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CCEE student recognized with scholarship from N.C. Society of Engineers

Alyssa Paull

CCEE sophomore Alyssa Paull received the Ronald C. Harrell Engineering Scholarship from the North Carolina Society of Engineers (NCSE) at the organization’s 2022 Winter Meeting on March 19. Paull, who is studying environmental engineering and philosophy, said she was in disbelief when she found out she won the scholarship.

“I’m really thankful to all the folks at NCSE for supporting me in furthering my education, and for making me feel so welcome at their banquet,” Paull said. “I’m excited to be a little less nervous about affording school, and I’m able to work a little less over summer now, so I can even do summer classes and get ahead this year.” 

The scholarship provides financial support for tuition, fees and books for a full-time student who has a declared major in engineering or engineering technology. The award was named in honor of past NCSE member Ron Harrell, who participated on several committee chairmanships and as district director and statewide president. He was recognized as the 1999 NCSE Outstanding Engineer. 

“This a competitive scholarship, and Alyssa was selected from approximately 40 applicants,” said Dr. Rudi Seracino, a CCEE professor and associate head for undergraduate programs. “This is quite an achievement.”

Paull, who works as a resident advisor at Lee Hall, is involved in the Women in Science and Engineering Village and is working with College of Natural Resources professor Dr. Lucian Lucia to revive the NC State Sierra Club, which focuses on environmental advocacy. She is also part of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars program, which allows students to simultaneously pursue bachelor’s degrees in both engineering and humanities or social sciences. 

Paull, who grew up in Asheville, has always had an interest in sustainability, so choosing to study environmental engineering was an easy decision.

“I grew up right by Lake Julian, which is massively mercury infested,” Paull said. “The power plant that sits on it is since out of commission, but I was inspired to make sure that similar ecological damage is minimized. I want to make sure that people have access to clean water and air, and I want to improve industry practices while I’m at it. After I graduate, I’d like to maybe work with the Environmental Protection Agency on either advocacy, policy, or air/water pollution management.”