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Faculty and Staff Notes

Hall Renamed for Joab Thomas

South Gardner Hall was renamed Thomas Hall on Nov. 19, in honor of Dr. Joab L. Thomas, NC State’s ninth chancellor. Thomas Hall is home to faculty and labs in life-science disciplines, including entomology, genetics, microbiology, plant biology and plant pathology. Thomas, who was chancellor from 1976-1981, is a biologist.

Under Thomas’ leadership, NC State increased its student and faculty populations, started the John T. Caldwell Merit Award program, improved its facilities and broke ground on the College of Veterinary Medicine. Thomas served as a professor and administrator at the University of Alabama before becoming chancellor at NC State. He then served as president of the University of Alabama and president of Penn State University. He currently resides in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Eat Smart Program Coming in 2010

This spring, NC State will offer Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less with do-it-yourself tips to eating healthier in 2010. The 15-week course will be offered many different days across campus for your convenience. Registration costs $30, with $25 to be refunded to those who attend at least 10 sessions. You can sign up online

If you work in Pitt or Guilford County and would like to bring the program to your work site, contact If you are in another county, contact your local family and consumer science agent and/or health promotion coordinator to find out if they are able to teach a class. Contacts for these professionals can be found at

To get you through the holidays, here are some tips for 12 Days of Wellness:

  • Day 12: Take 12 flights of stairs
  • Day 11: Park 11 spaces away from your usual parking spot to get in those extra steps.
  • Day 10: Take a 10-minute walk with a co-worker every day during your break.
  • Day 9:   Save $9 a week by skipping the vending and drink machine and replacing treats with healthy snacks from home.
  • Day 8:   Drink eight glasses (8 ounces) of water a day.
  • Day 7:   Find a local gym that is offering a free seven-day trial membership.
  • Day 6:   Make sure you get at least six hours of good sleep each night.
  • Day 5:   Grab five co-workers and enter the Jingle Bell Jog on Friday, Dec. 11.
  • Day 4:   Take four minutes to complete an online health assessment at
  • Day 3:   Exercise three days a week for at least 30 minutes.
  • Day 2:   Have two servings of vegetables as part of your dinner tonight.
  • Day 1:   Register for Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less.

Dunn Wins National Outdoor Book Award

Dr. Rob Dunn, assistant professor of biology, won the natural history category of the 2009 National Outdoor Book Awards. Dunn’s book, Every Living Thing: Man’s Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys, features stories about a scientist’s quest to discover a rare ant and another researcher’s attempt to find every living thing in a Costa Rican jungle. It was published by Smithsonian Books. For more information and a list of winners, visit

Taylor Appointed to Advisory Board

The Foundation for Ethics in Public Service has appointed Andrew J. Taylor, chair and professor of political science, to its advisory board.

In its efforts to bring “a new level of transparency, accountability and integrity to all levels of American government,” the foundation receives and independently investigates allegations of corruption in government, provides reports of corruption to investigative journalists, and educates government leaders and the general public on the true nature of ethics in government as well as the causes and remedies of public corruption.

McCorkle Publishes Short Story Collection

English Professor Jill McCorkle has published Going Away Shoes, her latest collection of short stories. The Atlantic Monthly Fiction 2009 issue contains a story from the collection titled "P.S." and an interview with the author. McCorkle, who teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program, is the author of eight previous books – three story collections and five novels – five of which have been selected as New York Times Notable Books. She is the winner of the New England Book Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature.

Mayor Proclaims Mindy Sopher Day

Mindy Sopher, an academic adviser in the Office of Advising and Student Services, was honored with her own day. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker proclaimed  Friday, Nov. 20, as Mindy Sopher Day.

Sopher was recognized by the Cary Rotary Club and awarded the Lambert Courtesy Award at the NC State University Club. The award, which was kept secret, was a surprise to Sopher, who was expecting to present a talk titled "How to Support Loved Ones with Cancer."

Currin To Serve on Panel

Richard D. Currin Jr. P.E., a facilities agricultural engineer I,  has been appointed by the National Fire Protection Association to serve on Code-Making Panel 13 of the National Electrical Code. 

Foundation Funds Poultry Science

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation awarded the NC State Poultry Science Department $18,164. The foundation funds recruitment and retention at U.S. colleges and universities with poultry science departments.  

Booking with the Pack Accepting Donations

Booking with the Pack, sponsored by the Academic Support Program for student athletes, is holding a campus book drive through Wednesday, Dec. 16. Collection bins for new and gently used books for all ages are located in residence halls across campus.

Booking with the Pack promotes literacy by giving away books to ignite a passion for reading and learning. This year’s goal is to put 25,000 books in the hands of children and adults from all walks of life.

After the book drive, student athletes will catalog and distribute books to organizations dedicated to serving the community as well as others in need of books. For additional information, contact program facilitator Phil Moses at 515-4500 or graduate assistant Jennifer MacNab at 513-1062. More information is online at

Teddy Bear Drive Under Way

Feel free to bring a teddy bear to work this month. Volunteers are collecting bears for children who are hospitalized over the holidays. Extras will be kept on hand to comfort children who are admitted to the hospital or facing a painful procedure. Though Thursday, Dec. 17, you can drop off a bear at one of these locations:

  • Cashier’s Office, 2005 Harris Hall
  • McKimmon Center, main office
  • Communication Services, Butler Building lobby
  • Textiles Building on Centennial Campus, Room 3408
  • IES, Suite 1600 of Research IV on Centennial Campus

Faculty/Staff Ticket Discounts Available

Take advantage of reduced prices for men’s basketball tickets during Faculty/Staff Appreciation Days. Attend a nonconference game for $10 or an ACC contest for $15 on these home dates:

  • Elon: 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17
  • Virginia Tech: 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10
  • Maryland: 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17

Purchase tickets online at, using STAFF as the promotional code. Or avoid the service fee by paying in person with cash at the ticket office (university ID required). 

Shared Leave Requests

Leave donations will be accepted through Tuesday, Dec. 14, for the following individuals who have applied to receive shared leave:

  • Robert (Bob) Hoyle                   Facilities - Building Main and Operations
  • Kathleen O'Brien                       University Architect's Office

Those who wish to donate leave should complete Form SL-2, Authorization to Donate Leave. All donations must be from annual or bonus leave unless the donor is an immediate family member of the recipient. Donation forms must be completed and signed by the donor and department leave coordinator before being forwarded to Stacey Davis, HR Benefits, Box 7215. Questions? Contact the leave administration unit at 515-2151.

County Extension Shared Leave Request

Shared leave is also currently being requested by Pam Layfield of Anson County. Those wishing to donate vacation or bonus leave should complete the attached Authorization to Donate Leave form by Thursday, Dec. 3, and forward via mail or fax to:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Personnel
Attention: Cheryl Howard
220 Patterson Hall
CB #7917
Raleigh, NC  27695
Phone: 515-2708
Fax: 513-2617

W-2 Smackdown Standings Updated

You can help NC State make tax time greener. To save paper and time, sign up for an electronic W-2 earnings form. In response to security concerns from employees, now only the last four digits of your social security number are required. And yes, the IRS will accept a copy of the form from your home printer.

To see where your unit ranks in the standings, visit the payroll page. Each Friday through Dec. 18, payroll will update the standings. Units with the highest percentages will be recognized. Questions? Send an e-mail to or call Joanie Aitken at 513-3548.