Dr. Jacob Hooker, 2002 graduate of the College was selected as the first recipient of the College of Textiles Young Alumnus Award in 2009. The College created this award, which will be given annually, to honor one of our many young alums who are making outstanding contributions in their field. Dr. Hooker was honored at the May 2009 graduation ceremony at the College of Textiles.
Dr. Hooker began his chemistry career with a BS in both Textile Chemistry and Chemistry and graduated in 2002 Summa Cum Laude from NC State. During his undergraduate days, he was an active researcher with his work resulting in four publications with faculty members at the College of Textiles and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 2000.
Dr. Hooker earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley while being supported by a prestigious National Science Foundation Fellowship. He is currently a Distinguished Goldhaber Fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratory and in his relatively short career has co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed papers.
He is conducting research at Brookhaven on the development of tracer molecules that are viewed through a PET scanner. This scanner allows the scientist to peer into the human body to understand chemistry in the living system. These tracers have greatly advanced scientists’ understanding of diseases including cancer and drug addiction.
In addition, Jacob mentored, Sidney Hill, a current College of Textiles student majoring in Polymer and Color Chemistry, last summer at Brookhaven.
Dr. Eunice Lee, Ph.D. and masters graduate of the College, was selected as the second recipient of the College of Textiles Young Alumnus Award in 2010. Eunice obtained her Ph.D. in Textile Technology Management in 2001 and her M.S. in Textile Management in 1997. Since 2007, she has been Senior Product Development Executive and Textile R&D Scientist for Habasit America, following her distinguished career with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Engineered Product Division for 5 years.
Eunice is one of the most successful technocrats in U.S. textile industry through her expertise in textile technology management and an in-depth understanding of textile substrates used in tires, belts and other composite substrates. She has risen rapidly in her career and is widely recognized in the US and abroad for her continuous successes in innovative product development and engineering management dealing with technical textile products. She has US patents to her credit and many product/project initiatives and accomplishments. Eunice is globally recognized within the narrow fabric industry for her expertise and leadership in knit and woven fabric substrates for tires, belts and timing belts in particular, conveyors, rubber compounds, cordages and other key industrial products. She has amply demonstrated the core values and excellence of the Textile Technology Management Ph.D. program at the College of Textiles at NC State University.
In May 2009, Kelli McLauchlin embarked upon a journey that she says has changed her life forever. After just walking across the stage on the courtyard at the College of Textiles to accept her degree in Textile and Apparel Management, with a concentration in Brand Marketing, she left for the country of Zambia. A place she knew very little about, but after working with Habitat for Humanity on smaller projects, she says it just made sense for her to do this and on a bigger scale. She wanted to go somewhere completely out of her comfort zone and work on a team with people she didn’t know before and to help people in a different part of the world. Her desire was to help people and it was more about that than doing anything for herself. But during this journey she learned that she discovered more about herself than she would have ever thought.
Her first step in the spring of 2009 was to find a program and since she had worked with Habitat before she knew they could be a good starting point for her to access information. She learned after talking to Habitat that they had a Global Village Program that has groups all over the world that help people in need. She had a great desire to go to Africa since they are a very labor intense “hands-on” people. Habitat put her in touch with the leader in Africa and she interview with him over the phone. She ultimately was chosen to be a part of a team of 18 people who met in Zambia.
Kelli was excited to have the opportunity to help people in need and reach out to them in a way she never thought would be possible and to learn how they live. Her first two weeks in Zambia was concentrated on building houses for the people in the village. The 18 member team also stayed in the village and they were up at sunrise each day ready to build in the morning and afternoon. All the bricks for the houses were made in the village. The cement for the bricks as well as windows and doors were all shipped to them and a liaison for the village and a person from Habitat figure out who can afford to have the homes. In the plot of land the team is given they build a house to sleep in, a house for cooking and a house for pets.
The end of their workday brought them closer to the heart of the village and interacting with the people. They would play soccer with the children, take part in walkabouts with the village people. These walkabouts really gave them the opportunity to meet different people and learn even more about their way of life. Kelli says, “things that we have everyday are luxuries to them.” For example, Kelli watched the village gather around a single television in the outdoors to watch the news about their newly elected president. Quite different from our world isn’t it? The team also helped with mosquito nets in the evening and slaughtering animals as needed. They witnessed how young girls took care of younger children and how caring they were with them. All the people were so self sufficient and sustaining. The girls are typically have schooling until third or fourth grade with the boys receiving ??????????.
Kelli was sad to leave the village, but the house dedication before they left and seeing the family move in is very rewarding. “It really hits you what you have done for a family, to see their faces and their excitement about their new house and making into a home. It is the most rewarding and satisfying thing I have ever done and I am so pleased I had the opportunity to help people in a different part of the world, learn more about myself, and understand what the power of a team can do to change people’s lives,” said this young alumnus of the College of Textiles.
Barry Leonard received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Textiles in 1975. He has had a successful career in the textile industry and currently is the President and CEO of Glenoit Universal Ltd. and Croscill Acquisition Co. Leonard spent the first twenty years of his career at Springs Industries, holding leadership roles including President of the Department/Specialty Store Division and President of the Bath Fashions Division. An active alumnus of the Institute of Textile Technology (ITT), he has served as President of ITT’s Alumni Association. He is on the NC Textile Foundation Board of Directors and he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Home Fashions Product Association and the Educational Foundation of the Fashion Industries of the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Mike Hale received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Textiles in 1972. With 37 years of experience in nonwoven business and technology leadership, he has served as Chief Operating Officer for Polymer Group Incorporated since 2007. Prior to taking on this leadership role, he served as Vice President of PGI’s North American Operations & Supply Chain, and General Manager of North America and Europe. Hale spent the first 23 years of his career with Johnson & Johnson, playing an influential role in global technology development and business management. He is on the NC Textile Foundation Board of Directors and he also has served as a director of the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry and the National Safety Council.
Other current directors of the NC Textile Foundation include: Brad Beal ’68, President of Global Innovative Strategies; Derick Close ’82, CEO and President of Springs Creative; William Hamlett, Technical Director of the Home Division Product and Trend Development of WalMart Stores Inc.; Dale Hayes ’78, Vice President of marketing of UPS; David S. Holt ’80, President and CEO of Applied Thermoplastic Resources; Chuck Horne ‘73, President of Hornwood; Pamela G. Jones ’78, Development Director of the Community Action Center; Dr. Terry G. Montgomery ’75’80, Vice President of Precision Fabrics Group; Jerry Rowland ‘66, retired Executive Vice President of Hanes Brands; Walter Schwarz, President of LAAM Science and Partner of NIP Enterprise; Sam Tucker, Vice President of VF Jeanswear Partnership; Anderson D. Warlick, President and CEO of Parkdale Mills; and Steve Zeis ’62, President of ZTM Sales and Services.
David Holt The College of Textiles Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for 2009 was David Holt ‘80 of Cartersville, Ga. Holt is president and CEO of Applied Thermoplastic Resources, the world’s largest post-industrial nylon manufacturer. Recycling nylon fiber waste from the carpet industry, ATR produces resins that can be used in the plastic compounding industry. Holt began his career at Allied Signal / Honeywell and joined Mohawk Carpet Mills as executive vice president of sales and marketing and, later, Wunderweave Carpet Mills as president and CEO. He subsequently formed his own company, ATR. As an active alumnus, Holt has been instrumental in the development and growth of the N.C. Textile Foundation, serving as its president from 2003 to 2005 and as current chair of the development committee. With other members of the NC Textile Foundation board of directors, he helped establish the college’s Centennial Scholarship Program and was instrumental in helping the College of Textiles surpass its $50 million goal as a steering committee member for the Achieve Campaign.