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Research Newswire

NCICS’ Stevens Earns NC State University Award for Excellence

Scott Stevens, a research associate at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies (NCICS), was recognized for his volunteer efforts to deliver personal protective equipment across North Carolina.

Scott Stevens (left) and a colleague prepare to work at a PPE distribution site in Asheville, North Carolina.

Not long after the pandemic began, Scott Stevens started pitching in to make sure frontline workers across the state receive the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need. 

Stevens, who works full-time as a research associate at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, is a Major in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as the North Carolina Wing’s director of emergency services. And in addition to these responsibilities, he’s gone above and beyond by volunteering more than 100 days of his time since March 2020. 

Last month, Stevens was recognized with the NC State University Award for Excellence, in the category of Public Service. The awards, presented annually, are the most prestigious honor bestowed by the university upon non-faculty employees. As a winner, Stevens becomes automatically nominated for the North Carolina Governor’s Awards for Excellence.

“Scott epitomizes the idea of selfless service,” said Ben Bashinski, a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol who’s served with Stevens. “He inspires others with his example and has protected lives across the state without expecting anything in return.”

A headshot of Scott Stevens, in his full-dress Civil Air Patrol uniform
Scott Stevens, who was recently promoted to Major in the Civil Air Patrol.

Stevens has worked in partnership with NC Emergency Management to coordinate over 500 PPE deliveries throughout 81 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. As part of this role, Stevens develops safety protocols for drivers and warehouse staff; he also helps coordinate volunteers for vaccination sites across the state. And thanks in part to the community service leave the university offers eligible employees, he’s been able to personally volunteer at vaccination sites himself, too, most recently in Gastonia. 

In the Civil Air Patrol, Maj. Stevens also serves as a pilot and incident commander for search-and-rescue missions — nine of which he’s been a part of in the past year alone. And at night, when he’s not flying for the Civil Air Patrol or piloting his personal aircraft, Stevens occasionally teaches aviation courses at a local community college, on top of everything else. 

With his recent research project — he is still a full-time research associate, after all — investigating how incidences of crosswind are changing over time at U.S. airports, Stevens was able to blend his three main passions in life: aviation, data analysis and public service. The results of his study will inform major decisions for future airport designers.

Stevens was one of three employees to receive this year’s Office of Research Innovation (ORI) Award for Excellence, all of whom represented our office at the June 11 university-level awards ceremony, held at Talley Student Union. Ken Roth, a contract special security officer for the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, was the other EHRA employee who won the ORI Award for Excellence; Sibyl Smith, an executive assistant and ORI’s office manager, was the sole SHRA winner. A total of 21 ORI employees, from 11 departments, were nominated for the 2021 Awards for Excellence.