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2020 Outstanding Global Engagement Award Recipients Announced

The Outstanding Global Engagement Award encourages and recognizes outstanding accomplishment in globally engaged teaching, student support, research, extension, and/or engagement and economic development by faculty and non-faculty professionals of North Carolina State University. Nominees for this award should have made important international contributions in one or more of the following aspects of the university’s mission: Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, or Engagement, Extension and Economic Development with documented impacts and accomplishments.

2020 Outstanding Global Engagement Award Recipients

Dr. Michael Daniele: Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering

Dr. Daniele has initiated, and mentored more than 25 students in, SensUs-an international, extracurricular research program and competition which includes 14 teams from 5 continents. SensUs research has resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications as well as increasing students’ global outlook on their field of study. In less than 5 years, Michael has already formed a network of collaborations with several research groups across the world and generated new and exciting educational opportunities for our students to engage in international experiences. Dr. Daniele’s own research efforts have led to international collaboration and engagement opportunities in Ireland, Japan, and Germany.

Dr. Paula Cray: Department Head and Professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Cray’s global health research program has achieved national and international recognition. Working at NC State for more than 5 years, she strongly embodies the highest qualities of leadership and commitment to our Global Health program. Through her efforts, NC State and the College of Veterinary Medicine were recently designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center on One Health and Antimicrobial Resistance, allowing the university to make a global impact and to develop partnerships with international scientists, agencies and organizations. This commitment to collaboration has extended to her work in global health, leading to numerous projects in Africa and China, and frequently engaging with WHO.Her latest project is partnering with IBM and colleagues in the Department of Computer Science to make NC State the recognized data analytics university working in the global health space.

Dr. Yingjiao Xu: Professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management and Director of Ph.D. Graduate Programs in the Wilson College of Textiles

Dr. Xu’s commitment to building international relationships helped lead the Wilson College of Textiles to increase the enrollment of master’s and doctoral students to near the highest number in its 119-year history. Dr. Xu’s collaboration led to the development of new 3+X master’s programs that now include Jiangnan University, Soochow University, and Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. Furthermore, Dr. Xu initiated and formalized the College’s first dual degree program with Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. Dr. Xu developed a new Summer Textiles Program in partnership with the Global Training Initiative, as well as, implemented a Study Abroad Program with the Fashion Institute of Technology and Donghua University. Due to Dr. Xu’s major impact on NC State’s global engagement, many international graduate students remain in the United States after graduation which enhances the nation’s textile industry and related industries.

Jill Blitstein, J.D., International Employment Manager, Human Resources

Jill is the International Employment (IE) Manager, in Human Resources at NC State. She provides leadership for HR operations that include employment of foreign nationals; O, TN, H1B visas; H1B portability; green card petitions; international travel for foreign national employees; and management of the I-9 and E-verify processes. Moreover, IE stays current with relevant federal regulations and policies, and provides education to the university community to facilitate understanding and compliance. In addition to her IE responsibilities, which in many cases involve an international dimension, Jill’s longstanding service as a member of the International Operations Council has contributed to advancing NC State’s global engagement. Through her dedication to address the institutional needs for international HR and global employment as well as positioning the university’s preparedness for global operations, she continues the communication, stakeholder engagement and outreach efforts of the global employment steering committee.

2020 Outstanding Global Engagement Award Nominees

Dr. Rachel Cook: Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Forest Productivity Cooperative (FPC) in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources in the College of Natural Resources

Dr. Cook co-directs the Forest Productivity Cooperative, a research-focused forest industry cooperative with members in 10 countries. Working with her co-directors in the US, Brazil and Chile, she disseminates research results to ensure rapid adoption and implementation of best practices. Dr. Cook has co-authored 26 peer-reviewed journal articles, conducts workshops and site visits, and provides consultation to FPC members. She also teaches and works with both undergraduate and graduate students at NC State. In her leadership of the FPC, she provides research-based information that supports management and financial decisions of many of the international forest industry, timber investment management organizations (TIMO), real estate investment organization (REIT), the largest forest seedling producer in the world, and forest chemical (fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide) manufacturers.

Dr. Miguel Castillo: Associate Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dr. Castillo created and leads the Forage and Grassland Management Program which has hosted students and scholars from 8 countries with the goal of generating information and technologies to improve the field. Dr. Castillo’s has succeeded both at the local and international level as an early-career faculty and he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at NC State in 2019. One example of his level of productivity and engagement internationally is his project about Silvopastures, which he developed with colleagues in Peru allowing an exchange of students and faculty to engage in research, scholarly publications, and the development of a simulation software model. Dr. Castillo has spoken at international conferences and trained others through guest-lectures and extension workshops abroad.

Dr. Larry Silverberg: Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College Engineering

Dr. Silverberg’s Namibia Wildlife Aerial Observatory (WAO) provides educational opportunities for students while also assisting Namibian parks and game reserves. Nearly 60 students have conducted research there, impacting the local community, leading to scholarly publications, and creating new opportunities for extension in Southern Africa. Dr. Silverberg serves as an academic advisor for the NC State Global Training Initiative, helping to develop and design programs as well as place students in international laboratories in 7 countries.

Dr. Jason Bocarro: Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management in the College of Natural Resources

Dr. Bocarro played a key role in creating the Shelton Global Leadership Minor, which allows students to complete five courses in four different European countries in one semester. Through developing and teaching the Global Leadership Minor, he demonstrated significant commitment to enhancing the global perspectives and workforce competitiveness of undergraduate students. Dr. Bocarro’s research with international partners have created opportunities for student and faculty exchanges, as well as, enhanced collaborations with universities in Brazil, Germany, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Recently, Dr. Bocarro was elected to the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the most prestigious academic honor for scholars in recreation, parks and tourism.

Dr. William (Bill) Hoffmann: Professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dr. Hoffmann’s expertise in Brazilian savannas has led to broader collaborations with researchers working in other savannas across the globe. He emphasizes the urgent need to protect and manage savanna ecosystems for the good of the planet. Recently, Dr. Hoffmann co-organized a New Phytologist Symposium with researchers from Ghana and the United Kingdom. Dr. Hoffmann insisted on holding this first symposium in Africa to make it accessible to students and researchers from the region to ensure they benefited from the presentations. Dr. Hoffmann has mentored several graduate students and undergraduates to work in Brazil on collaborative research projects. These experiences for NC State students have provided an extraordinary competitive advantage as they progress to the next stages in their ecology and environmental sciences careers.

Ana Gray, J.D.: Senior Lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Ana’s dedication to fostering international partnerships has led NC State to become the only institution in the nation to maintain over twenty-five years of collaboration focusing on Spanish language and culture. Starting a certificate program in 1994 to give NC State students a diversified study abroad experience, the program expanded to North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Meredith College, American University and the University of South Carolina. Through field work such as the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and the European Union, Ana’s use of global resources has encouraged students to learn beyond campus and classroom in preparation for careers abroad.

Roger Mayer: Professor in the Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Poole College of Management

Dr. Mayer’s model of trust research has received national and worldwide recognition, thus increasing NC State’s global reputation. His research has garnered attention from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Specifically, Dr. Mayer served as the principal investigator for a project focused on improving the security clearance process and enhancing the trust relationship between the federal government and its workforce. From his teachings, NC State students are learning the importance of ability, benevolence and integrity within relationships from numerous cultures as diverse as Australia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lebanon, Taiwan and Uganda. Dr. Mayer’s international experiences provide students the guidance to think more creatively about global partnerships to maximize the value produced by cross cultural collaboration.

Morgan Schulte, Research Associate, Forest Productivity Cooperative, College of Natural Resources

Since joining the staff of the Forest Productivity Cooperative (FPC) 2.5 years ago, Morgan Schulte has made many contributions to international research and engagement, as well as supporting international education. The FPC is a forest industry cooperative that focuses on silviculture (the art and science of growing trees) housed in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State. Morgan’s work for the FPC lies at the interface of research and engagement. She coordinates international team meetings between the FPC Co-directors in the United States, Chile and Brazil to facilitate research, has led multilingual field teams in Colombia, and has collaborated with Argentinian and industry partners to analyze and prepare a manuscript on a long-term research trial in Argentina (currently in revision in response to reviews). Morgan has expanded the international reputation of NC State not only through her dedication and hard work, but also through her glowing demeanor when interacting with international university partners and multi-national forestry companies. She embodies the spirit of international cooperation, and this has paid dividends in research cooperation and results.