The Park Scholarships program prepares scholars for lifelong contributions to the campus, state, nation, and world. Neal Robbins ’01, Jennifer Morgan ’02, and Will Quick ’07 carried this with them well beyond graduation and have each been recognized with a Triangle Business Journal 2018 40 Under 40 Award for their efforts. To qualify for the award, nominees were required to hold a leadership role of importance in their organizations, make significant achievements in their career in 2017, and have had substantial involvement in community service outside of the performance of their day-to-day job.
Neal Robbins ‘01
Founder, North State Media and Special Counsel, Nexsen Pruet
Robbins views his career path in a connect-the-dots fashion. He has had a wide range of experiences, from chemical engineering to law in a business and finance practice to legislative director for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality to starting a newspaper and back to law. With these experiences, he has encountered a great many people to influence and guide him along the way.
“I have been fortunate to have many great mentors. Those professional experiences have allowed me to better apply the diverse theoretical knowledge I gained from my education. Growing up in an entrepreneurial household where both my mother and father worked in a small business gave me a head start in understanding the challenges and rewards of starting something. Each of my career steps has added to my stable of mentors and friends who I can count on for sound advice and supportive conversations when I need them… Much like the Park program, the people one encounters in school and at work are as important as the classwork or training. I am fortunate to have a brain trust of superstars from engineering, politics, government, law, and business that I can call on.”
Jennifer Morgan ‘02
Attorney, William Mullen
Morgan is an attorney specializing in alcoholic beverage law. She focuses on all aspects of alcoholic beverage regulation, including matters involving distribution agreements, relationships between suppliers and wholesalers, brand distribution litigation, trade practice investigations, requests for exemptions, permitting, alternating proprietorships, private label agreements, beer festival management, and advertising. In addition to this specific area, she works on utilities law and renewable energy.
Looking at her decision to pursue law, Morgan greatly considers her time at NC State. “I knew I wanted to go to law school after serving on the Judicial Board and as Student Body Chief Justice while at NC State. We heard cases involving student academic and personal misconduct. It was interesting to work with faculty and ensure the proper judicial process was followed. It was also interesting to talk with the students and work towards constructive penalties that would enable them to be successful in the future.” Morgan adds, “One of the highlights for me as a Park Scholar was my summer learning experience and internship at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal. [I] and two other Park Scholars worked with governmental officials and completed various research projects, which helped shape my interest in law and government. I got to work with people from all over the world while living in a foreign city, and it was a really unique and fun experience.”
Will Quick ‘07
Attorney, Brooks Pierce
Practicing across multiple areas at his current firm, Quick has been afforded the opportunity to learn from a broad range of industries. “I have a fairly diverse litigation and regulatory practice, representing businesses and local governments in trial and appellate matters and before government agencies. An additional area of focus over the past few years has been data privacy and cybersecurity. As part of our firm data privacy team, I help businesses proactively implement policies and procedures that can reduce the risk of a data breach and address other privacy concerns and then assist with breach response when incidents occur.”
Quick pointed out it was the flexibility of the Park program to pursue his varied interests and the academic and leadership experiences provided that opened so many doors in pursuit of his graduate degrees and professional career. He adds, “the tenants of the program—scholarship, leadership, service, and character—are all ones that I took to heart and try to reflect in my daily life. I can point to examples in my daily life as an attorney where each of those is important to what I’m doing.”