From the board

Above, From Left to Right: Ralph Edwards, Helene Lollis, Nelson Peeler, Leah Pursell, Pamela Townsend, Dr. Gregory Washington and Deborah Young.

Above, From Left to Right: Ralph Edwards, Helene Lollis, Nelson Peeler, Leah Pursell, Pamela Townsend, Dr. Gregory Washington and Deborah Young

Learn more about the work of the NC State Engineering Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors

The NC State Engineering Foundation, Inc. was established in 1944 to aid and promote, by financial assistance and otherwise, engineering education and research at NC State. A board of directors made up of alumni and friends of the College of Engineering work with the Foundation staff and the dean of engineering to set the foundation’s agenda. The board is led by President Nelson Peeler, Jr. and Vice-President Deborah Young.

The Foundation’s College Relations Committee has undergone a renaming and shift in its focus. Now called the College and Alumni Engagement Committee, it will focus on supporting the work of the Foundation in respect to events, alumni communications and other activities designed to raise awareness of the Foundation and the way it supports the College.

That support may include developing alumni engagement plans, mentoring the Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB) or other organizations working with current students and serving as a sounding board for college-wide alumni marketing initiatives.

The committee — led by chair Ralph Edwards, Jr., and vice-chair Helene Lollis — will shift its focus to engaging current alumni, with the YAAB now involved with outreach to current students. The committee also hopes to build on successful events held in Atlanta, Charlotte and Virginia.

The foundation’s advocacy committee hosted a virtual panel discussion on May 22 to give alumni an opportunity to learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the University and College. Pamela Townsend, chair of the committee, served as moderator.

The discussion offered insights into how the College is operating during the crisis, efforts to help produce personal protective equipment and offer assistance with relevant expertise, and impacts on students.

The panel included remarks from Dean Louis Martin-Vega and Dr. Paul Dayton, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and interim chair of the UNC / NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering; Dr. Landon Grace, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE); Dr. Julie Swann, A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor and head of the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and Leah Pursell, the student representative on the Foundation board and a junior studying in MAE.

An NC State Engineering alumnus and member of the Foundation board took office over the summer as the eighth president of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Dr. Gregory Washington earned bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from NC State and has been a Foundation board member since 2013. Before joining George Mason, Washington served as a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine.

Washington is George Mason’s first African-American president. At UC, Irvine, he was the first African-American dean of engineering at any of the University of California campuses.


Return to contents or download the Fall/Winter 2020 NC State Engineering magazine (PDF, MB).

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