Celebration of Graduate Student Success

On April 16th, 2014, the Graduate School recognized the graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have earned recognition for their participation in the Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) professional development programs. The Celebration of Graduate Student Success honored participants who completed the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching program, the STEM & Annual Writing Partnership, the Mentoring and Teaching Practicum, the Preparing the Professoriate program, and the PFL Ambassadors. More than 100 colleagues, friends, family, faculty, and staff members attended the ice cream social to celebrate NC State’s commitment to excellence in professional development.

Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) is a premier leadership community where emerging innovators learn to thrive. PFL’s mission is to inspire the life-long leader in all graduate students. The PFL Leadership Team offers evidence-based programs, support, and coaching that guide graduate students through the best practices of leadership. Our premier community exemplifies creative engagement, reflective practice, and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Since 2007, PFL has delivered 727 events to more than 16,000 participants.

Senior Vice Provost Duane Larick congratulated the students and postdocs who participated in the programs offered through the Preparing Future Leaders initiative. Dr. Larick explained, “NC State University is a comprehensive public research university globally recognized for leadership in developing new knowledge, educating the next generation for the use of that knowledge, and applying that knowledge for the benefit of society. You, our graduate students and postdocs, are critical to the success of NC State and today; we want to celebrate your dedication and commitment in supporting and advancing the mission of our university.” Dr. Larick recognized the participants for their commitment to success and their dedication to professional development. Award recipients went “above and beyond” their coursework and research activities to participate in PFL programs to enhance their leadership, communication, and teaching skills.

Marc Kai, a Doctoral Candidate in Chemical Engineering, served as the keynote speaker for the event. Mr. Kai is a PFL Alum and has completed the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching program and the STEM and Annual Writing Partnership. He has represented PFL during the new graduate student orientation and has designed and facilitated a PFL workshop based on his knowledge and teaching experience. Mr. Kai shared his story about his journey through graduate school, and he encouraged others to think about the importance of finding direction in life. Mr. Kai concluded his remarks with words of support, “Though we don't know all the twists down life's road, through PFL I'm confident that no matter where we may end up we're all headed for success."

Dr. Larick joined Dr. Rebeca Rufty, Interim Dean of the Graduate School, and the PFL Leadership Team as they awarded 90 certificates to graduate students and postdocs who successfully completed the PFL programs. The recipients of each award are listed below:

PFL Ambassadors 2013-2014
Antonio Bush, Leadership, Policy, & Adult & Higher Education
Sophie Carrell, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Natalie Kathleen Cooke, Nutrition
Jennifer Dixon, Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences
Chirag R. Gajjar, Fiber & Polymer Science
Molly Hartzog-Storment, Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media
Menglong Hu, Chemistry
Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media
Haritha Malladi, Civil Engineering
Barry Peddycord III, Computer Science

Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching Graduates, Fall 2013- Spring 2014
Terri Billeisen, Entomology
Ezinne Achinivu, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Dinesh Ayyala, Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering
Julio Cesar Bahamon, Computer Science
Jameta Barlow, Psychology
Callie Barnwell, Animal Science
Laura Bostic, Plant Pathology
Nancy Brinson, Communication
Tiffany Burch, Mathematics
Muge Capan, Industrial & Systems Engineering
Yavuz Caydamli, Textiles Engineering, Chemistry, & Science
Alexander Combs, Mathematics
James S. Daubert, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Lauren M. Dembeck, Genetics
Collin B. Eaker, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Emily P. Estrada, Sociology & Anthropology
Nasim Farahbakhs, Textile & Apparel Technology & Management
Julia Feldman, Design
Emma Hanson, Economics
I. Cassie Kozyrkov, Statistics
Alyssa Koehler, Plant Pathology
Sriyanka Lahiri, Entomology
Kristin Linn, Statistics
Emese Kennedy, Mathematics
Mohsin Madad, Textiles Engineering, Chemistry, & Science
Emily McGuire, Communication
Amanda McWhirt, Biology
Tiffany Messer, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Kenneth P. Mineart, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Johanna Montlouis-Gabriel, Foreign Languages & Literature
Zak Nelson, English
Rodrigo A. Olarte, Plant Pathology
Pamela Pease, Design
Barry Peddycord III, Computer Science
Katherine Polston, Textile & Apparel Technology & Management
Kelsey Anne Poorman, Clinical Sciences
Eric Raymer, Physics
Janine E. Reda, Communication
Olivia Reeser, Social Work
Carrie Lineberry Ritter, Mathematics
David Rosero, Animal Science
Irem Sengul, Industrial & Systems Engineering
Melissa Slane, Biology
Daniela Magdalena Sorger, Biology
Daniel Stasiw, Chemistry
Amanda Sutherland, Mathematics
J.J. Sylvia IV, Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media
Meridel Thomson, English
Alana Unfied, Statistics
Valerie Voight, English
Kyle Lauren Webb, Population Health & Pathobiology

STEM & Writing Annual Partnership, 2013-2014
Paul Barrett, Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, FYWP Partner: Megan Hall
Dr. Christine Bergeron, Environmental & Molecular Toxicology, FYWP Partners: Bridget Kozlow and Meredith Dangel
Gerald Burgner, Horticulture, FYWP Partner: Pete Link
Sophia Carrell, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, FYWP Partner: Laura Waldrep
Dr. Carlos Goller, Biotechnology, FYWP Partner: Laura Giovanelli
Menglong Hu, Chemistry, FYWP Partner: Pete Link
Lindsay Hussey, Materials Science & Engineering, FYWP Partner: Anne Auten
Marc Kai, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, FYWP Partner: Matt Porter
Haritha Malladi, Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, FYWP Partner: Kristen Emerson
Efrain Rivera Serrano, Molecular Biomedical Sciences, FYWP Partner: Wanda Lloyd
Alana Unfried, Statistics, FYWP Partner: Rebecca De Haas

Preparing the Professoriate Fellows & Mentors, 2013- 2014
Dinesh Ayyala, Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, Mentor: Dr. Paul Khosla
Terri Billeisen, Entomology, Mentor: Dr. Clyde Sorenson
Taheera Blount, Counselor Education, Mentor: Dr. Craig Brookins
Shanita Brown, Curriculum, Instruction, & Counselor Education, Mentors: Dr. Jessica Decuir-Gunby and Dr. Sylvia nassar-McMillan
Muge Capan, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Mentor: Dr. Julie Ivy
Megan Jaunich, Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Mentor: Dr. Ranji Ranjithan
Ashley Kelly, Communications, Rhetoric & Digital Media, Mentor: Dr. Nancy Penrose
Haritha Malladi, Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Mentor: Dr. Akhtarhusein Tayebali
Allison McAlister, Mathematics, Mentor: Dr. Ernest Stitzinger
Amanda McWhirt, Crop Science, Mentor: Dr. Miriam Ferzli
Seyedeh Mahsan Mohsenin, Design, Mentor: Dr. Robin Abrams
Shauna Morin, Leadership, Policy, & Adult and Higher Education, Mentor: Dr. Audrey Jaeger
Jacob Norton, Mathematics, Mentor: Dr. Kailash C. Misra
Jason Patskoski, Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, Mentor: Dr. Sankar Arumugam
Barry Peddycord III, Computer Science, Mentor: Dr. Sarah Heckman
Chelsie Ray, Mathematics, Mentor: Dr. Brenda Burns Williams
Elizabeth Riley, Horticultural Science, Mentor: Dr. Helen Kraus
Irem Sengul, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Mentor: Dr. James Wilson
Daniela Magdalena Sorger, Biology, Mentor, Dr. Martha Burford Reiskind
Alana Unfried, Statistics, Mentor: Dr. Herle McGowan
Mami Wentworth *, Mathematics, Mentor: Dr. Mansoor Haider
*2013 cohort

Mentoring and Teaching Practicum - Graduates and Mentors, Spring 2014
Dr. Carlos Goller, Biotechnology, Mentor, Mr. Scott Johnson, Wake Technical Community College
Laura Fitzwater Gonzales, Sociology, Mentor: Dr. Amie Hess, Meredith College
Tiffany Grovenstein, Psychology, Mentor: Dr. Gwynn Morris, Meredith College
Jeremy Leonard, Environmental & Molecular Toxicology, Mentor: Dr. Jay Andrus, Meredith College
Carrie Lineberry Ritter, STEM Math Education, Mentors: Dr. Stephen Robinson, Wake Forest University and Dr. Jennifer Hontz, Meredith College
Dr. Mindy Miller Kittrell, Biology, Mentor: Dr. Linda Niedziela, Elon University
Alison Moyer, Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences, Mentor: Dr. Jay Andrus, Meredith College
Dr. Jennifer Schafer, Plant & Microbial Biology, Mentors: Dr. Erin Linquist, Meredith College and Dr. Eric Butler, Shaw University

For more information about the Graduate School’s Preparing Future Leaders initiative and programs visit:
Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) Homepage
FIT: Fundamentals in Teaching
COAT: Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching
PTP: Preparing the Professoriate
MATP: Mentoring and Teaching Practicum
SWAP: STEM and Writing Annual Partnership

Dr. Barbi Honeycutt, Director of Graduate Professional Development & Teaching Programs

Dr. Beth Overman, Assistant Director of the Graduate Academic & Professional Development Programs

Susanna Klingenberg, Coordinator for Graduate Professional Development Programs

Dr. Rebeca Rufty, Interim Dean of the Graduate School

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