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Research Leadership Academy

The Research Leadership Academy is the faculty-driven epicenter of research leadership and faculty mentoring.


The Research Leadership Academy (RLA), established in FY2016, is the faculty-driven epicenter of research leadership and faculty mentoring enhancing NC State’s research culture. The RLA is composed of the University’s most outstanding researchers and mentors from diverse fields; members are selected on their records of and active engagement in research and mentoring of faculty. The RLA is charged with the development and advocacy of best research and administrative practices for the development of the diverse research faculty at NC State. Membership in the Academy is lifetime as long as the member is associated with NC State with a commitment of active service to the Academy for a minimum of three years. Members are expected to take an active role in promoting the research enterprise across campus by leading activities such as seminars, research and leadership education programs, and mentoring programs for faculty. The goals of the RLA are to encourage a culture of mentoring across campus, empower faculty for success, and advance an intellectual, multidisciplinary research community and the best administrative practices.

RLA Lunch and Learns

The RLA holds multiple Lunch and Learn’s for faculty throughout the academic year. To learn more about upcoming events, visit our events page.

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COVID-19 Experts


  • Sharon Joines, Professor of Industrial Design; Associate Dean, College of Design; Director, Research in Ergonomics & Design Laboratory (Chair, 2021-2022)
  • Phillip Westmoreland, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (Chair-Elect, 2021-2022)
  • Erin Sills, Professor and Interim Department Head, Forestry and Environmental Resources (Past Chair, 2020-2021)
  • Greg Parsons, Alcoa Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Past Chair, 2019-2020)
  • Robert C Smart, PhD, Goodnight Distinguished Chair in Molecular Toxicology; Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Toxicology Program; Director, Center for Human Health and the Environment, (Past Chair, 2018-2019)
  • Gail Jones, Distinguished Graduate Professor, STEM Education (Past Chair, 2016-2018)


  • Ke Cheng, Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Regenerative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine; Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire, Translational Regenerative Medicine
  • Heike Sederoff, Professor and University Faculty Scholar, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Chair, Systems and Synthetic Biology Cluster
  • Paola Sztajn, Professor, College of Education; Interim Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Personnel and Policy
  • Cranos Williams, Professor, College of Engineering; Platform Director, Plant Sciences Initiative
  • Yaroslava Yingling, Professor, Director of Undergraduate Programs, College of Engineering; University Faculty Scholar
  • Xiangwu Zhang, Samuel S. Walker Distinguished Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Wilson College of Textiles; Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor; Inaugural University Faculty Scholar
  • Harald Ade, Distinguished Professor, Physics
  • Marie Davidian, William Neal Reynolds Professor, Statistics
  • Fred Gould, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Agriculture, Entomology
  • Gail Jones, Distinguished Graduate Professor, STEM Education
  • Y. Richard Kim, Jimmy D. Clark Distinguished University Professor, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Trudy Mackay, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished University Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Chris McGahan, Professor, Molecular Biomedical Sciences
  • Greg Parsons, Alcoa Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Ronald Sederoff, Professor, Forestry & Environmental Resources
  • Laurie Williams, Professor, Computer Science
  • Walt Wolfram, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor, English

Improve Your Social Interactions

Lauren Kirkpatrick reviews Rupert W. Nacoste’s five tips on how to interact well in neo-diverse America. These tips can be used by students and faculty alike to improve their social interactions.

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