As a high school student looking ahead to college, Ryan Thompson ‘06 planned to major in either mechanical or biomedical engineering. Upon touring the NC State campus, however, he happened upon the College of Textiles. There he learned about opportunities for integrating engineering applications with his passion for getting out into nature.
As a young college student who shadowed physicians while in high school, Shelly (Strickland) Lowery ‘04 was initially uncertain whether she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. She opted to double major in biomedical and biological engineering at NC State, believing these fields to be the best match for her love of mathematics and science as well as her tentative interest in medicine.
For many Park Scholars, a key benefit of being part of this program community is having access to now 16 classes of alumni who are eager to offer advice regarding careers and graduate study. The Park Scholarships intranet, SPIFFY, is one forum through which alumni share job and internship leads and where scholars of all classes can make professional connections.
Imagine a toilet that uses concentrated sunlight to heat up human waste to temperatures upwards of 300°C and turn it into sterilized charcoal. As unconventional as it might sound, this “Sol-Char Toilet” was the basis of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project on which BJ Ward ‘09 spent most of her first year as a professional research associate with the University of Colorado (CU-Boulder).
Josh Christie ‘02 currently serves as Vice President of Engineering for ChannelAdvisor, a global software company headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C. that provides cloud-based e-commerce solutions for retailers and manufacturers to manage and optimize their sales across online channels such as Amazon. He recently received a 2015 Triangle Business Journal 40 Under 40 Leadership Award. These awards recognize outstanding professionals under the age of 40 for their contributions to their organizations and to the community.
Lisa Bullard, a Park Faculty Scholar for the Class of 2018, has built her career at NC State on the foundation of a lifelong love for the university. A native of Garner, N.C., Bullard always wanted to attend NC State. She opted to study chemical engineering because she heard it was the most difficult major and “thought it sounded like a fun challenge.”
In an opinion piece for the August 11, 2014 issue of Space News, Zack Hester ‘11 wrote, “While a manned Moon landing or an ambitious attempt at a first Mars landing would bring tremendous prestige to China, current human and robotic endeavors have brought sufficient world standing to China as a space power and serve its geopolitical objectives.”
Lindsey Robinson ‘08 has had a longstanding interest in helping others through science. This passion, coupled with an undergraduate degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering, has propelled her to conduct groundbreaking work in the pharmaceutical industry.
Jalen Feaster ‘16, an industrial and systems engineering major who aspires to work in the media industry, has pursued numerous opportunities to gain valuable professional experience and develop connections with leaders in field.
At the age of 14, Mark DeMaria ’17 developed a fascination with the merging of computers and design, hybridizing the technical and the creative. This fascination, though, was never of the spectator variety. After a few years of years of experimentation and self-teaching, it has evolved into a passion.