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#GivingPack: Day of Giving Bonuses Support College of Sciences Students

Memorial belltower with text that reads NC State Day of Giving March 20, 2024

When the College of Sciences asks its alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students to howl with their Pack on NC State Day of Giving, howl they do.
For example, in 2022, the college received just over $9,500 in prize money from Day of Giving challenges and leaderboards. In the nearly two years since, those funds have had a lasting impact, supporting six students who attended the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics, as well as providing award money for the newly established Inspirational Senior Award in Biological Sciences.

Each year, NC State’s Day of Giving calls on supporters to come together for a 24-hour fundraising event to support the university. Donors can make gifts to the colleges, units, programs and other areas that mean the most to them. 

Throughout the day, colleges and units also compete for extra prize money by landing themselves at the top of leaderboards and winning challenges. In 2022, the College of Sciences recorded wins for most alumni gifts within a specific hour, most overall gifts within an hour and the largest online gift.

Members of the College of Sciences Alumni Advisory Board stepped up to create buzz around the challenges, each making multiple donations and recruiting fellow alumni to give back. The college also encouraged its alumni to give back to certain challenges, targeting those wins and maximizing the college’s collective giving. In all, the college earned $6,391.55 in leaderboard prize money and $3,110 from challenges.

Following Day of Giving, that prize money went to work. Here’s a look at how students reaped the rewards.

Karl Hill: The College of Sciences’ first recipient of the Inspirational Senior Award in Biological Sciences

Karl Hill’s path to NC State looked a little different from that of many students. He spent five years in the U.S. Marine Corps before enrolling. His father had attended NC State and Hill was originally from Raleigh, so it seemed like a natural fit when he thought about where to apply.

Karl Hill posing with a poster
Karl Hill

While at NC State, he discovered a passion for research, while soaking in all that his courses and other opportunities had to offer.

“I found it all extremely rewarding, and it was fun,” Hill said.

He held a research position in the Planchart Lab on Centennial Campus and looked forward to the research and learning opportunities it provided each day.

The Inspirational Senior Award came as a surprise to Hill, who said he hadn’t known it existed. The award honors students who have emerged from their time at NC State as powerful role models, according to the College of Sciences. Hill was recognized for his inspirational spirit and attitude, along with his engagement in both academic pursuits and opportunities outside of the classroom. He was also recognized as someone who demonstrated integrity, kindness and compassion throughout his time at NC State.

Hill funded his education at NC State through the GI Bill, which provides veterans with funds for college, graduate school and training programs. His position in the research lab helped him cover costs as well.

He earned his degree in biology with a concentration in integrative physiology and neurobiology and went on to pursue his doctorate in biology in the ecology, evolution and organismal biology program at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2023. Hill said the money he received thanks to the Inspirational Senior Award helped him cover his living expenses from graduation time at NC State, when his GI Bill funding ended, through the start of his Ph.D. program.

Terry Chavez and Amy Whitley: Among the six attendees of the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics

In a field that can still be male-dominated, the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics provided Terry Chavez, Amy Whitley and their classmates with more than just an opportunity to learn. Their participation was a chance to connect with other women in the field – both those pursuing their studies and those well into their careers – to share experiences and seek advice about navigating the professional world.

“As a woman in physics, there’s so few of us, you sometimes get that feeling that you’re alone,” Whitley said. “The conference provided an opportunity to meet all of these women who have been through it and understand, and to talk about how they made it through.”

Amy Whitley headshot
Amy Whitley

Chavez had originally planned to pay for the experience out of pocket, and was grateful to be able to allocate that money to other areas of her education instead. Whitley said she likely would not have attended without the funds provided from Day of Giving.

Whitley enrolled at NC State to study physics after finding it to be a subject area that just clicked for her in high school. She’s since changed her major to nuclear engineering, but she finds many overlaps in the disciplines, both of which require a unique mindset focused on logic and much dedication to one’s studies.

Terry Chavez posing with a presentation poster
Terry Chavez

Chavez is part of the Engineering Pathways Program. She enrolled for three years at UNC-Pembroke, studying applied physics. She then transferred into NC State College of Engineering’s electrical engineering program. When she graduates, she will have earned two degrees.

“Funding like what we received allows students to have more opportunities outside the classroom,” she said. “We’re meeting people from other states and making connections that are beneficial in the long-term.”

Day of Giving 2024

Save the date for March 20, 2024, and join us for another impactful year of supporting our Wolfpack, our university and our vision for the future.

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