The Endowments Impact

NCSIF Fund: News From Our Participants

Dhuru Patel

As Dhuru Patel graduated high school four years ago with plans to pursue a career in health care, the STEM-based focus and pre-health care study opportunities that NC State offered had him leaning toward attending the university. His receipt of the Dean and Gail Bunce Scholarship through the College of Sciences sealed the deal. In the time since he chose NC State, Patel said he has felt the full impact of that scholarship. He has worried less about paying for school, which allowed him to pursue study, extracurricular and service opportunities.

Patel, who grew up in western North Carolina, will receive a B.S. in biological sciences with a concentration in human biology, and a minor in business administration this May. He is part of the Daniel L. Solomon Scholars Program, named for the College of Sciences’ inaugural dean, who spent more than 30 years at NC State before retiring in 2015. Solomon Scholars are selected based on academic achievement, scientific leadership qualities and distinctive life experiences. The program is currently made up of 16 named scholarships, including the Dean and Gail Bunce Scholarship.

A pre-medical school track requires not just intensive studies, but also professional and academic activities outside the classroom, such as shadowing and volunteering with medical professionals, he said. “The scholarship was really a catalyst for my academic development because I was able to focus on that,” Patel said.

Ecology Wildlife Foundation Establishes Three Funds to Support Conservation Research

The Ecology Wildlife Foundation Fund in Asheville, North Carolina, has established three new funds that will support an undergraduate scholarship, graduate fellowship and distinguished professorship in the College of Natural Resources.

The undergraduate scholarship and graduate fellowship will support students pursuing a degree in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology. The distinguished professorship will support a professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, with preference given to faculty with active research in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology focused on global change and wildlife conservation.

“The three gifts from the Ecology Wildlife Foundation — the scholarship, fellowship and distinguished professorship endowments — individually and as a whole are transformative for the fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology program at NC State University. As human influence on the planet expands, we need to expand resources to address the associated environmental challenges, including those related to conserving wildlife.

The gifts’ emphasis on teaching students and supporting research related to global change and wildlife conservation will allow the College of Natural Resources at NC State to be a global leader in developing practical solutions to conserve wildlife now and into the future,” said Christopher Moorman, professor and interim associate head of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.

By supporting individuals at various stages of academia, the college and the Ecology Wildlife Foundation Fund envision that these resources will enhance the spirit of collaboration, mentorship and scholastic support among students and professors with interest in human-induced environmental change, including climate change and urbanization, that affect wildlife and their habitats.

The gifts’ emphasis on teaching students and supporting research related to global change and wildlife conservation will allow the college of natural resources at NC State to be a global leader in developing practical solutions to conserve wildlife now and into the future.

Brook Reynolds, NC State Investment Fund participant

SRI Fund: Student Spotlight

Zack Jenio

In the Park Scholarships program’s quarterly Park Enrichment Grant announcements, one name has appeared almost routinely since April 2019: Zack Jenio ’22. Jenio studied biological sciences and Middle East studies and, through an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program, is now working on his M.S. in comparative biomedical sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. He has received 10 Park Enrichment Grants for experiences including study abroad, linguistics training, wellness coach certification, and osteoarthritis research, and he plans to apply for more during his fourth and final year at NC State.

Since 1998, Park Enrichment Grants (PEGs, previously called GRASPs) have provided support for Park Scholars to engage in professional and personal enrichment experiences in the United States and abroad. Grants of up to $2,000 are awarded by a committee and funded by the Park Foundation and donor gifts to the Park Scholarships Enrichment Fund.

Opportunities like those created by pegs have allowed me to apply what I am learning inside the classroom to my studies outside — and produce findings and conclusions to contribute to the academic conversation.

Zack Jenio