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CCEE’s Angela Harris named Goodnight Early Career Innovator

Angela Harris

NC State announced CCEE Assistant Professor Angela Harris among its 2022-23 class of Goodnight Early Career Innovators. This program recognizes and rewards promising NC State early-career faculty whose scholarship is in STEM or STEM education. The 25 faculty selected will receive $22,000 ­for each of the next three years to support their scholarship and research endeavors.

“The Goodnights’ generosity has made an amazing impact on our faculty and their scholarship,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “The Goodnight Early Career Innovators program gives our talented STEM faculty momentum to expand and advance their research.”

Harris said she felt honored to receive the award.

“I know there are so many great faculty at NC State, and to be recognized in this way was a huge honor,” Harris said.” I also do feel so thankful for all the support by the department, mentors, and students to help me build a successful research program.”

Faculty members eligible for the award must be tenure-track assistant professors at the time of nomination and their scholarship must clearly and substantively contribute to innovations and advancement in STEM or STEM education. Nominees were evaluated based on evidence of early productivity in research and innovation, which may include a strong early record of scholarly publication or dissemination appropriate to their discipline, external funding or recognition as an early career leader in their field.

Nominees were recommended by their colleges and selected by a committee of distinguished faculty from across the STEM disciplines at NC State. Thirty-eight faculty members were nominated for the award.

“Our faculty who are named Goodnight Early Career Innovators set the bar when it comes to groundbreaking STEM research,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden. “The Goodnights’ gift means that these faculty receive support that allows them to expand their expertise across STEM disciplines and to positively impact the university community.”

Harris joined the CCEE faculty in August 2018 and is part of the Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene cluster in the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program. Her research seeks to better characterize human exposure pathways of fecal contamination and develop methods to interrupt pathogen transmission to protect human health. Harris is engaged in computational and laboratory investigations in addition to conducting field work.

Harris is working on several different projects, including prepping for international field work this summer in Tanzania and Indonesia to investigate the role of the environment in infectious disease transmission.

“This award will allow us to do some exploratory work to improve on methods and potentially add new microbial targets that we will investigate in the environmental samples we are collecting,” she said.

Harris said one of the most rewarding parts about her work is being able to connect her research to stakeholders who use the insights.

“I’ve developed partnerships with NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Coharie Tribe, NC Coastal Federation and NC Department of Environmental Quality,” she said. “I strive to work closely with partners throughout each stage in the research process and get excited to see how I can use my work to make insight to fundamental engineering and science challenges but also can have applied impact in the short-term. And my students are involved in this as well, so seeing their growth and development as researchers is also a big highlight.”