The Leader of the Pack program honors and recognizes students for outstanding contributions in leadership, scholarship, and service.
What is Leader of the Pack?
This program has long been a tradition on campus, dating back to the 1990s. While initially known as the Homecoming King and Queen Competition, the award transitioned to a more inclusive and equitable process—removing the gendered structure and focusing on scholarship, leadership, a commitment to creating an inclusive campus community, and service to the campus and broader community.
Six students will be recognized as finalists, and the Leader of the Pack will be named at halftime of the Red and White Week game on Saturday, October 28, 2023.
Application and more information are below. The deadline to submit is October 2nd!
Six finalists will receive a ticket to the NC State vs. Clemson University football game on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Finalists will be recognized at halftime and attend the Chancellor’s pre-game reception.
The student finalist with the highest GPA will receive a $250 gift certificate from the NC State Bookstores.
The student designated as ‘The Leader of the Pack’ will also receive a $3,000 scholarship (to be applied during the Fall 2023 semester) and a class ring.
The process is cumulative and consists of multiple parts. Each qualified applicant will be evaluated on the following:
Cumulative Grade point average
Demonstrated leadership in co-curricular and community engagement
Demonstrated commitment to creating an inclusive campus community
Academic and conduct record check
10-minute video submission response to provided questions. (Only finalists will submit.)
2022 Leader of the Pack Finalists
The six finalists for the 2022 Leader of the Pack have been selected. Congratulations to our finalists who are listed below alphabetically:
Elizabeth Beese is a fourth- year majoring in Industrial Engineering, from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her love for NC State led her to become a leader in a multitude of areas at this University. During her time at State, Elizabeth was a 3 term President for the Figure Skating Club Team, mentored for the Women Minority and Engineering Program through the Summer Exploration Experience, and founded two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion boards for organizations impacting upwards of 1500 women where she consistently works to improve our campus. She also participated in various clubs at NC State, most notable being the Society of Women Engineers, the Native American Student Association, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Elizabeth is passionate about raising awareness to topics that feel more hidden to our communities. To enhance that initiative, she has worked to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), which is the oldest and largest organization committed to preventing child abuse and neglect. She also raises money for Safe Child Raleigh, which is the local branch of PCAA. Along with that, Elizabeth works to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, a topic that resonates deeply with her as a member of the Native American community.
Madison Darley is a Goodnight Scholar from Charlotte, North Carolina in her fourth year studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology and a minor in Psychology. Throughout her time at NC State she has served as the Black Students Board Chair, Black Students Board Vice Chair, Queen in You Chief of Staff, on the Service Raleigh Site Leader Committee, and as the Vice President of her chapter. She currently continues to serve as an undergraduate research assistant in the STEM Build Lab, a Goodnight Ambassador, a Goodnight Mentor, and President of the Knockout Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Madison is passionate about diversifying the face of medicine in order to improve the treatment as well as quality of life for all patients. After graduation, she will be obtaining her masters degree while also preparing to apply for medical school.
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Minh-Thu Dinh is a Goodnight Scholar majoring in electrical engineering with a Renewable Electric Energy Systems concentration. During her time at NC State, she has served as a founder and coordinator of CRANE Collective, an Asian American organization focused on critical narratives, community engagement, and creative expression. Minh-Thu also has served as a Goodnight Scholars outreach ambassador and mentor; University Theater volunteer and writer; and a Vietnamese Student Association family leader, script writer, and mentor. She has participated in two Alternative Service Break trips focused on STEM outreach for youth across North Carolina and has interned for a non-profit based on Asian American voting engagement. Minh-Thu is passionate about creating accessible education and inclusive spaces for marginalized communities. After graduation, she will be working full time as a power systems engineer at Eaton Corporation while exploring Asian American history in her free time.
Rachel Raineri lives her life as an opportunity. Upon completing her B.S. in Textile Engineering at NC State in 2018, she lived in Spain where she taught both English and Spanish and discovered a passion for biomimicry. Now, back at the Wilson College of Textiles working on her Master’s in Textile Engineering and her Doctorate in Fiber and Polymer Science, her research focuses on green chemistry for the production of plant-based fibers. In her 6 years and counting at NC State, some of Rachel’s roles on campus have been Resident Advisor, Co-founder and President of the NC State Chapter of Food Recovery Network, Event Coordinator for Textile Engineering Society, Academic Tutor at the Wilson College of Textiles, Student Maintenance worker, Student Liaison for VOLAR (Voluntarios Ahora en Raleigh), mentor for Girls Engineering Change, President of Textile Association of Graduate Students and Secretariat of the first annual Evolving Textiles Conference.
Originally from Grand Rapids, MI, Zach VanHekken is a fourth-year Park Scholar studying chemistry and science education and minoring in Spanish and science communications. At NC State Zach has been an Alternative Service Break leader, a chairperson of Service Raleigh’s community involvement committee, a peer mentorship co-director for the Park Scholarship, and a TA for COM 466: Nonprofit Leadership and Development. In addition, he has served as the Leadership Development Program intern in Student Leadership and Engagement, as an admission intern with Undergraduate Admissions, as a UHP Ambassador, and as the class of 2023 representative on the NC State Quality Enhancement Proposal Review committee. Finally, over his academic career, Zach has interned with the Dementia Alliance of NC, the Teaching Fellows of NC, and Bandwidth Inc. Zach is passionate about helping others find their leadership potential and develop it to create positive change in our community. Following graduation, Zach plans to use his experiences in either graduate school or a full-time career coaching teams and individuals to be more agile when developing new products.
Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, Devon is a fourth year student studying Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and a double major in Sociology. During his time at NC State, he has served as an Chancellor’s Aide, the President of the Society for Human Resource Management, an Career Ambassador, a Board Member and Hearing Assistant on the Student Conduct Board, and worked within multiple career centers on campus. He is very passionate about positively impacting and developing students both personally and professionally. He enjoys being the connector to resources that empower student success and make the NC State community greater in the process. After graduation, he will be working full-time with Capital One as a Human Resources Rotational Associate.