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Faculty and Staff Notes

Sneak Preview of New TV Ad

Professional and student actors, including one dressed as an astronaut, took over a Centennial Campus bridge last Wednesday during the production of NC State’s latest TV commercial.

Take a look behind the scenes with this YouTube video about the ad, which is scheduled to premiere on Thursday, Sept. 3, during the season opener against South Carolina.

J. Mark Scearce
Scearce was the winner among  60 entrants from 10 countries.

Scearce Wins Sackler Composition Prize

Dr. J. Mark Scearce, director of the music department, has been named the recipient of the eighth Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize. The competition, organized by the University of Connecticut's School of Fine Arts, supports composers and the performance of their new musical works. The international award includes public performances, recordings and $20,000. This year's prize was for a concerto for cello and orchestra. The concerto will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, on WUNC-91.5 FM.

Scearce holds advanced degrees in music, philosophy and religion, including a doctorate in music composition from Indiana University. He previously served on the music faculties of Hawaii, North Texas and Southern Maine. With 50 active titles in his catalog, including musical settings of more than 120 texts, his works for orchestra, band, chorus, opera, chamber and ballet have been performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. His wide-ranging interests have led him to compose works inspired by contemporary issues and spiritual concerns, such as This Thread, a setting of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's poem "The Dead of September 11," that Orchestra Nashville premiered in 2004, and Gaea's Lament, performed at a global climate change symposium in 2007. Scearce has seven works commercially available on compact disc on the Albany, Delos, Warner Bros, Capstone, Centaur and Equilibrium labels, and on a Sony 4-channel SACD (available online at

Rip Current Researcher Earns NSF Career Award

Dr. Jie Yu, a Sea Grant researcher whose work has focused on the formation of deadly rip currents, won a prestigious Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She will receive $567,232 over five years for her project, “CAREER: Multi-scale Interactions of Waves, Currents and Morphology with Applications to Rip Currents.” The award, one of the NSF's highest honors for young science and engineering faculty, is intended to advance their research and careers.

Yu’s research is aimed at improving forecasts of rip currents to make beaches safer. The new NSF project will expand NC State’s graduate program and include outreach for K-12 education about coastal processes. Sea Grant and the weather service, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the NC State Science House, will continue to help share results with key audiences.

The NSF posted an online abstract of Yu's new project.

Pomeroy Recognized with GreenTree Award

Stephanie Pomeroy, pharmacy technician in Student Health Services, received a GreenTree Initiative Award from the University Sustainability Office.

Pomeroy, who serves as the chair for the sustainability committee in Student Health Services, has been instrumental in helping the department reduce the amount of trash it generates by 75 percent in the last year. The effort has led the pharmacy to identify other ways to conserve and reuse with the goal of going paperless within the next five years. To read more about her work, please visit

The GreenTree Initiative recognizes faculty, staff and students who keep the idea of sustainability alive and well through small cost-saving, energy-smart and budget-friendly steps. Nominations are accepted year-round at

Surplus Dorm Furniture Helps Local Groups

More than 5,400 pieces of used dorm furniture found new homes with local shelters and nonprofits this summer instead of being sent to the landfill.

Materials Support staff members, led by Jim Hansen, assistant director of materials, and Barry Olson, associate housing director, worked with 18 local shelters and nonprofit groups to divert surplus furniture from six buildings. Only 15 desks were thrown out. 

"In the past we would have thrown 95 percent of this furniture load into the landfill,” Hansen said. “Instead, this year, with the proper coordination, we flipped that number on its head and were able to provide people in need with some good furniture."

Local groups took in the equivalent of 23 tractor-trailer loads of furniture, weighing 538,000 pounds, for use in their facilities.

Equal Opportunity Institute Accepting Applications

Online applications are available for the Equal Opportunity Institute (EOI), a free certificate program open to faculty, staff, students and the public. Sponsored by the Office for Equal Opportunity, the institute is designed to help participants develop a comprehensive understanding of equal opportunity issues. Topics include diversity, affirmative action, university policies and procedures, and discrimination and harassment.

The annual program takes place from September through May. Participants begin with an orientation session to design an individual educational plan. Interested? Apply at

Booths Available at Wellness Expo

Campus departments and units are invited to register as vendors for the 2009 Benefits and Wellness Expo. The expo will be held at the McKimmon Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29. This is an exclusive opportunity for campus and external providers to showcase their services to campus employees. The registration fee for campus departments is $50 for a single booth (10 by 8 feet) or $100 for a double booth (20 by 8 feet). There is an additional charge of $25 for electricity. A limited number of vendor booths are available. Registration is on a first come/first served basis.

Register online at or contact Rob Stevenson at

Seasonal Flu Shots Offered

Free seasonal flu vaccinations will be offered this fall for State Health Plan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina subscribers, dependents and retirees. Please note that seasonal flu shots are not expected to protect against the novel H1N1 virus. If H1N1 flu vaccine becomes available, it will be offered on a priority basis later in the fall.

Children must be at least 9 to be vaccinated for seasonal flu, and those between the ages of 9 and 17 must have a parent or guardian present. Seasonal flu shots are available for $30 to those not covered by the State Health Plan or other BCBS/NC plan. The flu shot provider will accept cash, checks and Medicare Part B (no co-pay required).

Eight clinics will be offered, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 29. To help ensure we have enough resources on hand for each clinic, please register online to let us know when you plan to receive your seasonal flu vaccination. Then, simply present your photo ID and SHP, BCBS/NC or Medicare card when you visit the clinic. For flu updates, please visit the Student Health Services, emergency information, Environmental Health and Safety Center or FAQ pages.

CMAST Employee Biking Across the U.S.

Paul Rudershausen, a research assistant at the Center for Marine Science and Technology, is biking across the country to raise funds for the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter. To follow his progress and support his cause, visit