Skip to main content

CBE Honors Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients – 2017

On December 8, 2017, the department hosted a luncheon to honor four of our graduates with CBE Distinguished Alumni Awards and one graduate with a CBE Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

2017 Distinguished Alumni
From left to right: Dr. Chisa K. Brookes (BS ’01 – Distinguished Young Alumni Award), Dr. Dominic T. Clausi (BS ’94), Kent O. Hudson (BS ’75), Leland E. Garrett, Jr. (BS ’71), Steffanie B. Easter (BS ’85).

Established in 2016, the CBE Distinguished Alumni Award and the CBE Distinguished Young Alumni Award  are intended to celebrate and recognize the exemplary contributions recipients have made to their profession, their community, and their department, college or university. All graduates of the department, including deceased graduates, are eligible for consideration.

The 2017 Award recipients are:

CBE Distinguished Alumni Awards

  • Dr. Dominic T. Clausi
  • Ms. Steffanie B. Easter SES US ARMY
  • Dr. Leland E. Garrett, Jr. MD FACP FASN
  • Mr. Kent O. Hudson

 CBE Distinguished Young Alumni Award

  • Dr. Chisa K. Brookes

Chisa K. Brookes

Naturally color-full, Chisa K. Brookes is a daughter of the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands (VI).  A native of St. Croix, the islands prepped their three-time Valedictorian impeccably for life beyond the Caribbean.

Courtesy of donations from the VI community Chisa was able to afford her first year of college.  Her performance at an ExxonMobil summer internship in Beaumont, TX earned her a full scholarship for the rest of her education at N. C. State University where she received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2002.  She worked for this generous company for most of her undergraduate and graduate career earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees both in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University.  Once full-time at the multi-national Oil and Gas Corporation, she traveled North America, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia facilitating and coordinating over $20 Million in environmental research and initiatives at institutes and production plants around the globe.  She later transitioned into leading the risk management and process safety components of a $1 Billion Australian Gas Plant development while living in Singapore.

Chisa currently owns and operates two companies near the Charlotte Area as a Consultant, Real Estate Broker and General Contractor.  SEKOORB Consulting combines experience in research, development and engineering to generate tailored solutions and strategic opportunities. Brookes Construction focuses on commercial building projects and has secured work at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.  Fortunately, the construction license is accepted across several US states and territories including the U.S Virgin Islands.  This places Brookes Construction in position to be part of rebuilding efforts after two Category 5 Hurricane Systems impacted the territory.

Dominic T. Clausi

 Nick Clausi received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from N. C. State University in 1994 followed by MS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and 1998, respectively.  In 1998, he began his career as a Research Engineer with ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Intermediates Technology at the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant.  In 2002, he transferred to Chemicals Headquarters where he held a number of marketing and supply chain roles in the Intermediates and Basic Chemicals businesses.

In 2008, Nick began a series of manufacturing assignments in Chemicals and Refining that included Technical Manager of Beaumont Polyethylene Plant, Operations Department Head at the Baton Rouge Refinery, and Plant Manager of the Baton Rouge Plastics Plant. In 2013 he became Global Synergy Engineering Manager, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.  In 2014, he returned to Houston, Texas and was named New Product Platform Manager, where he focused on the development of new businesses for ExxonMobil’s Chemical Company. Nick assumed his current position as Senior Vice President of Polymers in December 2017 in Baytown, Texas.

Nick is married with two daughters and enjoys spending time with them in various outdoor activities.

Steffanie B. Easter

Steffanie Easter earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from N. C. State University in 1985 and an M.S. in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America in 1995.  She is currently serving on a detail as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. In this role, she advises on the development and management of priorities with particular emphasis on matters that implicate significant, senior leadership interests, oversight with regards to the total life cycle management of Army weapons systems and equipment. Prior to this, she served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army and Army Acquisition Executive following designation by the Secretary of the Army on November 16, 2016.

Prior to her Army service, Steffanie served within the Department of the Navy as the Executive Director for the F-35 Lightning II Program, the Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, and the Assistant Commander for Acquisition for Naval Air Systems Command.

Throughout her career, Steffanie has served as an advocate for STEM education and mentoring. She is a recent recipient of the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award – an honor reserved for the top 5% of career executives. She was also awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2007, the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 2009, the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2013, and the Army Exceptional Civilian Service Award in 2017.

Leland E. Garrett, Jr.

A native of South Carolina, Leland Garrett received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering with honors in 1971 from N. C. State University.  After graduation he entered the Air Force as a Base Fuels Management Officer, and later attended the Medical University of South Carolina on an USAF sponsorship, graduating with honors in 1976.  Leland did his Residency in Internal Medicine at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center and then completed a Fellowship in Nephrology at Duke University Medical Center in 1981.

Leland returned to Wilford Hall as a staff nephrologist, and subsequently became the Chief of Nephrology and Program Director of the Nephrology Fellowship. In 1986 he was transferred to Scott AFB Medical Center where he was Chairman of Medicine and Associate Director of Hospital Services. He later was transferred to the Air Force Surgeon General’s Office as the Chief Consultant for Internal Medicine and Nephrology.

In 1991 Leland retired from the Air Force and began private practice in Raleigh with Wake Nephrology Associates.  After retiring in 2010, he became a Medical Director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and then in 2016 he joined Palmetto GBA as a Contractor Medical Director.  Leland currently is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine.  He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Nephrology,

Leland and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 37 years and have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.  They established the Nancy and Leland Garrett Scholarship at NC State in the M.S. Social Work program.

Kent O. Hudson

A native of Harnett County, Kent Hudson received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Pulp and Paper Science and Technology from N. C. State University in 1975, both with honors.  After graduation he worked as an engineer with Federal Paperboard in Riegelwood, NC.  In 1979 he joined AccuRay where he specialized in the computer control and optimization of paper machines working in various locations in the Southeast.   In 1986 he joined Devron-Hercules as EVP of Sales and Services with global responsibility for highly specialized paper machine equipment and associated computer automation.

Kent’s interest in automating business processes along with a chance meeting with the head of North Carolina K12 facilities triggered an idea to design software for the unique needs of school maintenance and operations.   Applied Computer Technology, “ACT”, was formed to market enterprise asset management software for educational facilities and quickly became the national market leader.   Kent next became CEO of Indus International, a Nasdaq company and global leader in enterprise asset management for the global utility industry.

The Distinguished College of Engineering Alumnus Award was established by the Faculty of the College in 1966 to honor engineering graduates who have been recognized for outstanding achievements in planning and direction of engineering work, fostering professional development of young engineers, contributing to knowledge in the field of engineering or bringing, in other ways, distinction to the University through engineering achievement.

Recipients of Distinguished College of Engineering Alumni Award

  • Mr. William E. Angelo
  • Dr. Candis S. Claiborn
  • Dr. Norvin A. Clontz
  • Mr. S. Frank Culberson
  • Mr. Wayne T. Day
  • Vice Admiral Joseph W. Dyer, Jr., USN, Ret.
  • Dr. James K Ferrell
  • Ms. Elin E. Gabriel
  • Mr. Jeffrey R. Garwood
  • Mr. William R. Garwood
  • Mr. Carlos D. Gutierrez
  • Mr. Michael D. Killian
  • Mr. Ross W. Lampe, Sr.
  • Mr. Arthur P. Moss
  • Dr. Donald R. Paul
  • Mr. Fred H. Ramseur, Jr.
  • Mr. Carl S. Stutts, Jr.
  • Mr. Alan S. Weinberg
  • Mr. F. Perry Wilson

Previous CBE Distinguished Young Alumni Award Recipient

  • Dr. Eric M. Paradise

Congratulations to these distinguished alumni. You’ve represented yourselves and our department exceedingly well!