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Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions: Pandemics


Nearly 5,000 incoming students took part in the inaugural no-cost 2020 Pandemics Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions two-credit course. Students explored the history, biology and societal impacts of pandemics like COVID-19.

Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions: Pandemics

Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions is a special kind of multidisciplinary experience created for all incoming first-year and transfer students and their families.

The experience is packaged as an online course available in WolfWare — NC State’s suite of academic technologies — giving students experience with the technologies they’ll use during their academic careers before they begin their first semester at NC State.

The focus of Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions 2020 is Pandemic. In this course, we will consider global change, its history and causes, its consequences. Students will learn directly from NC State faculty who are contributing to diverse solutions around the world. Ancient life, mass extinction, modern ecologies and climate justice are just a few of the topics this course will cover. 

The course is not required; however, we encourage students to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity created just for incoming students.

Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions aims to encourage students to discover more about various disciplines, to connect with the broader NC State community, and to Think and Do, applying and reflecting upon what they’re learning.

Course Content

The 2020 Pandemics Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions course content encouraged students to engage in critical thinking. Also, the goal was to help them understand they are a part of the NC State community who is dedicated to be a part of the solution to these issues.

The Presenters

The ones who are the subject matter experts and examples of stellar faculty in 37 different disciplines.

Listed in alphabetical order.

  • Jennifer Capps, Director of Student Learning and Faculty Development, NC State Entrepreneurship
  • Ben Chapman, Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences
  • Caren Cooper, Associate Professor, Leadership in Public Science, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Rob Dunn, Professor, Department of Applied Ecology
  • Marsha Gordon, Professor of Film Studies, Department of English
  • Kevin Gross, Professor, Department of Statistics
  • Kathryn Grossman, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
  • Cathrine Hoyo, Professor and Co-Director of Integrative Health Science Facilities Core for the Center for Human Health and Environment, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Holly S. Hurlburt, Assistant Dean, University College; Professor, Department of History
  • Julie Simmons Ivy, Professor, Fitts Faculty Fellow of Health Systems Engineering, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Roland Kays, Research Professor, Department of Forestry and Environmental Research
  • Matt Koci, Professor of Viral Immunity, Prestage Department of Poultry Science
  • Alun L. Lloyd, Drexel Professor of Mathematical Biology; Director, Biomathematics Graduate Program, Department of Mathematics
  • Jane Lubischer, Associate Department Head, Biological Sciences
  • Paul Lunn, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Anne A. Madden, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Ecology; President and Founder of The Microbe Institute; Chief Scientific Officer at Lachancea, and Chief Consultant at Imnovate Consulting
  • Jamal E. Moss, Medical Student and Chair of Environmental Justice and Health Subcommittee of Racial Equity Task Force for the City of Durham, NC State alumnus
  • Shevaun D. Neupert, Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Jennifer Pancorbo, Director, Industry Programs and Research, Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC)
  • Tate Paulette, Assistant Professor, Department of History
  • Joshua G. Pierce, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry; LORD Corporation Distinguished Scholar; University Faculty Scholar
  • Melissa V. Ramirez, Assistant Teaching Professor, Microbiology Undergraduate Program, Department of Biological Sciences
  • David Rasmussen, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Jean Ristaino, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Julie L. Swann, Department Head and A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Cat Warren, Professor, Department of English
  • Stacy Wood, Langdon Distinguished University Professor of Marketing and Executive Director, Consumer Innovation Collaborative, Department of Business Management
  • Randy Woodson, Chancellor, NC State University

The Disciplines

A word cloud to visualize all of the disciplines represented in Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions: Pandemics.