Working to establish NC State's first Asian sorority, maintaining an interest group, hitting the books hard, and making the grade on all accounts might sound daunting. For Janet Nguyen (International Studies, '14), it's all in a day's work.
Nguyen, a California native, is no stranger to hard work, dedicated service, or supporting her community. In fact, she relishes it.
I've definitely got the motivation, she says. All I need to do is find an issue that speaks to me, and I'm on it.
Shortly after her arrival at NC State, she found what she'd been looking for. Nguyen, who is Vietnamese, became a member of the rather large Asian community at NC State. Through friends, she became familiar with the school's Asian interest fraternity, Pi Alpha Phi. She saw the close-knit, encouraging nature of the fraternity and wanted to recreate that for herself and other Asian females on campus.
When I saw that brotherhood, I was amazed, she says. About five percent of State's student population is Asian, and yet we're not all that close. I wanted a sisterhood like that.
Nguyen started by doing some research. “Asian interest sororities are relatively new in the south,” she says. “There are quite a few up north and out west, but only two or three on campuses in the UNC system.” So Nguyen set out to make it happen at NC State. A year later, Females Achieving Excellence (FAE) has been recognized as an official interest group on campus. Although there are a few more hoops to jump through before the group can be recognized as an official Asian interest sorority, Nguyen is pleased with the progress she and her sisters have made and looks forward to the group's future.
We're not just going to be a sisterhood-we're going to help these girls build skills for the future, she says. We're going to push people out of their comfort zones and make leaders out of followers. Asian American students tend to be under-represented in society. I want to help provide opportunities to prepare student leaders of our generation to grow into the young world leaders of tomorrow.It's a long process, and it takes a lot of dedication, but it's worth it.
Her academic adviser, Professor Nora Haenn, has no doubt that Nguyen will succeed. “In addition to being a very strong student, Janet is an incredibly hard worker for causes in which she believes,” says Haenn. “She’s not just interested in making this sorority a reality at NC State, but also in helping students on other campuses in the UNC system form similar groups. She is talking with people all around the state and inspiring students on other campuses. I have complete confidence Janet will make the sorority a reality.”
By Jen Jernigan, CHASS Communication Intern
Research tells us that scams targeting older adults are becoming increasingly prevalent, and can have devastating effects on the finances of seniors and their families. I've spoken to researchers at NC State who focus on this issue to get information you can use to help you protect yourself and your loved ones. Public awareness is a crucial part of preventing consumer fraud.
Let's be clear about what we're talking about here: elder consumer fraud consists of financial, medical and/or service exploitation, with the prevalence heavily tied to aspects of elder abuse. It includes, but is not limited to: telemarketing fraud; prescription fraud; debt collection and identity theft; Internet promotion and purchases; car and home repairs.
Here is a list of tips on how to protect yourself from consumer frauds and scams. If you are not a senior, but have loved ones who are, take an active role in talking with them about these issues '€" and let them know what they can do to help protect themselves.
- Never share your Social Security Number, bank account or credit card information with someone you don't know who calls you or emails you.
- Sign up for the Do Not Call Register 1-888-382-1222 or https://www.donotcall.gov/
- Walk away from anyone who tells you that you must make a decision right now.Don't sign any contract or other paperwork until you've had a chance to read and understand it.
- Never pay money upfront to get a loan or win a lottery or sweepstakes.
- Don't respond to letters or emails that ask you to transfer money into your bank account or wire money out of the country.
- Don't cash checks you get in the mail along with a letter or call that tells you you've won an unexpected prize. The checks are most likely fake.
- Learn what crimes occur frequently in your community so that you can use protective measures.
- Check out a company with your state attorney general's consumer protection division, before doing business with them. In North Carolina, you can reach the consumer protection division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
The North Carolina Department of Justice has launched a website that provides educational information on consumer protection in the state. It has also created a Victim Services Center to answer questions about laws protecting older adults. More information available at the NC Department of Justice consumer awareness site.
Note: Matt Shipman wrote about this blog post for NC State’s Abstract research blog after talking to Monica Leach and Jodi Hall, researchers and faculty in NC State's Department of Social Work. They are co-authors of a chapter on consumer fraud and older adults in the forthcoming 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of Health Promotion and Prevention, which is due out in 2012.
Some 20 students and faculty mingled with visitors from the Helen Wright Center Shelter and the Healing Place for Men and Women during the chilly evening. They shared coffee and doughnuts as they discussed the realities and consequences of homelessness. Then they set up refrigerator boxes in preparation for sleeping outside on an inhospitable night.
The guests from the shelter spoke candidly about their experiences, and shared resources and strategies for being homeless in the capital city. “We were so privileged to have their company,” said Kathy Osborne, field director for the BSW social work program. “And we are so proud of our students for their active interest in social and economic justice issues.”
The event was sponsored by the BSW student association.
Read a full account in technicianonline.com.
Mark your calendars for some exciting opportunities to participate in North Carolina's Year of Communicating Science: 2012. The entire state of North Carolina - and the Research Triangle, in particular - will be center stage for science throughout 2012. NC State University will be very much a part of the conversations, and we invite you to join us.
January 19-21 – McKimmon Center, NC State
ScienceOnline is a gathering of researchers, bloggers, reporters, authors and students who are passionate about science. And they're not just passionate about science research, but also about communicating to the world about science. And we need more of that. Research shows that only 28% of adults in the U.S. are scientifically literate enough to understand the Tuesday Science section of the New York Times. Scientific advances are becoming increasingly complex, and those advances present opportunities and risks that we as a society will have to address.
April 13-29 - Statewide
The NC Science Festival is a multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology. The festival highlights the educational, cultural and financial impact of science in our state. Through hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits and performances, the festival engages a wide range of public audiences while inspiring future generations. The NC Science Festival and others like it offer an opportunity to celebrate science in fun and welcoming settings. This festival provides the opportunity to cultivate a positive environment that encourages children to pursue science-related careers and encourages businesses to invest in North Carolina. Most importantly, scientists want everyone to know what they know – that science is fun!
April 14, 11:00 am - SAS Hall, NC State
Margaret D. Lowman (a.k.a. “Canopy Meg”), the director of the new Nature Research Center at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and a research professor of natural sciences in NC State's College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (PAMS), will deliver the keynote address on Communicating Science during the PAMS annual Scope Academy. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
April 20-21 – NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The Nature Research Center (NRC) is a new 80,000 square-foot wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The NRC will bring research scientists and their work into the public eye, help demystify what can be an intimidating field of study, better prepare science educators and students, and inspire a new generation of young scientists. The NRC’s centerpiece will be the SECU Daily Planet, an immersive, three-story multi-media space that will link virtual to real nature and be the site of live programming on breaking science news.
October 26-30 – Research Triangle, NC
ScienceWriters is the joint annual meeting of the two largest and most influential professional organizations for science journalists: the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW). ScienceWriters is held in a different city each year and typically attracts 350 international participants over a three-day span, with added days before and after for intensive tours of local science-oriented venues. Hosting this meeting is an opportunity to showcase a region's best science, its most impressive venues, and its most appealing researchers in a way that will make these journalists and authors take note and want to explore further. Planning for this event is being spearheaded by science and research communications leaders from NC State, Duke, and the UNC campuses in Chapel Hill and Charlotte, with a growing list of educational and corporate partners.
An archaeological research team from NC State University, the University of Washington and University of Florida has found one of the most diverse collections of prehistoric non-native animal remains in the Caribbean, on the tiny island of Carriacou. The find contributes to our understanding of culture in the region before the arrival of Columbus, and suggests Carriacou may have been more important than previously thought.
CHASS anthropologist Scott Fitzpatrick was among the researchers who found evidence of five species that were introduced to Carriacou from South America between 1,000 and 1,400 years ago. Only one of these species, the opossum, can still be found on the island. The other species were pig-like peccaries, armadillos, guinea pigs and small rodents called agoutis.
Researchers think the animals were used as sources of food. The scarcity of the remains, and the few sites where they were found, indicate that the animals were not for daily consumption. We suspect that they may have been foods eaten by people of high status, or used in ritual events, says Dr. Scott Fitzpatrick, an associate professor of anthropology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research.
Looking for patterning in the distribution of animal remains in relation to where ritual artifacts and houses are found will help to test this idea, said Christina Giovas, lead author and a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington.
The team, which also included Ph.D. student Michelle LeFebvre of the University of Florida, found the animal remains at two different sites on the island, and used carbon dating techniques to determine their age. The opossum and agouti were the most common, with the latter remains reflecting the longest presence, running from A.D. 600 to 1400. The guinea pig remains had the shortest possible time-frame, running from A.D. 985 to 1030.
These dates are consistent with similar findings on other Caribbean islands. However, while these species have been found on other islands, it is incredibly rare for one island to have remains from all of these species. Guinea pigs, for example, were previously unknown in this part of the Caribbean. The diversity is particularly surprising, given that Carriacou is one of the smallest settled islands in the Caribbean, though the number of remains is still not that large - a pattern seen on other islands as well.
This combination of small geographical area and robust prehistoric animal diversity, along with evidence for artifact trade with other islands and South America, suggests that Carriacou may have had some significance in the pre-Columbian Caribbean as a nexus of interaction between island communities.
The animal remains are also significant because they were found in archaeological digs at well-documented prehistoric villages - and the remains themselves were dated, as opposed to just the materials (such as charcoal) found near the remains.
The fact that the dates established by radiocarbon dating are consistent with the dates of associated materials from the villages means the chronology is well established, says Fitzpatrick, who has been doing research on Carriacou since 2003. In the future we'd like to expand one of the lesser excavated sites to get more information on how common these species may have been, which could shed light on the ecological impact and social importance of these species prehistorically.
The paper, New records for prehistoric introduction of Neotropical mammals to the West Indies: evidence from Carriacou, Lesser Antilles, is published online in the Journal of Biogeography and was co-authored by Fitzpatrick, Giovas and LeFebvre. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, NC State, the University of Washington and the University of Florida.
Note to editors: The study abstract follows.
New records for prehistoric introduction of Neotropical mammals to the West Indies: evidence from Carriacou, Lesser Antilles
Authors: Christina M. Giovas, University of Washington; Michelle J. LeFebvre, University of Florida; Scott M. Fitzpatrick, North Carolina State University
Published: online in Journal of Biogeography
Abstract: This paper investigates the prehistoric introduction of five mammalian taxa to Carriacou, (Lesser Antilles) and refines the known anthropogenic ranges for these fauna in the pre-Columbian West Indies. The importance of such records for understanding the region's historical biogeography and ecology is considered.
This news release was issued by NC State News Services.
Devin and Marsha Orgeron, associate professors of film studies at NC State University, along with Dan Streible of New York University, have edited the first collection of essays to address the phenomenon of film’s educational uses in twentieth century America. Learning With the Lights Off (Oxford University Press, 2012) shows how nontheatrical films in general and educational films in particular represent an exciting new area of inquiry in media and cultural studies. The collection illuminates a vastly influential form of filmmaking seen by millions of people around the world.
NC State’s Abstract research blog invited the Orgerons to share their thoughts about why educational films matter. You can read Marsha Orgeron’s post and Devin Orgeron’s post in The Abstract. And don’t miss reading the third guest post by NC State alum Skip Elsheimer and watching the fascinating short film he includes.In a throwback to the serialized storytelling of the golden age of sci-fi, readers of NC State’s research blog, The Abstract, are enjoying a serialized version of “Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance” (2009) by John Kessel. Kessel is a two-time Nebula award winner and a professor of English at NC State. New installments appear each Monday. If you’re not already hooked, you can catch up by starting with the first installment on The Abstract.
As a new assistant district attorney in North Carolina's capital, Win Bassett '07 intends to serve the citizens of Wake County by administering justice fairly on their behalf.
The Virginia native initially came to Raleigh as a Park Scholar to pursue a double major in computer and electrical engineering at NC State. Given his love for reading and writing, Bassett also added an English minor. As he pondered his future, Bassett chose to cultivate his interest in law, inspired, in part, by his mother's career as a paralegal.
The relationships that I established during my Park Scholarship experience were, by far, the most important aspect of the program, said Bassett. Relationships, whether personal or professional, make life worth living and allow you to determine what life you want to live.
After completing his J.D. at the University of North Carolina School of Law, Bassett incorporated his engineering background and served as a patent litigator. While working in patent law, he recalled an earlier experience during an internship with the Wake County District Attorney's Office while in law school, and ultimately decided to change direction. When a position opened up under Wake County's elected district attorney, Colon Willoughby, Bassett jumped at the opportunity to immerse himself in the human part of law that involved a fast-paced environment with ample time in the courtroom. He realized that the life of a prosecutor was an ideal fit.
These days, Bassett spends the majority of his week in district court on the second floor of the Wake County Courthouse in downtown Raleigh. He primarily handles traffic infractions and misdemeanors, involving cases ranging from speeding tickets to the possession of illegal substances, but is also the assistant district attorney that handles military matters and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle cases. Normally, Bassett is assigned to the same courtroom and the same judge for a week at a time, working with all the cases that come through that courtroom during the morning and afternoon sessions.
The greatest challenge I have encountered so far in this position is prosecutorial discretion, said Bassett. Put simply, as an assistant district attorney, I have the power to charge people with crimes, amend crimes with which people have been charged, dismiss charges, and reduce charges '" knowing when to do one of these when it furthers justice is sometimes difficult.
Outside the courtroom, Bassett is actively involved in a number of projects supporting the North Carolina beer community. He has authored several pieces in brewing publications, and co-founded the website NC Brewing. Bassett is also an avid runner who trains with Team Raleigh Running Outfitters-Fast Coaching Academy. He recently combined his passions creatively by helping launch the Big Boss Run Club.
Reprinted with permission from the Park Scholarships program.
The photographer releases the shutter and the flash goes off, while the subject smiles. This may seem like an everyday occurrence with friends or family; however, for the less fortunate, photos of themselves or their families are hard to come by.
Enter the Help Portrait Raleigh project, an event organized by Andrew Vanover, a senior in Communication, and Austin Simmons, a junior in graphic design. The project is designed to provide free photography for those who would not usually have the opportunity for such luxuries.
Read the Technician article about these socially-aware students and their efforts to share the spirit of giving.