Graduating seniors share valuable lessons learned during time at NC State

The College of Engineering will holds its first Recognition of the Graduates Event in Reynolds Coliseum to recognize student inductees into the Order of the Engineer and the Pledge of the Computing Professional. On May 9, inductees will join thousands of initiates throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond in making this public oath and obligation.

As part of a senior spotlight, learn more about two NC State Engineering graduates, their time at NC State and where their NC State Engineering degree is taking them.

Kobi Felton

Kobi Felton would describe his time at NC State as fulfilling.

“I have learned about the fundamentals of chemical engineering, developed as a Spanish speaker and served the local community,” said Felton, a senior majoring in chemical and biomolecular engineering and minoring in Spanish. “I was able to pursue these endeavors because of the amazing support of NC State faculty and my peers.”

Born in the United States, Felton spent most of his childhood in the Middle East and Africa. He is a recipient of NC State’s prestigious Park Scholarship, is a Chancellor’s Aide and an Engineering Ambassador, and has served as president of the university’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He has complete internships at Eastman Chemical Company and ExxonMobil, and undertook a year-long National Science Foundation-funded undergraduate research program to create computer algorithms that develop stronger adhesives for the aerospace industry.

In an interview with NC State Engineering Communications in 2015, during his freshman year, Felton shared that he chose engineering because he wanted to solve problems. “…engineering is a way that I can do this. I am interested in research and getting involved in projects that make a difference in our world.”

Thinking back on his time at NC State, the biggest lesson he said he has learned is how to fail and how to recover quickly. “I completed the Engineering Entrepreneurs Senior Design, and there were several times where I made mistakes that could have impacted our ability to complete our project. I learned to think on my feet and reach out to mentors to rapidly find solutions to our problems.”

A recipient of a 2018 Marshall Scholarship, Felton will be using the two-year scholarship – which includes university fees, cost-of-living expenses, an annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, and fares to and from the United States – to pursue a master’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge beginning in fall 2018 and a master’s degree in nanomaterials at Imperial College London in the second year.

“My life mission is to democratize and accelerate scientific research,” said Felton. “I have started work on that mission with Chemios, a service that gives scientists remote access to automated laboratory equipment from anywhere with an internet connection.”

As he finishes his time in Raleigh and moves on to graduate school, Felton is already thinking about all of the things that he will miss, which includes: the Abolhasani lab in the chemical engineering department, Ms. Debbie’s omelets at Case Dining Hall and Hunt library.

Neelam Modi

Extraordinary. That’s the word Neelam Modi would use to sum up her time at NC State.

“It’s difficult to put into words just how much I appreciate this university for all of the opportunities it has afforded me,” said Modi, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and economics. “In just four years, I pursued passions in two different majors, made lifelong friends, and experienced some of NC State’s coolest traditions. Growing up in Delaware, I never anticipated calling this place home, but I am so incredibly grateful that I can.”

Modi has been very involved in campus life during her four years at NC State. She is an Engineering Ambassador, has been involved with the bi-annual Engineering Career Fair, is a member of the NC State Chapter of Engineering World Health, is part of the University Honors Program and is a Park Scholar.

Reflecting on her biggest lessons learned as an NC State Engineering student, Modi has learned that there’s going to be more work do it but it all adds up with the memories she is making. “Thirty years from now when I’m looking back on my college experience, I won’t be reminiscing on the late nights spent in Hunt Library; it’s the people and the adventures that make this elusive time in your life worth remembering.”

What will she miss the most?

“The people. NC State has introduced me to some of the most thoughtful, intelligent and inspiring people I’ve ever met, from my peers all the way up to the faculty and staff. I’m definitely going to miss running into my friends on campus and being able to stop by Page Hall whenever I need advice or a good laugh.”

Post-graduation, she plans to move to Philadelphia to work for Deloitte, a multinational professional services network, then attend graduate school.

Her advice for incoming engineering students and students currently working their way into the engineering field? “When the going gets tough in engineering, or life in general, think about the giants who came before you. If they could do it, you can too.”

This post was originally published in College of Engineering News.

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