Perspectives Online

Telling the story

Dean Johnny Wynne (right) walks and talks with participants at the September Bio-fuels Field Day in Duplin County. (See Story) Photo by Dave Caldwell

In his recent “State of N.C. State” address, Chancellor James L. Oblinger pledged the university’s leadership in helping meet society’s many challenges, and he listed goals in five key areas. These focus areas, which “match N.C. State’s capacity for research, teaching and engagement,” he said, include preparing leaders for the state, nation and world; creating educational innovation; improving health and well-being; fueling economic development; and driving innovation in energy and environment.

At the same time, the chancellor urged the campus community “to tell our stories” and spread the word about the accomplishments of the university and its leadership role as agent of change.

Sharing our stories, spreading the word about College achievements, is the purpose of Perspectives. And throughout this issue are stories of College-related activities, initiatives and accomplishments that exemplify work in the thrust areas the chancellor mentioned.

For examples of CALS students who are tomorrow’s leaders in the making, read about Jacob Furr and Lacey Martin, freshman Park Scholars, in “Leadership Defined”; about Kristi Tutor, junior Philip Morris intern, in “Golden Opportunity”; and about hard-working Animal Science Club members in a news report of their activities at three State Fair venues.

Educational innovation is at the heart of a food science honors seminar designed to raise campus awareness of alternative pork production, as we report here. The seminar students, all undergraduates, created a brochure on pasture-raised pork, which they handed out during spring’s Ag Awareness Week, and developed a poster, which took first place at the university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. They also successfully lobbied for pastured pork to be served on campus, a request granted in September at three university dining halls.

The focus areas of improving health and well-being and of fueling economic development are both inherent in the activities reported in the feature “New Technology, New Companies.” This article illustrates the benefits to the public and to the university of startup companies based on discoveries by College researchers. The new companies featured here also are by-and-large related to new therapies to fight or prevent disease or to healthier, more cost-efficient food production.

Innovation in energy and the environment will be an ongoing subject for our magazine’s stories in this “year of energy” at N.C. State, as the College plays a key role in a new economy where energy comes from bio-based products. In this issue, we take you to the College’s first biofuels field day in Duplin County to hear from our researchers about topics such as feedstocks grown for ethanol production.

Join us now — and throughout 2008 — as we tell the story.

Johnny Wynne, Dean
College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences