Goodnight Scholars Program

They grow up so fast!

Alumni Revisit

Making an Impact
at Home

63% of Goodnight Scholars Alumni are working or pursuing an advanced degree in North Carolina.


17% of Goodnight Scholars Alumni are enrolled in a graduate or doctoral program. The student who traveled the farthest for their advanced degree? Durant Mangum ‘17 who is studying industrial engineering and management at the Technical University of Denmark.

We Love
Our Teachers

The Goodnight Scholars Teaching Corps grows bigger and bigger with each graduating class. We have alumni like First-Year Teaching Award Winner Rebeka Thornton ‘17 expanding young minds in Virginia, as well as Carlos McClaney ‘16 who is teaching middle grades mathematics in Ghana.

Whether it was meeting friends or leading students at the Goodnight Scholars Summer Retreat, or catching up with other students at the Graduation Gala, there were plenty of opportunities to foster good relationships with other students passionate about STEM and education. I would definitely say this inspired me to pursue and complete graduate school, and develop skills as a scientist and an educator.


Since graduating from NC State, Kristopher’s career has led him to a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical/Medical Engineering from the University of Virginia and full-time work as a data scientist for Hemoshear Therapeutics.

Alumni Cohorts

We classify our scholarship as an investment. For us, the return on this investment (ROI) is our scholars realizing their potential and applying their talent to communities that need their support.

Ready for some hard numbers? 383 Goodnight Scholars Alumni now reside in four continents, five countries, and 31 states. They exemplify Think and Do in virtual classrooms, research labs, and national forests while making time to give back to our program by mentoring current scholars who are eager to walk in their shoes.

How is that for an ROI?



of 2019


Phan ‘19

This summer, I interned with UN Migration’s International Organization for Migration. I was a medical intern responsible for analyzing COVID-19 patient data for all 173 member states. My statistical analyses applied trends to epidemiological data and resulted in policy recommendations to the director general and medical director in the Occupational Health Unit.



of 2018

I continue to reflect on the program and think how lucky I was to have this opportunity that gave me an unique University experience that continues to shape my life today.


Juan kickstarted his professional career by becoming a process engineer for Merck.

The Goodnight Scholars Program played an important role in shaping my experiences at NC State and allowing me to pursue my existing passions and discover new ones as well.


Catrina is a bit of a world traveller. After graduation, she conducted STEM workshops for children in Egypt and went on to live in France before returning to Maryland for a research job with the National Institute of Children’s Health & Development.



of 2017


Almasy ‘17

Since the pandemic began, my role as a PhD student in the Plate Lab at Vanderbilt University has been studying how different coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 – the causative agent of COVID-19, hijack human cellular processes to assist in their life cycle.

Read Full Story

Because viruses do not contain all the machinery to replicate on their own, they need to infect host cells and rewire the cells for their own benefit. If we can understand how these different viruses utilize similar host processes, we can find potential hotspots for drug development. Since these processes would be commonly used by several coronaviruses, ideally the therapeutics would now be effective against multiple strains. In addition to helping us understand the basic science of how coronaviruses work, this will also help us get a head start on preparing for possible future virus pandemics.


Woodward ‘17

Our team in the Fromen Lab at the University of Delaware developed a platform to evaluate a variety of mask types where they are worn in controlled conditions and more realistic environments like someone might find in the workplace — without putting people at risk of viral exposure.

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Combining our lab’s interests in pulmonary medicine and 3D printing, we created a replica of a human face, nose, mouth, and throat to simulate natural aerosol exhalation that might carry viral particles, using a commercially available handheld aerosol counter to quantify the results of mask-wearing. In comparing surgical masks, N95 respirators, and homemade hand-sewn masks in an enclosed space, we found that most masks reduce the detectable levels of exhaled particles directly in front of the wearer. However, when they do not fit properly, any of the mask types can redirect exhaled air to the side or top of the face and inadvertently put others at risk of exposure. We moved our experiments to the open lab space and found similar results at one foot or less from the face, but as we measured farther away, at the physical distancing recommendations of six feet, we found that all of the mask types decreased aerosols levels below our level of detection.



of 2016

The Goodnight Scholars Program helped me to be a better leader, a life long learner, and a more outgoing person.


You can find Brandon putting his engineering degree to good use in the Queen City as a project engineer for Citibank.



of 2015


Camille Cruz ‘15

Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Current Career: Certified Prosthetist Orthotist with Transcend Orthotics and Prosthetics in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Your NC State Howling Cow flavor of choice is?

Wolf Tracks!

Why did you choose your major?

I wanted to be an artist when I was younger, but when I took biology and physics in high school, I loved learning how the world works. I wanted to also help people, and I found how orthotics and prosthetics combined all of these elements together. I debated whether to pursue industrial design or biomedical engineering because I wanted to focus on improving the aesthetic design of these devices for improved patient acceptance, but I enjoyed science and math too much to pass up engineering. I do not regret it one bit. The greatest thing engineering has taught me is how to be an effective problem solver.

What is your favorite Goodnight Scholars memory?

It’s a tie between swimming in a cardboard boat and taking the fall break trip to Boston.

How would you describe the experiences you had in the Goodnight Scholars Program to someone who knew nothing about it?

The Goodnight Scholars Program offered me opportunities and connections I would have never had otherwise. With the focused mentorship, abundant educational experiences, community outreach activities, and vibrant friendships, I fostered skills of lifelong learning, cross-pollination between topics and disciplines to spark new ideas, compassionate leadership, and paying it forward that carries both into my professional and personal values. When I left I knew it was a great program, but I am proud and excited to see how the Goodnight Scholars Program has grown and continues to grow exponentially with its leadership and students paying it forward.



of 2014


Melissa Johnson Templeton ‘14

Major: Meteorology
Hometown: Concord, NC
Current Career: Aerial Reconnaissance Meteorologist, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron with the Hurricane Hunters

What is something that no one would know about you just by looking at you?

I am a captain in the Air Force! In addition to being a meteorologist, I am also a professional officer. After graduating from NC State, my first few years were spent on active duty serving as a meteorologist for bases in Europe and the National Capital Region. I transitioned to the Air Force Reserve in 2018 to fly with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters and am absolutely loving the opportunities I get at the forefront of scientific research and supporting the public safety response to hurricane threats.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to become a meteorologist because I have always had a love for science, particularly how it influences our natural environment. My favorite museum in D.C. was, and still is, the Museum of Natural History. I wanted to be an archaeologist, then a geologist, then an oceanographer, then a climatologist – which is still my ultimate dream! In high school, I took AP Environmental Science and learned that all my interests had an underlying influence, which was atmospheric science. I was pretty much hooked. I love that knowledge of weather answers so many questions in our lives from what we wear, to how much energy your energy company will supply in a day, to how to sustainably interact with the natural world to ensure a healthy environment for the generations who come after us.

Any favorite Goodnight Scholars memories?

My favorite Goodnight Scholars memory was an alumni tailgate a few years back. I was only able to stay for the tailgate and not for the game as I was traveling to see family, but seeing my fellow cohort again felt like home. It was so fun catching up and talking about what everyone was up to professionally and personally.

What did you learn from being in the Goodnight community?

I learned that a love for STEM is something to be proud of! There is an entire group of people who will share in your excitement and encourage you to explore your interests. The Goodnight Scholars Program gave me the confidence to try new things. It boosted my spirit when I needed it and introduced me to some impressive people who inspired me to work hard and improve myself, but to always aspire to love what I do.



of 2013


Galvan ‘13

I am the oversight lead project management analyst for IQVIA’s COVID-19 treatment and vaccine clinical research studies. I collaborate with global project leads to deliver potential treatments for COVID-19 patients. It is very exciting to actively be involved in creating a solution to a global disease and working with individuals that are constantly seeking to better the situation. I am very grateful for all the frontline workers who are leading the way in bringing services, data and care for those affected by the pandemic.

Get Social With the Goodnight Scholars Program


Goodnight Scholars

203 Peele Hall
Campus Box 7529
Raleigh, NC 27695-7529
Phone: 919.515.7485

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