Advisory Board Chair Notes | March 2021

I want to start by saying that I share everyone’s excitement for our department’s new home, Fitts-Woolard Hall, and I can’t wait to see it full of our students, staff and faculty soon. It is truly a marvel of modern technology and innovation and quite a change from the classic brick buildings on main campus that have housed the department like 111 Lampe Drive, Park Shops and Riddick Hall. As a world-class facility, it will garner the department the needed exposure to attract and educate future generations of the most outstanding industrial engineers.

Speaking of positive exposure, I would like to commend our department head Julie Swann for working overtime to promote the department, and the work industrial and systems engineers do to a national audience.

Since last March, she has made herself and her expertise on COVID-19 modeling and vaccine distribution available to local and national media outlets. Locally, she is a recurring guest on WRAL News and a contributor to many articles in the Raleigh and Charlotte newspapers. Nationally, she has talked with the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, NPR and PBS, including an interview on CBS News ( There is an excellent collage of her and many of the news outlets’ logos in the Fall/Winter 2020 edition of inGear, which you can download from the ISE website (

Her hard work and dedication to the field have not only showcased the department and the university to the country, but it has also earned her a Volunteer Service Award from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. You can read more about it in Awards and Honors on page 24.

I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention NC State’s Day of Giving. It is coming on March 24th. I encourage you to take part in giving back to the department and support the students as alumni supported us during our time at NC State. As the advisory board’s voice, let me assure you that we are putting our money where our mouths are to make this year’s event more successful than the first two. Join me on March 24th as together we can continue to grow NC State ISE into one of the nation’s top-ranking departments.

I want to end by mentioning that in her article (From the Department Head, page 1), Julie Swann spoke about her concerns for the students and their mental health during these difficult times. She encouraged them to reach out and stay in touch with friends, classmates and the department. I want to extend that invitation to the entire ISE community as it is not only our young folks who may need help. If you are struggling with the isolation, as many are, I encourage you to reach out. Remember that we are all part of Wolfpack Nation, and our strength comes from sticking together as a pack.


Gayle Lanier, BSIE 1982