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College of Humanities & Social Sciences > alum clears the air > MAgellan’s smooth sails > election experts FAL 2008 Accolades For Alumni & Friends of CHASS Southern Energy Management An English alum and her engineer husband make sustainable energy their business Accolades CHASS Advisory Board Hampton Pitts, President Cliff Leath, Immediate Past President Emily Barbour David Flynt Betty Fried Lee Garrett Daniel Gunter Mike Herman Jim Johnson David Jolley Scott Leo Ellan Maynard Dean Norman Ellie Sanford Moore Brooks Raiford Paul Ridgeway Andy Willis Elaine Wood Accolades is published biannually by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Jeffery Braden Interim Dean Lauren Kirkpatrick Director of Communication NC State Creative Services Design On the cover: Maria (English ‘99) and Bob (Engineering ‘91) Kingery outside NC State’s Solar House, where their company engineered and installed the expansion of the Solar Voltaic system. See page 6. NC State University is dedicated to equality of opportunity. The University does not condone discrimination against students, employees, or applicants in any form. NC State commits itself to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. In addition, NC State welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation. 29,000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of 66¢ per copy. 08-CHASS-1298 New Dean’s Circle enhances college activities There’s a new club, and you’re invited to join! CHASS has formed the Dean’s Circle to support the college’s Enhancement Fund. “Private support is critical for so many things for which state funds may not be used or does not exist,” says CHASS Ex-ecutive Director of Development Stacy Zearing. “Gifts from Dean’s Circle members will enable the dean to capitalize on new opportunities, meet unforeseen challenges, and support the life of the college in many ways.” Examples include scholarships, faculty and student recruitment events, each department’s twice-yearly graduation ceremonies, student travel to present research or study abroad, events to honor retiring faculty or welcome new ones, and guest speakers. The Dean’s Circle is designed for annual gifts of $1,000. Mem-bers will be recognized in CHASS on-line and print publica-tions and will be invited to an annual leadership dinner and other special events. In addition, Dean’s Circle gifts count toward membership in the university’s lifetime giving societies. Please use the enclosed envelope or visit www.chass.ncsu.edu/ chass/gift to join the Dean’s Circle today. Checks should be made payable to NC State Foundation, Inc., with a designa-tion to CHASS Enhancement Fund. Questions? Contact Stacy Zearing at 919.515.5984 or email@example.com. Say it with a brick You’ve walked the walk. Now help pave it! Join your fellow alumni and purchase an engraved brick to become part of the CHASS Walk of Honor. Proceeds from brick purchases directly benefit your home de-partment. Each $75 engraved commemorative paver measures 4”x 8” with room for three lines of text. All brick purchases are tax deductible. Walk of Honor pathways will be installed in front of the 1911 Building, Winston Hall, and Withers Hall. Be a part of the permanent NC State landscape and express your pride as a CHASS grad. Visit www.chass.ncsu.edu/bricks to order your brick. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919.513.1478. Fall 2008 > 1 Student activists for the environment CHASS students joined forces with others to form the Wolfpack Environmental Student Association (WESA) last year to promote campus environmental awareness and environmental protection. The club organized numerous awareness events on the brickyard and around campus. “WESA members want to form networks across campus and with other universities to manage environmental and natural resources,” says WESA chair and former student body president Bobby Mills (PoliSci/Econ ’09). “We’re raising awareness so that everyone knows the power we have as individuals and as a community to protect the planet.” In its first year, WESA garnered signatures on this NC State Contract with the Environment: ✓ I will learn how my daily actions affect environ-mental resources. ✓ I will live by reducing environmental impacts. ✓ I will engage others about human relationships with the environment. ✓ I will sustain actions to improve the environment and conserve natural resources. ‘Pack freshmen pack campus Drawing from the largest pool of applications ever, North Carolina State’s freshmen number 4,700 this fall. Add the 1,050 new transfer students, and the Wolf-pack’s student body swells to 32,000. Here’s a snapshot of our nearly 500 CHASS freshmen: 65% female; 35% male 75% white; 12% African American; 6% Asian 90% from North Carolina 1164 average SAT score (579 Math, 585 Verbal) 4.16 average GPA 38% in top 10% of high school class The North Carolina Humanities Council honored pioneering sociolinguist Walt Wolfram with one of the state’s most prestigious public humanities awards this fall: the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities. Wolfram is the William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English Linguistics at NC State, where he directs the North Carolina Language and Life Project (NCLLP). The award recognizes Wolfram’s extensive research in the field of dialects in the U.S., with particular emphasis on the speech patterns of North Carolinians. President Friday, a 1999 Caldwell Laureate and former head of the UNC system, delivered the keynote lecture during the awards event. The evening also featured the premiere of The Carolina Brogue, the newest documentary produced by the NCLLP. Wolfram is the first member of the Wolfpack since John Tyler Caldwell to receive the award. Send word! We’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your new job, your adventures, your life. Find your class notes at www.chass.ncsu. edu/alumni. Use the online form to update your info and share your news. 2 > www.chass.ncsu.edu Student explores the world Ask senior Jon Mehta (PoliSci) what he did last summer. Here’s a partial list: Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and other mountains in China, Africa, and Thailand; taught English to college students in Xi’An, China; hiked along the Great Wall of China; played with baby pandas in Chengdu, China; visited the world’s largest Buddha statue; stayed in tribal huts in Thailand and Africa; sat in on a Rwandan crime tribunal; rode camels in the Arabian desert. He also volunteered in a center for runaway, homeless, and abandoned children in the Tanzanian village of Moshi. The experience compelled him to help found a nonprofit: The JFish Foundation helps send the children of Moshi to school. Mehta was named the 2008 Student Volunteer of the Year by NC State’s Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service. Former CHASS dean is now UNC-G chancellor Former CHASS Dean Linda P. Brady has become chancellor of UNC-Greensboro. Brady, who was dean here from 2001 to 2006, has most recently been senior vice president and provost at the University of Oregon. UNC President Erskine Bowles recommended Brady to the UNC Board of Governors, saying, “Over the past 25 years, Linda Brady has accumulated a wealth of leadership experi-ence at highly respected public, urban universities, as well as in the halls of Washington. At each step along the way, she has proven herself to be an energetic leader who promotes collaboration, creative problem-solving, and real-life com-mitment to scholarship, research, and public service. We are delighted to bring her back to North Carolina.” Pack sends UNC down the drain A Wolfpack victory over the Tarheels came recently, not on the hardwood or the gridiron, but in a head-to-head battle of greater importance: water conservation. NC State swept UNC-Chapel Hill in all three categories of a 95-day, water-saving showdown between the univer-sities’ residence-hall students: the decrease in the amount of water used by each participating student per day, the average amount of water used per student per day, and the overall percent of reduction per student per day. During the three-month competition, which was conceived as a way to respond to the drought in North Carolina, stu-dents from NC State and UNC saved more than 11 million gallons of water. “This is the kind of initiative that gives everyone an oppor-tunity to get involved in a critical issue in our state,” said CHASS student and former student body president Bobby Mills (PoliSci/Econ ’09). “The competition was great for making students more mindful of water conservation.” Through conservation efforts, upgraded irrigation systems, and installation of low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toi-let fixtures across campus, NC State continues to lower its water usage. The university has cut water consumption by 29 percent over the last five years — even though the cam-pus population has grown by 10 percent. Since July 2007, NC State’s water conservation measures have produced a savings of 57 million gallons over the same period from 2006-07. photos provided by Jon Mehta Fall 2008 > 3 Ask the election year experts In the months leading up to the presidential elections this fall, media outlets from across the country have called upon CHASS faculty for their expertise. These experts have provided insights related to the elections and to key issues of great interest to voters. Topics have ranged from energy and the environment to the role of religion in poli-tics, the war in Iraq, the economy, immigration, educa-tion, and diplomacy. Richard C. Kearney, director of the School of Public and In-ternational Affairs, has been sought out for his expertise on the intersection of public and environmental policy, particularly on issues related to renewable energy. He has been quoted extensively—in The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Olympian, The News and Observer, The Miami Herald, as well as in other McClatchy papers—regard-ing the energy and environ-mental challenges facing the next president. Andrew Taylor, chair of the Department of Political Sci-ence, is an authority on the White House, Congress, and public policy. Taylor has been seen and heard almost daily on radio talk shows, television news programs, and in papers across the state and nation. Leading nation-al news outlets Reuters and McClatchy are among those who regularly call on Taylor for his expert opinion. Steven Greene, associate profes-sor of political science, has been a go-to person for his expertise in campaigns, public opinion, and the media. During this elec-tion season, Greene has appeared in USA Today, The Times (UK), various Reuters outlets, North Carolina’s major newspapers, The CBS Early Show, and Na-tional Public Radio. Jason Bivins, associate head of the Department of Philoso-phy and Religion, is an authority on the nexus of religion and politics in the United States over the last century. Re-porters from McClatchy and from the Los Angeles Times interviewed Bivins for articles about such issues as Barack Obama’s ties to his former minister, Jeremiah Wright. Craig A. Smith, professor of communication, is an expert in political campaign com-munication. A McClatchy re-porter interviewed Smith for an article about campaign ad-vertising and for another piece about the Clinton campaign. The story appeared in the Miami Herald, among other papers. Smith’s forthcoming book, Presidential Campaign Communication: The Quest for the White House, is sched-uled for publication in 2009 by Polity Press Ltd, Cam-bridge, England. 4 > www.chass.ncsu.edu Dear Friends, After 16 years in administration, I returned to the faculty in Sociology at the end of last semester. With the help of so many alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college, we have accomplished much over the last several years. We have brought new resources, new friends, faculty, and students, and new opportunities to CHASS. We have worked to sharpen our image and spread the word about our excellence. I look forward to returning to my research about the sociol-ogy of work and family, teaching, and working more closely with students and colleagues. Thanks to all for your wonderful support of CHASS. I hope we can continue to count on your involvement. Toby L. Parcel Outgoing Dean Dear Friends, My goal as Interim Dean is to continue Toby Parcel’s outstanding leadership. In this decade, CHASS has grown faster than any other college on campus in enrollment (more than 50 percent more ma-jors this fall than in 1999/2000) and research (new research grants and contracts are up more than 50 percent over our best year ever). We also continue to lead in the number of students from other col-leges who take our courses, meaning we provide more credits, more classes, and serve more students than any other campus unit. This kind of success is not without its challenges. I will continue our focus on increasing graduate enrollments and programs, secur-ing the resources we need to meet the challenges of our explosive growth, and enhancing our reputation through research, recruit-ment, and sharing our story with stakeholders within and outside the college. To meet these challenges, CHASS will need your continued sup-port. Your contributions make a significant difference to our stu-dents and our faculty as we grow to meet the needs of our students, our state, and our world. Provost Larry Nielsen has appointed a search committee to identify a leader for our great college by July 2009. View the committee’s progress online at www.chass.ncsu.edu. My role is to stay the course during this period of transition. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be standing still! This year’s incoming class of freshmen, transfer, and graduate stu-dents is the most competitive yet. Word is out that CHASS offers an excellent grounding in the wisdom of the humanities and the knowledge of the social sciences. I hope you share my pride in our college. Please be in touch! Jeffery P. Braden Interim Dean CHASS leaders Toby L. Parcel, outgoing dean, and Jeffery P. Braden, interim dean. MEET THE INTERIM DEAN Professor of Psychology and Interim Dean Jeff Braden has been on the CHASS faculty since 2003 and directed NC State’s School Psychology Program from 2004 to 2007. Most recently, he was the college’s Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. Prior to teaching at NC State, Braden taught and directed school psychology programs at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, San Jose State University, and the University of Florida. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Gallaudet University, and Beloit College. Braden has presented more than 275 papers at state, national, and international meetings and is widely published. Fall 2008 > 5 Table of contents Energy and the Environment Alumna Builds Renewable Energy Company. . . . 6 EPA’s Dale Evarts Clears the Air . . . . . . . . 9 Why Your Voice Matters . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Retracing Magellan’s Smooth Sails. . . . . . . . 12 Learning from Disasters . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Nanotechnology: What You Should Know . . . 20 Understanding Emerging Technologies. . . . . . 22 Social Workers Make Homes Safer . . . . . . 23 Alumnus Flushes With Pride . . . . . . . . . 24 Around the College Ask the Elections Experts. . . . . . . . . . . . 3 CHASS Achieved! Campaign Hits Goals . . . . 16 New Development Leadership . . . . . . . . 17 Dails Issue Political Science Challenge . . . . 18 Francophile Scholarship Honors Diane Adler .. 19 Meet the New CHASS Faculty. . . . . . . . . . 25 Chancellor James L. Oblinger declared 2008 the Year of Energy across NC State’s campus. The university has built energy-related partnerships and dedicated resources to create scholarships and programs centered on energy and the environment. CHASS has been integral to these efforts, in some cases collaborat-ing with other units, and in other cases taking the lead. CHASS faculty have created the CHASS Environmental Group to share interests in the societal aspects of environmental policy and practices. Faculty in political science, communication, sociology, anthropology, and other fields are exploring the policies, challeng-es, and possible solutions to environmental and energy challenges that affect us all. Options abound for students to explore areas related to the envi-ronment and energy. Students in the public administration master’s program can focus on environmental policy and management. Fu-ture anthropologists can study at an ethnographic field school in Guatemala, learning about the challenges of creating sustainable tourism. Those who study communication can learn how to bring the public into the debates over climate change, alternative energy sources, and environmental challenges. CHASS alumni are helping reduce energy demand and improve the environment. In the business world, alumni like Maria Kingery are leading the way in providing sustainable energy services. Other alums, like the EPA’s Dale Evarts work for change within govern-ment. Along with other news of the college, this issue of Accolades tells some of the many stories about how CHASS is shaping a greener, cleaner, more sustainable planet for us all. 2008 The Year of energy 6 > www.chass.ncsu.edu If you worked at Southern Energy Management, your com-pany car would run on biodiesel fuel and you’d be encour-aged to “bang the gong” a few times a week or submit your ideas to the “I was thinking…” big ideas box. Although such practices may seem unusual, they work. Em-ployee loyalty is high and business is booming at Southern Energy Management. Founded by NC State alums Maria and her husband Bob Kingery (Engineering ’91), SEM is the leading renewable energy and en-ergy efficiency company in North Carolina. The multi-million dollar company works with homeowners and with residential and commercial builders to consult on and verify energy per-formance and green building features. SEM also installs energy-saving devices such as solar panels and other systems. Philosophical debates Southern Energy Management wasn’t always so big. Bob and Maria started the company just six years ago, nearly coinciding with the birth of their son, Zach, and ran the business out of their living room for two years. Bob handled the engineering and mechanical side of things, while Maria shouldered the marketing and human resources aspects. With her wry sense of humor and easygoing nature, Maria was able to juggle her infant and the company’s taxes, pay-roll, and marketing responsibilities with relative ease. But as things began to grow, she and Bob agreed they wanted their living room back. SEM’s next office was in 1,200 square feet of space near downtown Cary. By then, Maria was already determined to use what she’d learned in CHASS to recruit the best employ-ees in the business. “I think I went back to study literature because I wanted to understand the big questions. What is it that’s universal that people have always been trying to figure out, and what is it that I can learn from people across the ages?” says Kingery, who initially started at NC State in 1986, then went back full-time ten years later. She worked with Professor of English Tom Hester, her advi-sor, on the John Donne Journal; he was a big influence on rising Maria Kingery (Eng ‘99) returned to NC State to finish her degree for the same reason many of us do: to find the answers to the “big questions.” What she discovered gave her the tools to grow her company. solar Fall 2008 > 7 Maria, now 41. “What I really liked about working with Tom Hester was this idea of macrocosm and microcosm and how everything is related. He drove that home to me. “I loved to watch his mind work—to watch him make con-nections. He had a singular ability to draw from pop culture to make complex ideas accessible to his students. He could go from Shakespeare to the Rolling Stones and back without missing a beat.” Tom Regan, a now-retired philosophy professor, also made an impression with his moral philosophy class. “It’s where I first learned of Emanuel Kant’s categorical imperative that says we should act only according to that maxim ‘whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a uni-versal law,’” she recalls. “Thinking about it this way, we put ourselves within a much larger context. We see our responsibility as part of one mac-rocosmic whole, and the impact of our decisions is magni-fied. Our choices matter.” Maria learned another guiding principle—that of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—in Professor of Psychology Rupert Nacoste’s social psychology class. She remembers the classic pyramid that has such primitive needs as food and water at its base, and respect, self-esteem, and creativity at the top, accessible only when the basic needs are met. So, with all of this philosophical debate, did Maria find the answers to her big questions? “The biggest lesson I learned is that we’re all basically the same. We’ve all been looking for the same thing forever,” she says. “We all want clean air to breathe. We all want to earn a decent living. We all want to be able to contribute, I believe. And when we can tap into those things that we all share then it does inspire action on a higher level.” The highest thing on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is self-actualization, and Maria knew that she could retain the best and the brightest employees if she had their happiness, not just the company’s success, top of mind. “I want to get to what it is that’s going to make them feel fulfilled. If we can find a way to plug them in and really meet that need, which comes down to that whole idea of self-actualization, the rest works itself out.” Go ahead: “bang a gong” As it turns out, Maria was right. And her interest in the ful-fillment of her employees’ happiness meshed with her desire for SEM to practice what it preaches. Bright ideas—and banging the gong—are encouraged at Southern Energy Management. 8 > www.chass.ncsu.edu Today, housed in a 10,000-square-foot Morrisville loca-tion, all of SEM’s company cars run on biodiesel fuel. The company upfitted its new space with recycled carpet tiles and greener low-VOC paint. It also adjusted its interior lighting to be more energy efficient. And it does its own composting. Employees feel good about SEM’s two-part corporate goal of making a positive impact on global climate change while building a sustainable company. Maria added the “I was thinking…” box to encourage employees to share their ideas about what else the company can do. She set aside a meditation room where employees can go for peace and quiet. As for the gong, it’s out in the center of the main room, readily available for banging, whether in fun, celebration, or just to be nutty. (I had to bang the gong myself, and, I have to admit, it was pretty fun!) Needless to say, turnover is very low at SEM, and that is key to Maria. “None of this is for us,” she says. “It started out being for our unborn child; we thought we needed to do something to contribute to the world. And now, I say all the time our greatest success is in making other people successful. That is the thing that I’m personally most proud of—the fact that these incredible, talented people choose to work with us. I’m humbled.” SEM has offices in Raleigh and Charlotte and is plan-ning offices in Wilmington and the Triad as well. And through the work SEM does, Maria feels the business is already making a difference in how people perceive solar power and energy efficiency. “It’s something we feel deeply about,” says Maria. “It’s what we love, and it’s what we believe in.” by Christa Gala southern energy management is changing how people perceive solar power and energy efficiency. Upgrading NC State’s Solar House When Bob and Maria Kingery started Southern Energy Management (SEM) in 2002, they saw more than a few raised eyebrows. “At the time, people thought we were nuts. And of course now people think we're visionaries,” laughs Maria. “The truth is somewhere in between.” SEM, located in Morrisville, is the leading renewable energy and energy efficiency company in North Caro-lina. Since Bob and Maria are both NC State alums, one of the projects they’re most proud of is engineering and installing the expansion of an existing solar photovol-taic system at the university’s Solar House. Marking the first update to the house since 1991, SEM removed the 3kW system that filled up 75 percent of the roof and replaced it with a new 5.4kW system that takes up just 50 percent of roof space. Electricity gen-erated by the system will be sold back to the grid for NC GreenPower renewable energy credits. The sys-tem started producing power this summer. For more information about SEM, visit www.south-ern- energy.com. Fall 2008 > 9 Dale Evarts is paid to think about things most Americans rarely consider. Ideas, for example, about how air pollution travels. Like an unwanted houseguest, it drops in over our country from neighboring Mexico and Canada as well as all the way from India and China. “It's not unlike how weather systems move,” explains Evarts. “We know that certain kinds of air pollution will move from country to country and even continent to continent.” Mer-cury is one example of a traveling pollutant, he says, as are the fine dust particles called aerosols. Ozone, which is both colorless and odorless, also travels well. Evarts works for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. “The quality of air you breathe when you walk outside is our re-sponsibility all over the country,” he says. He graduated in 1979 from NC State's College of Agriculture and Life Sci-ences and from CHASS in 1985 with a master’s degree in public administration, now located in the School of Public and International Affairs. “I was working in the agricultural sector, helping set up farmers’ markets around the state, and I got more and more interested in how public policy shaped science and programs that affected people,” says Evarts, adding his two degrees address both sides of the air quality issue: sci-ence and legislation. During the past 25 years, Evarts has worked with Canada and Mexico to sign air pollution agreements and discuss how pollutants can be reduced from a variety of businesses and industries. Evarts says the framework is in place and much progress has been made with these neighboring coun-tries. Now his office is concentrating on other world re-gions, including India and China. “Since they are developing—and developing very fast— we are working with them to share what we have learned about how to control air pollution,” says Evarts. “We’re offering to help them improve ways to manage and reduce air pollution at its source.” Evarts and his team are doing a great job. Between 1980 and 2007, total emissions of the six principal air pollut-ants dropped by 52 percent in this country, even though the vehicular miles increased 103 percent, energy consump-tion increased 30 percent, and the U.S. population grew by 33 percent. And that’s not a lot of hot air. by Christa Gala Air Travels CHASS Alum Dale Evarts works with other countries to encourage clean air legislation. His work means cleaner air for all of us. 10 > www.chass.ncsu.edu When it comes to nuclear hazards, is there anything a farmer can tell a scientist? Can Joe and Mary Public add anything useful to the debate over risks associated with nuclear pow-er? And seriously, do the powers that be really want to hear from regular folks? Yes, yes, and they certainly should, according to Bill Kinsella, a professor of communication and co-editor of Nuclear Leg-acies: Communication, Controversy, and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex (Lexington Books, 2007). Kinsella studies communication at the three-way intersec-tion where government decision makers, scientific and tech-nical experts, and the public converge. “I want to know to what degree these three groups can leave highly technical language, jargon, and politics at the door, and communicate effectively around issues that impact the lives and safety of entire communities,” he says. “I want to know how the people who are most affected by en-vironmental policy decisions can have a more effective voice in those decisions. And I want to show what can be gained when local expertise is added to technical discussions. My research confirms that if you don’t engage with the public, you may not get the science right.” We all live downwind For the last ten years, Kinsella has studied public communi-cation surrounding the environmental costs of U.S. nuclear weapons production. Such consequences are the focus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s environmental management program, and have racked up billions of dollars annually (with $5.3 billion requested for FY 2009). The costs will also likely continue for decades, with cleanup sites at multiple locations throughout the nation. He has closely studied the case of the Hanford downwinders, a group of Oregon citizens concerned about the lingering ef-fects of nuclear facilities near their homes. The downwinders believe they have suffered serious health consequences from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons between 1944 and 1990. They believe the high rates of cancer and thyroid issues among the townspeople are a direct result of exposure to toxic materials released by the nuclear facilities. Speak Up! Why Your Voice Matters Professor Bill Kinsella studies communication at the three-way intersection where government decision makers, scientific and technical experts, and the public converge. Fall 2008 > 11 Thousands of people who believed they were exposed to Han-ford’s radiation filed suit in 1990 against former contractors such as DuPont and GE, which operated Hanford for the U.S. government. As part of its response, the government established long-term scientific studies to track rates of cancer, setting up a control group in nearby Ellensburg. Rates of cancer between Ellens-burg and the downwinders’ community were similar, indicat-ing that the nuclear residue was not a factor in the downwind-ers’ high incidence of thyroid disease. But what the scientists didn’t know skewed their findings. “The local farmers were aware of a microclimate that affects how the winds blow in the area,” Kinsella explains. “They knew that El-lensburg was equally ‘downwind’ of the Hanford site. They were able to bring that critical piece of local knowledge to the conver-sation, and to thereby challenge the experts’ conclusions.” Seventeen years after the first lawsuit was filed, lawsuits im-pacting thousands of citizens are still pending. We all have a voice Responsibility for informed debate lies in part with the public. “The conversation becomes pretty technical and exclusionary unless the public gets up to speed and becomes competent in that kind of communication,” Kinsella says. “But since it’s the public that’s affected by these decisions, it’s in their best inter-ests, and in the best interests of a democracy, that they have a place at the table.” Scientists bear some responsibility to involve the public as well. Kinsella himself earned an undergraduate degree in physics, studied astronomy and physics at the graduate level, and worked as a science educator before pursuing his doctoral degree in communication from Rutgers University. “Scientists are trained to look at the laws of nature that apply. Sometimes they tend to think that’s the end of the discussion,” he says. “But scientists aren’t making good decisions unless they factor in knowledge gleaned from the people who are walking the walk.” Kinsella is currently tracking how discussions over expansion are playing out concerning central North Carolina’s Shearon Harris nuclear power plant. And he is following Duke Ener-gy’s interest in opening two new reactors just over the South Carolina border. Step It Up! Tracking a Movement’s Progress A communication researcher’s dream come true: having a front row seat as a national movement of social activism unfolds before his eyes, and being there to document it. Even better, having other communication researchers watching from their vantage points, and collaborating on their findings. Step It Up 2007 provided Communication Professor Bill Kinsella and his colleagues with just such an opportunity. The national grassroots movement was created to urge lawmakers to pick up the pace on policies related to climate change. Using one slogan, “Step it up, Congress! Enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions, and pledge an 80% reduction by 2050,” activists in hundreds of locations across the country staged events on April 14, 2007, to send a united message to Congress. Kinsella, CHASS graduate students Chad O’Neil, Jim Shields, and Nick Temple, and other communication researchers at eight universities and colleges across the country have been interviewing organizers, attending rallies, and examining Step It Up’s other grassroots environmental activism. Now they’re writing a book about their findings. “We’re seeing an interesting phenomenon with global warming activism,” Kinsella says. “The public isn’t waiting for the technical experts and politicians to deal with the problems. There’s a lot of impatience brewing when people take to the streets to call for change.” The forthcoming Building a Movement in the 21st Century: The Step It Up 2007 Campaign for Action on Climate Change draws on the researchers’ collaborative academic expertise to answer the question of what it takes to build a social movement on global warming in the 21st century. 12 > www.chass.ncsu.edu Archaeologist scott fitzpatrick studies the winds of a changed course. As the first explorer to attempt sailing around the world, Ferdinand Magellan managed to survive scurvy, cannibals, mutiny, and a diet of rats. But in his 16th century ship, he really should have struggled to get through the noto-riously rough waters and strong winds of South America’s coastal Pacific Ocean. Somehow, where other ships had been tossed about and smashed, Magellan’s ship had smooth sailing through the Pacific. How? After 500 years, Professor of Archaeology Scott Fitzpatrick and fellow researcher Richard Cal-laghan, an archaeologist at the University of Calgary, may have solved the mystery: El Niño. Solving the Mystery of Magellan’s Smooth Sails Fall 2008 > 13 The researchers were studying early exploration trips and were intrigued by how far north Magellan sailed. “We were trying to account for why the winds were so calm when Ma-gellan came into the Pacific,” Fitzpatrick says. “We knew it was unusual.” Magellan set out from Spain in 1519 with hopes of claiming the wealth of the Spice Islands for the Spanish. Two years later he claimed the first European contact with a Pacific island culture when he landed on Guam—1,500 miles north of the Spice Islands. Magellan’s journals show he encountered fair weather on November 28, 1520, after days of battle through the rough waters along the tip of South America. From there his pas-sage across the Pacific Ocean—which Magellan named for its calm stillness—seemed to be smooth sailing. The researchers used a computer to model wind and weather conditions across the Pacific during an El Niño and com-pared the results to Magellan's route. Their results closely matched Magellan’s route and the weather he reported, lead-ing them to hypothesize that an El Niño weather condition influenced his unusual path through the Pacific. Tree ring data back up their theory, indicating that an El Niño was likely occurring during the time that Magellan was at sea. Magellan’s may be the earliest historical record of an El Niño event. “His journals show that many of his crew had died or were sick with scurvy, so he may simply have cho-sen to sail with the existing winds and currents, reducing the number of crew needed to operate his ships,” Fitzpatrick says. “It could have been an adept maneuver that allowed him to move west along the path of least resistance.” In his writings, Magellan said he chose the northerly route because of reports of a famine in the Spice Islands. This also could be accurate, Fitzpatrick says, because El Niño condi-tions often result in drought. But we’ll never know for sure, because those reports were destroyed in the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Although all the reasons for Magellan’s choice of route re-main uncertain, Fitzpatrick says El Niño conditions “may have been largely responsible for structuring the route and extent of what many consider the world’s greatest voyage.” What is El Niño? Every two to seven years, strong westward-blowing trade winds subside, and warm water slowly moves back eastward across the Pacific, like water shifting in a giant bathtub. The effects can be worldwide, including drought in the western Pacific and heavier rains in Peru and the west coast of South America. In the Equatorial Pacif-ic, the water becomes warmer than normal, creating rising air that changes wind and weather patterns. Fishermen along the coast of Ecuador and Peru have long referred to the phenomenon as El Niño—or Christ Child—since the conditions usually occur near the Christmas season. The Story that Sailed Around the World News of Fitzpatrick and Callaghan’s insights about Magellan’s voyage circumnavigated the globe this summer. More than 100 media outlets—not counting regional affiliates for national outlets—in at least a dozen countries carried the story. Among them were the New York Times, Washington Post, and other major newspapers across the United States, all the national network news channels, CNN Radio, BBC Radio, magazines such as La Recherche (France) and Epoc (Germany), the Associated Press, the Discovery Channel, Science Magazine, the Tehran Times, Iran, TopNews, India, Daily Times, Pakistan, The Cheers, Estonia, and other outlets from Canada to South Af-rica, and the Philippines to Australia. The full story of their research has been published in the Journal of Pacific History (August 2008). 14 > www.chass.ncsu.edu Hurricanes. Droughts. Floods. Natural disasters are affecting our lives and our country. But what have we—and our local, state, and national lead-ers— learned from these disasters? Are we destined to make the same mistakes the next time disaster strikes? Will we be better prepared? Who will come up with the best approaches to avert the threats of destruction, damages, and death? And who will implement those plans? Should our government pro-tect us even when we take unnecessary risks? Or should we become more self-reliant? Tom Birkland poses these questions and seeks some answers. He studies disasters and the policy decisions that follow them. His book, Lessons of Disaster, (Georgetown Univer-sity Press, 2006) examines how disasters serve as triggers for policymakers to set new agendas, and in the best scenar-ios, to enact legislation and regulations that will reduce the effects of future disasters. Learning from Who will come up with the best approaches to avert the threats of destruction, damages, and death? Tom Birkland studies disasters and policy decisions. Disasters Fall 2008 > 15 Birkland, the William T. Kretzer professor of public policy in the CHASS School of Public and International Affairs, is currently working with a national team to study how federal law was implemented in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. They want to know where applying the Stafford Act—the key legislation governing federal disaster response—fell short. They are also asking how individuals and community groups can work with governments to speed recovery and improve community resilience in the face of future disasters. North Carolina: prepared for disaster? Birkland’s work has particular relevance in North Carolina, where hurricanes, droughts, ice storms, and other natural or human-caused disasters are all too familiar. “Hurricane Fran served as an enormous wake-up call here for private citizens and for government officials,” he says. “It was one of those experiences where anyone who lived through it can tell you exactly where they were when it hit, and what it was like for the days and weeks that followed.” Fran caused the state $4 billion in damages. It also led to the creation of the Disaster Recovery Task Force, many of whose recommendations were adopted by the State Division of Emergency Management. “That storm created a mitigation ethic in North Carolina—a mindset to take the eventuality of these catastrophes seriously, and to be as prepared as pos-sible,” he says. “The state has since enacted policies and cre-ated other practices to mitigate the effects of major disasters. North Carolina is one of the country’s leaders in this area. But we still have a long way to go.” Birkland’s research shows that experience with disasters often leads many private citizens to take actions to lessen the impact of other disasters. “If you’ve been through it, you take it seri-ously and you know how to behave. You know you need to be ready to spend the first 72 hours on your own. You know you need things like water, a radio and fresh batteries, nonperish-able food items, a first aid kit and blankets. Those who are not familiar with local hazards, like the many newcomers to North Carolina, tend to be far less prepared.” Training the next generation Many current experts in hazards and disaster research are nearing retirement. To avert a shortage in this critically im-portant area, Birkland is leading a national effort to train the next generation of disaster researchers. “Hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, floods—these natural di-sasters cause billions of dollars of damage,” Birkland says. “They are far more likely to recur than are terrorist attacks. We will continue to need well-trained experts to apply emerg-ing knowledge to major disasters, including terrorism and natural disasters.” A $231,000 grant from the National Science Foundation is enabling Birkland to pair newly-minted Ph.D.s in the social sciences and engineering with experienced mentors to work on disaster- and hazard-related studies. “We’re looking at why public policy matters and why politics works the way it does,” he says. “If we can explain social and economic behav-iors, we can affect public safety.” Birkland participated in two earlier rounds of the leadership development project he is now leading. “As a Fellow in the 1996 round led by Texas A&M, and as an advisory team member in the 2002 round led by UNC-Chapel Hill, I be-came part of a network of people across the country who are studying disasters from widely-ranging disciplines. We had geographers working alongside political scientists and engi-neers, sociologists talking with planners. Those experiences were invaluable and continue to inform and enrich all of our research. As the principal investigator in this round, I hope I am able to enlarge that network of disaster experts with new, bright, and energetic scholars. In this age of potential mega-catastrophes, we need this research and expertise.” Pigs try to escape Hurricane Floyd’s floodwaters in 1999. photo provided by The News and Observer 16 > www.chass.ncsu.edu CHASS Achieved! CHASS faculty and students continue to achieve, thanks in part to the resources gained through the Achieve! campaign. Seven years ago, NC State began its historic capital campaign: The $1 billion Achieve! Campaign was the university’s largest comprehensive fundraising campaign ever. Fewer than 50 universities in the nation have undertaken such an ambitious campaign. The university celebrated exceeding that goal at a festive event at the new Raleigh Convention Center on September 19. The event honored alumni and friends who have sup-ported NC State by their contributions to and volunteer leadership of the Achieve! Campaign. Photo courtesy of Ed Funkhouser Fall 2008 > 17 Zearing leads CHASS fundraising CHASS warmly welcomes Stacy Zearing as the college’s new Executive Director of Development. He replaces Joanna Johnson, who retired after seven years with the college. Zearing has nearly seven years of development experience at NC State, most recently for the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. He also supported development activities in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and in the university’s Special Projects office, where he focused on the Lonnie Poole Golf Course. Zearing holds a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University. “The more I learn about CHASS, and the more I get to know its alumni, faculty, and staff, the more my enthusiasm grows,” Zearing says. “I look forward to visiting and working with the many accomplished leaders who are graduates and friends of CHASS. As we develop a broader base of support, the college will increase its impact on students, the citizens of North Carolina, and beyond.” CHASS celebrated alongside its sister colleges at the university gathering. “Our college set a very ambitious goal, and I am thrilled that we reached it,” says Interim Dean Jeff Braden. “As a member of the faculty, I know I speak for my colleagues and for CHASS students in saying a heartfelt thank you to all the alumni and other friends of the college who have given so generously. You have encouraged our research, supported our teaching, im-proved our environment, and made a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of current and future students.” CHASS met its $12 million goal in the closing days of the CHASS Achieves! Campaign this spring, thanks to an extraor-dinary gift from Curtis and Jackie Dail. (See accompanying story on p. 18.) Funds from the CHASS campaign are being allocated as follows: STUDEN T S: $5 million to recruit and support the best and brightest young minds. FACULTY: $2 million to make distinguished professorships and junior faculty awards available. NEW PROGRAMS: $2 million to fund initiatives such as the Institute for Nonprofits; a joint program with the College of Management in Economic, Legal, and Political Freedoms; and new majors including International Studies, Africana Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. RESEARCH: $2 million to support exciting research in our Psy-chology, History, Social Work, and other departments. UNRESTR I CTE D : $1 million to help meet the needs of the col-lege’s ten departments and its interdisciplinary programs that would otherwise go unfunded. “The Achieve! Campaign was an important milestone,” says Executive Director of Development Stacy Zearing. “We have much to celebrate. There is still more significant progress we can make and I look forward to working with such a passion-ate, loyal base of supporters and committed faculty and staff so that CHASS will continue to improve its leadership.” Achieved! Stacy Zearing, CHASS Executive Director of Development 18 > www.chass.ncsu.edu Longtime NC State supporters Curtis and Jacqueline Dail have issued a CHASS challenge: They want to leverage support for a named professorship in the Department of Political Science. The Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Professorship in Politi-cal Science will provide critical salary supplements and resources to help the college attract and retain stellar political science faculty. The professorship is the Dails’ first gift to CHASS, and was the capstone gift that brought the college to its $12 million CHASS Achieves! goal. “We have developed some good relationships in the CHASS family over the years, and felt it was time to do something for the college,” says Jackie Dail. “And we have grown fond of lis-tening to [Professor of Political Science] Andy Taylor on WPTF. We have also found [CHASS alum and Raleigh attorney] Perry Safran’s enthusiasm for the college to be contagious. ” The Dails rank among the university’s most generous donors. Their CHASS challenge gift of $208,000 calls for three do-nors to pledge $70,000 each. CHASS Achieves! Campaign Committee chairman Perry Safran and his wife Susan were the first to step up to the Dails’ challenge and have made a $70,000 pledge. The combined Dail Professorship funds could leverage a second challenge grant, this one stemming from the C.D. Spangler Foundation, which has established a program to create 80 professorships across the UNC system over the next five years. “The Dails have set an enormous opportunity in motion for CHASS,” says Stacy Zearing, Executive Director of Development. “Their gift could ultimately create a $1 mil-lion endowed professorship—the first in the Department of Political Science. We are so grateful to the Dails, the Safrans, and the future donors who will close the circle on this opportunity.” Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Issue Political Science Challenge Fall 2008 > 19 Master French teacher, beloved colleague, tenacious advocate for foreign language education in North Carolina, and phenomenal example of a life lived fully, Diane Fagin Adler died this summer after a fight against lung cancer. For more than 20 years, Diane headed the French Teacher Education Program and served as the French section lower-division coordinator in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. To honor her memory, Diane’s family created the Diane Fagin Adler Francophile Scholarship. Each year, the scholarship will enable a French student to study in France. Diane’s husband Kenneth Adler, a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine, contributed the lead gift. Responses from the Adlers’ colleagues, friends, and current and former students near and far have been inspiring. Gifts totaled $25,000 in less than three months, enabling the department to establish a fully endowed scholarship. The first scholarship recipient will study in France in summer 2009. “Diane left a mark on so many people,” says Ruth Gross, Department Head. “Her memory will live on through the lives of the many students she inspired and who have developed their own passion for French languages and cultures. I am among the many who feel blessed to have called her a mentor, a colleague, and a friend.” TO support this or other CHASS scholarships, please visit www.chass.ncsu.edu/chass/gift You can change the future. And while you’re at it, leave a legacy. How? Endow a scholarship in CHASS. Endowed scholarships help recruit outstanding students and allow them to focus on their studies. The minimum to establish an endowed scholarship is $25,000, payable over a five-year period. Scholarships may be funded using cash, securities, or land. Students are awarded four percent of the endowment’s earnings. The rest of the earnings are reinvested annually in the principal, enabling the scholarship’s value to grow. A $25,000 endowment yields a $1,000 annual scholarship; a $100,000 endowment yields a $4,000 annual scholarship or two $2,000 scholarships; a $250,000 endowment provides a $10,000 annual scholarship. In-state student expenses (books, tuition, room and board) at NC State for the 2008- 2009 academic year were $16,028. For more information on how you can leave a legacy, contact Stacy Zearing at email@example.com or 919.515.5984. Francophile Scholarship Honors Diane Adler Leave a Legacy: How endowed scholarships work Diane Adler, pictured in her favorite spot in France: the Hostellerie de Levernois, in the Burgundy town of Beaune. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Adler. 20 > www.chass.ncsu.edu have widespread uses in medicine, consumer products, and industrial processes. Nanoparticles can be used to target and destroy cancer cells. Some particles can also penetrate the skin in ways that researchers don’t yet fully understand. And at the nano scale, particles behave differently than they do in sizes with which scientists are more familiar. Despite the gaps in scientific knowledge, products that use nanotech ranging from cosmetics to plastic beer bottles to stain-resistant clothing are arriving in the marketplace with increasing regularity. According to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, more than 600 products currently use nanotech in some way, up from 230 products two years ago. Health and fitness products account for half the current total— products designed to be in constant contact with the body. Relatively few studies have addressed long-term or chronic impacts of nanoparticles after they come into contact with the human body, penetrate the skin, and enter the bloodstream. What we do with what we know Surveys conducted on behalf of the Washington-based Proj-ect on Emerging Nanotechnologies show that 42 percent of Americans say they have heard nothing about nanotechnol-ogy; 29 percent say they have heard “just a little.” Because safety research and public understanding lag behind the technology, the field of nanotechnology is Ask most people what they know about nanotechnology. “Absolutely nothing,” is the most likely response. Professor of Communication David Berube believes it’s time you knew more, since nanotechnology is changing your world, from the clothing you wear to the lotion you rub into your skin. Berube is working with a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to determine how the public absorbs scientific information from this emerging field. “Nanotechnology has tremendous potential for life-enhanc-ing and life-saving applications,” he says. “In no way do my colleagues and I discourage its application. However, we believe citizens need to understand what it is, where it is, and how it affects them.” A nano primer Generally defined, nanotechnology uses substances that are 100 nanometers or smaller. These materials can be thou-sands of times thinner than a human hair—a size where even a cell looks big. The technology involves controlling matter as small as molecules, or even atoms, and is expected to Tiny Technology HUGE Need to Know Fall 2008 > 21 vulnerable to a consumer backlash should problems emerge, according to Berube. His four-year grant focuses on how the public interprets infor-mation about the potential health risks of nanotechnology. “How people understand such risks can be tricky,” he says. “A lot of this information is about life and death, and most of us have trouble understanding the difference between a risk of one in one billion and a risk of one in 1,000.” Berube says most people do not turn to scientific data when trying to understand technical information on health and safety. Instead, they use their own preconceived ideas and biases to determine what is safe—regardless of whether the science supports their conclusions. The News and Observer recently interviewed Berube about the public’s limited understanding of nanotechnology, and how quickly public opinion can shift. “There is a window of opportunity right now. The public hasn’t decided what it thinks,” he said. “There hasn’t been an epiphany in the indus-try where something awful happens, like Three Mile Island.” While Berube “isn’t expecting the kind of setback that the 1979 accident in Pennsylvania delivered to nuclear power,” the paper reported, “the rapid increase in products using nanotechnology coupled with relatively loose oversight has increased the safety risks.” As the emerging science of nanotechnology expands, Berube says it is increasingly important to determine the best way to get accurate information out to the public and to state and fed-eral regulators so that they can make informed decisions about what is and is not safe. “We want to provide scientists with ways to convey complicated research findings in a manner that the public can understand,” he says. “If we can’t communicate clearly, people will judge the future of nanotech without the information they need.” “There is a window of opportunity right now. The public hasn’t decided what it thinks.” 22 > www.chass.ncsu.edu An informed citizenry is the foundation for democracy. But can citizens really understand emerging technologies well enough to make good decisions? Research by CHASS political scientists Michael Cobb and Patrick Hamlett in sites across the country indicates that engag-ing the public through well-structured deliberations—including informative background materials and access to experts—can lead to greater sensitivities about complex technologies. In their study, panels of citizens in six locations around the country examined the latest developments in the technologies of “human enhancement,” including nanotechnology, biotechnol-ogy, information science, and cognitive science. In addition to face-to-face deliberations, the panelists also joined in a series of Internet-based online discussions. “We wanted to develop a format for informed public interaction about the trajectories of science and technology policies as those policies are being developed,” Hamlett says. “That way, the pub-lic’s concerns may be incorporated as policies are developed.” Participants in Cobb’s and Hamlett’s study changed their opinions about human enhancement technologies through the process. “They became more concerned about whether the risks outweighed the benefits,” Cobb says. Before the forums, 82 percent of the participants were at least somewhat certain that the benefits outweighed the risks. That number dropped to 66 percent after the forums. “In the past, there have been questions about whether ‘ordinary citizens’ are able to engage in useful deliberation, or whether collective opinions developed during group deliberations are worse than if the meetings and the education had never taken place,” Hamlett says. Cobb explains that increased concern among participants was “a rational response to informed deliberation about human en-hancement technologies. In the end, people still like them, they just like them a little less because they learned about risks, and because equity issues became more salient.” At the end of the study, 60 percent of participants were worried that their family will not be able to afford potential enhancements, while less than half felt that way before the study began. But Cobb says participants’ reactions in no way led to calls to terminate the technologies altogether. “Their enhanced knowl-edge led them to be more sensitive to issues of effective monitor-ing of these powerful new technologies,” Cobb says. Cobb and Hamlett conducted the 2008 National Citizens’ Forum on Human Enhancement under a subcontract from the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State Univer-sity. The study was conducted at sites in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. We Can Handle the Truth Patrick Hamlett and Michael Cobb Fall 2008 > 23 Home. The dictionary defines it as “an environment offering security and happiness.” But what happens—especially to chil-dren— when home environments are inordinately dangerous? Social work professors Linda Williams and Natalie Ames train future social workers to evaluate homes so that children’s safety will be assured. “Children are dependent on adult care-takers for their safety,” Williams says. “It is our responsibility to make sure the places they call home are free of the worst sorts of dangers.” Williams and Ames secured a grant from an NC State program called LITRE, or Learning In a Technology-Rich Environment, to develop two training videos that teach social workers how to assess and document home environments that are potentially dangerous for children. “It’s harder than you might think for social workers to objec-tively observe everything they see when they visit a home,” Ames says. “They’re interacting with children and with par-ents or other caretakers who might not be happy to have them there. They’re trying to determine whether there’s neglect occurring, whether they might need to remove the children from the home. It’s potentially a very emotional situation. The videos are a tool to help students learn what to look for and how to document what they find.” The 20-minute videos depict such environmental hazards as knives left within easy reach of children, spilled chemicals and cleaners, and exposed electrical outlets and wires. Williams and Ames used an empty apartment to stage a home visit. While they were setting up their props and furniture, reality provided a more graphic example of an unsafe home. An open apartment across the hall had recently been aban-doned. “We could not have made up what we found there,” Williams says. “The conditions were filthy. The kitchen was rank with spoiled food. And in the living room, lots of porno-graphic videos were left around in plain view. In the bedroom, mattresses were propped up in such a way that they could eas-ily fall on a small child. It was terrible to think that children had very recently lived in those conditions.” NC State’s Department of Social Work is already using the social work videos as teaching tools for BSW and MSW stu-dents. Williams and Ames shared them with social workers from across the state at the NC Social Services Association meeting this fall and with the statewide Child Welfare Educa-tion Collaborative. Ames has even fielded inquiries regarding the tapes from California and Virginia. “We’re making these tools available to social work programs across the country,” Williams says. “It’s a great way to share NC State’s expertise with the next generation of social workers.” Linda Williams Social Worker of the Year Linda Williams has mentored more than 1,000 social work students over the past 30 years. These students, all graduates of NC State's Department of Social Work, are now involved in addressing children’s welfare and other social services issues throughout the state. So it should come as no surprise that the 4,000-member North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) named Williams the 2008 Social Worker of the Year. Williams, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Social Work, earned her undergraduate degree in social work at NC State in 1975. In 1977, she returned to coordinate the Department of Social Work’s field education program after receiving her master’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was named director of the BSW program in 2007. Williams helped develop NC State’s master’s degree program in social work that launched in 2005. In addition, she oversees a study abroad program in Guatemala. And she was instrumental in creating the $1,000 annual Toby Brown Award for outstanding undergraduate social work students. The NASW says Williams has “dedicated her career to encouraging and helping generations of ethical, well-prepared social workers across the state.” Tina Hancock, Head of the Department of Social Work, couldn’t agree more. “Linda Williams works tirelessly for her profession, for her students, and for the children and families of North Carolina. We are proud to call her one of our own.” Home, Safe Home 24 > www.chass.ncsu.edu A CHASS alum and his inventive grandfather put their heads together to conserve water. Matt Ham (COM ’04) flushes with pride. Literally. Ham’s inventor grandfather, Ed Sheneman, tinkered around his Wilm-ington workshop during North Carolina’s 2007 severe drought, and came up with a way to save water with every flush of the toilet. Now Ham is using his marketing know-how to bring the invention out of the privy and into the public. The Float Booster is designed for older, water-guzzling toilets that use three gallons per flush. Some 200 million such toilets, built before 1986, are still in use across America. The non-degradable Float Booster is made of a foam piece, a clip and a rubber band strap that attaches underneath the tank’s float-ball. It works by raising the float arm a few inches before the tank is full. Users save more than a gallon per flush. Ham has moved his grandfather’s invention into the marketplace. “I am putting the sound knowledge of communication principles I learned at NC State to good use,” says Ham, head of marketing and sales for the family Float Booster enterprise. “Even if some people don’t understand the engineering behind my grandfather’s invention, everyone can relate to water conservation and the impact on their wallets.” Flushing with the Float Booster saves households hundreds of dollars a year in water bills. The Float Booster, first featured in the Wilmington Star-News, appeared more recently on “Forecast Earth,” a national pro-gram produced by the Weather Channel. Several municipal wa-ter systems have ordered the device to give out to their custom-ers. Ham estimates that more than 3,500 Float Boosters are now in use. That equates to more than eight million gallons of water and $70,000 saved per year. Now that’s a royal flush. www.floatbooster.com by Emily Packard Flush with Pride Matt Ham and his Paw-Paw, Ed Sheneman, have always seen eye to eye. Ham followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by coming to NC State. But whereas the elder business partner left NC State’s engineering program to serve in World War II, the younger partner left a scholarship in statistics to pursue communication. “CHASS was the right place for me,” Ham says. “In my opinion, the humanities and social sciences provide the foundation for everything else.” Fall 2008 > 25 welcome NEw CHASS FAculty 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Communication: (15) Elizabeth Craig, Instructor (Interper-sonal Communication, Health Communication, Quantitative Measures); (13) Kama Kosenko, Asst. Professor (Interpersonal Health Communication) English: (6) Ora Gelley, Asst. Professor (Film and Cinema Stud-ies); (4) Margaret Lamont, Asst. Professor (Medieval Studies); (12) Timothy Stinson, Asst. Professor (Medieval Studies); and (1) Re-becca Walsh, Asst. Professor (20th Century American & British Literature); (not pictured) Chris Crosbie, Asst. Professor (Shake-speare) and Dorianne Laux, Professor (Poetry) School of Public and International Affairs: (9) Christopher El-lis, Asst. Professor, (Political Science); (2) Lada K. Dunbar, Asst. Professor (Political Science); (3) Mary Tschirhart, Professor (Or-ganizational Behavior & Human Resource Management) and Director, Institute for Nonprofits Sociology and Anthropology: (10) Sinikka Elliott, Asst. Profes-sor (Gender and Family) Psychology: (14) Scott Stage, Assoc. Professor (School Psycholo-gy); (5) Daniel Gruehn, Asst. Professor (Lifespan Development) History: (not pictured) Judy Kertesz, Instructor (History of American Indians) Foreign Languages and Literatures: (8) Jonathan Wipplinger, Asst. Professor (20th Century German Literature and Music); (11) J. Agustin Pasten, Assoc. Professor (20th Century Latin American Literature); (7) Sujata Mody, Instructor (Modern Hindi Language and Literature) This fall, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomed 18 exceptional new faculty members to its ranks. They join the fastest-growing college at NC State, where 625 faculty and staff work, study, and conduct research alongside 3,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students. College of Humanities & Social Sciences Campus Box 7011 Raleigh, NC 27695-7011 Address service requested NON PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID RALEIGH, NC PERMIT No. 2353 Chancellor James L. Oblinger and Interim Dean Jeff Braden welcomed a packed house of well-wishers at a celebration of the newly renovated 1911 Building in September. The building is now home to the Department of Social Work, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the CHASS Interdisciplinary Studies program.
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