The ISE Department welcomed its first class of Distinguished Alumni in 2006. Along with the 14th class of Distinguished Alumni (Stephanie Alexander, Rick Coffey, Misha Dawson, and Carlos Gonzalez-Miranda), the Department welcomed its second class of Outstanding Young Alumni (Charles “Link” Neal III) during the department’s Red and White Week Celebration.
Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor that the department can give any graduate who has been out of school for 20 years or more. It’s awarded to alumni whose contributions to their profession, the community, and the department, college, and university are notable and deserve special recognition.
Stephanie Alexander is an internationally recognized pioneer in using healthcare information technology and big data to drive improvements in quality, safety, and efficiency. She served as CEO of PeraHealth, Inc. an innovative clinical decision support start-up company providing health systems real-time clinical surveillance.
Prior to joining PeraHealth, Alexander was President of Performance Analytics and Decision Support Services at MedAssets. She also served nearly three decades building and leading Premier’s Healthcare Informatics business.
Alexander holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
After graduating from NC State, Rick Coffey began his career with Stanley Furniture in Virginia. At the age of 24, he became Stanley’s youngest plant manager. From there he worked at several furniture companies including Broyhill, Thomasville, and MASCO. Then in 1998, Coffey bought an existing upholstery business and Morganton Chair was born. In 2000, his specialty upholstery business flourished and merged with McCreary Modern. At 44, Coffey became president and COO of McCreary Modern and maintains that position today.
McCreary Modern is one of the largest privately and employee-owned upholstery companies in the world. McCreary Modern’s operations provide employment for over 1000 residents in six separate facilities. All products and raw materials are sourced locally and made in the USA. Coffey earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering with Furniture Manufacturing and Management from NC State University in 1978.
Misha Dawson is the Director of Information Technology for Engineering Solutions within Raytheon Missile Systems. She received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1995. Before joining IT, Dawson worked as an industrial engineer for Siemens Energy and Automation and Nokia Mobile Phones. Dawson has worked for Raytheon in engineering and management roles since 2001. She obtained her current position in 2017.
In this role, Dawson operates the engineering computing environment and technical software implementation for engineering employees across the US. Her team provides tool support, testing, and training for major business initiatives. They also provide supplier and vendor management, engineering solutions, and software solutions for businesses. She received her BSIe from NC State in 1995.
Carlos J. Gonzalez-Miranda
Carlos J. Gonzalez-Miranda is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He received his M.E. in Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering in 1990 from NC State University. In 1995, Dr. Gonzalez also received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from NC State University.
From 1994-99, Dr. Gonzalez was a tenure track faculty member of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. In 1999, he served as Dean of the College of Business at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. A year later in 2000, Dr. Gonzalez became the Dean of the College of Engineering.
His research and teaching interest are in the areas of facilities design, logistics, material handling automation, and computer simulation.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional practice and/or service and is for alumni who have been out of school for less than 20 years. This includes the University, profession, or society at large. Ideal candidates will have made rapid advancement within their organization.
Charles “Link” Neal III
Charles “Link” Neal III is one half of the team Rhett and Link. He is a writer, singer/songwriter and actor, known for Good Mythical Morning, The Mythical Show, Commercial Kings, Rhett and Link’s Buddy System, Looking for Ms. Locklear, and several songs, comedy sketches and commercials. In 2007, he started RhettandLinKreations as the production company for the Rhett&Link brand.
He graduated from NC State with his BSIE degree in 2001, which he used to get a job at IBM.
The ISE Department would like to welcome its newest members and wish them continued success in the future.
To see all Distinguished Alumni Award winners and learn how to nominate someone for this award, go to Alumni Hall of Fame.
To see all Outstanding Young Alumni Award winners and learn how to nominate someone for this award, go to Outstanding Young Alumni.