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Rising senior, Robert Oglesby (Bobby), of Powhatan, VA has been selected as a Phillips Family Leadership Incentive award winner for 2015. Dr. Richard Phillips (’64, ’66 MS, ’70 PHD) and his wife, Mary endowed the leadership incentive award last year and Bobby is the third award winner.

Bobby Oglesby

Bobby Oglesby, Paper Science and Chemical Engineering rising senior

Working Hard

Bobby is an example of a hard working student.  He currently has a 4.0 GPA and is pursing a chemical engineering degree in addition to his paper science engineering degree and business minor.  He is an active member of TAPPI – currently serving as the vice president, University Scholars Program, and the student advisory committee to the Pulp & Paper Foundation.  Bobby has worked in the Department of  Forest Biomaterials as a lab and teaching assistant since coming to campus.  He has also completed an internship for RockTenn, Hopewell, VA; a super co-op for MeadWestvaco, Covington, VA and is currently interning for Solenis at the RockTenn Westpoint, VA facility.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Oglesby has this to say about being selected as a Phillips Family Award winner, “I am extremely honored and thankful for this award and opportunity! This award will not only allow me to broaden my knowledge beyond the technical aspects of pulp and paper and chemical engineering, but it will also enable me to get a jump start on my path to a successful career! With a business minor, I will be able to look beyond the specific projects that I will be working on and see the bigger picture of how it affects the company’s business. My family and I could never give back what the NC State Pulp and Paper Foundation has given to us, and for that we are overwhelmed and thankful to the foundation and now specifically to the Phillips family!”

Making a Difference


Dr. Richard Phillips (’64, ’66 MS, ’70 PHD); Photo courtesy of Marc Hall

The Phillips Family Leadership Incentive award is intended for juniors and seniors in the paper science and engineering program who will also obtain a minor in business.  “The easy part was to decide to give and how much,” says Phillips. “The hard part was to figure out what you can do to make a difference,” he adds. Dr. Phillips retired from International Paper as a vice president and came to teach at NC State. Phillips developed a class that would become required for the curriculum – Strategic Business Analysis in the Pulp and Paper Industry. Phillips believes the addition of the business minor, combined with an engineering degree, will produce successful engineers and leaders for our industry.  “The students who are willing to put in the extra time are likely to be the students who will succeed,” he says. We agree!  The program, department, university and industry will all benefit from students and graduates participating in interdisciplinary efforts.