundation Trustees in September 2016 and updated recently. Each alumnus was ask to share highlights of his or her path from receiving the Park Scholarship to the present day.
Park Scholars point to their peers – similarly ambitious and hard working individuals – among the most influential aspects of the Park experience. Synergies between scholars are at the core of campus-based initiatives like Service Raleigh, Triangle Youth Leadership Services, and the Krispy Kreme Challenge, but they also extend well beyond graduation. While Greg Mulholland ’07 and Jordan O’Mara ‘07 initially followed disparate paths after NC State, now they’re drawing upon one another’s strengths to build a potentially revolutionary startup
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On January 26, Kelleigh Smith joined NC State’s University Advancement team as director of development with a special focus on advancing the fundraising goals of both the Park Scholarships and Caldwell Fellows programs. Smith will provide direction for both programs’ comprehensive fundraising efforts, and is responsible for attracting major gifts from alumni, friends, industry, private foundations, and other philanthropic partners.
There is a modern adage that many students who are entering college today will graduate into jobs that don’t exist yet. The same could be said of Ben Darnell who, subsequent to completing his undergraduate degree in computer science from NC State in 2002, launched his career at Google – a company that was founded mere weeks after Darnell began college in 1998.
Park Scholar featured on TechCrunch, one of the most widely read Web 2.0 entrepreneurship blogs in the world. It may be hard for some to remember the Internet without Google. These days, GMail, Google Maps, Google Docs and YouTube are all part of people’s everyday habits. But back in 2002, Google was still relatively small and growing. This was a full two years before GMail came out and three years before Google Maps would be unveiled. But Ben Darnell, class
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