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Pride of the Wolfpack 2021 Recipient- Beverly Miller

The Pride of the Wolfpack Award recognizes individual employees for a special or unique contribution to their college, business unit, or NC State University. This year recipient Beverly Miller was recognized for her outstanding contribution within the Department of Forest Biomaterials. Beverly was nominated by the department’s Operations Manager, Barbara White, and the nomination was also supported by Dr. Marko Hakovirta, Jennifer Piercy, and Paula Harrod.

Barbara White states, “during the CoVid-19 pandemic, Beverly has risen to the challenges of helping faculty to deliver quality teaching lab experiences, whether these are conducted onsite or virtually. She accomplishes this by demonstrating lab procedures for the undergraduate students which are recorded, allowing students to participate virtually. Beverly also orders materials, compiles kits, and ships them for students to complete assignments at their homes. Currently she is working very hard to plan how we will deliver in-person lab instruction in a socially distanced way to protect the health and safety of our students. We have onsite teaching labs starting this week, and she is already prepared with a plan of action for how the students will stay as safe as possible while the faculty and she deliver a high quality lab experience.”

According to Jennifer Piercy, Executive Director of the Pulp and Paper Advisory Board and Director of Undergraduate Recruiting for the PSE Program in Forest Biomaterials, Beverly is a critical asset to the success of recruiting efforts for our department. Jennifer affirmed “Beverly goes above and beyond with anything remotely in the realm of her job duties. As we embarked upon hosting a summer camp for budding engineers, Beverly jumped in with a million last minute requests before and during our first camp. She is now an integral part of our camp team. She contributes to supply ordering, lab setup, instructions and the leading of several of the labs. She is enthusiastic with the high school students, imparting in them a desire to learn more and consider NC State and PSE as a future major. Not only could we not host this camp without her skills and expertise, but she is an ambassador of our recruiting process and program.”

Jennifer’s administrative assistant, Paula Harrod, echoes Jennifer’s kudos, stating that “Beverly graciously, no matter the ask, which from me can be and has been frequent, is never bothered or irritated and quickly offers to help or supply me with what I need. She is that person that can answer any question that I pose and does, with a helpful spirit and attitude.”

Please tell us a little bit about yourself both personally and professionally

 I have been married to my husband Billy for 34 years. We have one daughter Stephanie who also works at NCSU. I previously lived in FL for almost 24 years before returning back to NC where I was born and raised. I formally worked for Hercules (now Solenis) in Jacksonville, FL. At Hercules I worked in research and did a lot of wet end chemistry paper making and size press research for numerous paper mills. One of the biggest projects I worked on was for P&G improving Bounty paper towels. When Hercules relocated that location to Wilmington, DE is when I made the move to Raleigh. I moved to Raleigh in 2006 to work for MeadWestvaco (corporate research) located on Centennial Campus at NCSU. At MWV I worked on wet end chemistry paper making, size press and DSF research. I also did a lot of traveling to MWV paper mills to monitor the wet end chemistry on their paper machines when they made changes. In 2011 MeadWestvaco relocated from Raleigh to Richmond, VA. I decided not to relocate with MWV and stayed in the Raleigh area. I joined the FB department in 2012 to teach undergraduate PSE lab classes. 

What do you enjoy most about the College of Natural Resources and/or NC State University?

I enjoy working with the undergraduate students in PSE lab classes. I like helping them learn how to do the things they need to know going into the pulp and paper industry. I also like to share advice when I can that might possibly help them working in the industry. It’s a great industry to work in. 

What do you do for fun?

My husband and I love traveling to different places. So far, our favorite vacation destination is Alaska. We have vacationed there three times and hope to do it again someday. We also have a place on Lake Gaston, NC. We are typically at the lake on weekends during the summer months enjoying boat rides, beautiful sunsets, swimming and spending time with our lake friends. It’s definitely our happy place.

What is your favorite TV show/movie/ and/or musical artist?

I don’t watch much TV so my favorite shows are mostly older ones like Seinfield, The Big Bang Theory, CSI & Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. My favorite musical artist is probably Billy Idol. I have traveled to a lot of places to see him perform and have been lucky enough to meet him a few times. I also love Fleetwood Mac & Stevie Nicks.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

It’s hard to pick just one flavor because I love ice cream! 

What is something people may not know about you?

Growing up as a child in the NASCAR country areas of NC, I personally knew NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. Dale and my dad were friends and went deer hunting together. We spent many weekends together at the hunt camp. 

Thank you for all that you do, Beverly! Your dedication and hard work does not go unnoticed!