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Kim Roberts: AIChE Outstanding Advisor

Dr. Kim Roberts (BSChE ’02) received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor Award at the Annual Student Conference held in Phoenix, AZ, in mid-November.  This prestigious award, presented by our very own Prof. Christine Grant, current president of AIChE, is given to only one chapter advisor each year. Kim, who has been advising the NC State student chapter for ten years, is an exceptional advisor, with outstanding leadership skills, impeccable integrity, and consummate professionalism. Her advising philosophy is one of motivating the students to set an ambitious agenda, helping them organize themselves, and encouraging and supporting them. As CBE Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Lisa Bullard, noted,

Kim’s contributions to the chapter go far beyond attending the meetings and providing guidance to the student officers. She’s the unofficial cheerleader for the chapter and advocates for both the organization and our students on campus, as well as nationally. She’s the “trip mom” when the group attends the national and regional AIChE meetings to make sure everyone stays safe and has a good time. She spends hours each year helping students prepare nomination packages for national awards and ensuring that the Outstanding Chapter nomination is completed. Students value her professional and personal advice and seek her out as a valued mentor. Having served as a chapter officer when she was an undergraduate student here at State, Kim has come full circle!

Senior Noha Zayan, current president of the NC State AIChE student chapter, submitted the nomination for Kim. In her package, Noha wrote that Kim “goes above and beyond, making an appearance at upwards of two-thirds of our events.” Given that the chapter hosted over 40 events last year and is hosting a similar number this year, in addition to nearly 20 officer’s meetings, Kim’s support of the chapter and students is extraordinary. Noha adds that, “Due to the communal nature of our organization and the affability of Dr. Roberts, many of our members have been able to get to know her beyond the formalities of an academic environment, and she has become a support system for us. From personal experience, I can say that she has always been an inviting face to turn to for guidance and I appreciate her insight and hearing about her experiences.

Kim promotes a healthy culture of involvement and innovation, supporting the development of new mentorship programs, events with local industries, and new partnerships with other campus organizations. The chapter has won the Outstanding Chapter Award every year since Kim has advised the students, as well as numerous team competition and individual awards. Concerning the award, Kim responded, “I am truly honored to have been selected to receive the Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor Award for 2021-2022…. I am beyond fortunate to be able to work with such outstanding students…. I am grateful, also, for the CBE Department and leadership who allow me the opportunity to fill this wonderful role.”  When asked what she likes best about working at State, Kim did not hesitate in her reply, “Our students – they are exceptional!” For more on the students, read what they accomplished at the AIChE Annual Student Conference.

Dr. Kim Roberts, left, with CBE junior Hannah Dickerson.

In addition to being an NC State chemical engineering alumna, Kim double-majored in Spanish language and literature. She then obtained her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. She has worked at NC State since 2010 and has served in her current role as Director of Recruiting, Enrollment Management, and Educational Partnerships in the College of Engineering since 2017. Kim also has taught in the Freshman Engineering Program, is on the selection committee and a mentor in the Park Scholarship program and gives guest lectures on conflict resolution and on the importance of saying thank you in the department’s ChE 395 course (Professional Development Seminar). In her endorsement letter for the nomination, Prof. Sindee Simon, CBE department head, summed up the exceptional work that Kim does: “Dr. Roberts’ strong track record, chapter and campus involvement, as well as personal leadership skills have truly set her apart as an outstanding advisor of student activities.” The entire CBE community is delighted to see Kim honored, with Noha Zayan’s reaction saying it all: “I am incredibly happy that AIChE was able to see the value Dr. Roberts brings to our students and the chapter!” A hearty congratulations to Kim for this well-deserved award!