North Carolina Sea Grant
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News Releases

October 26, 2017 | Katie Mosher


Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,

Sandra Harris of Raleigh is a new member of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the State of North Carolina’s “highest honor of recognition.” She soon will retire from NC State University, with 37 years of state service.

Signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, her certificate notes his “special confidence in the integrity, learning and zeal” of Harris, a member of North Carolina Sea Grant’s team for 24 years.

Sandra Harris will retire with 37 years of service to the state. For a high-resolution image, contact

“Sandra has provided a consistent commitment to excellence in service to the people of North Carolina,” notes Susan White, Sea Grant executive director. “I have counted on her attention to detail. Also, her focus on advance planning ensured that actions were completed in clear, efficient and cost-effective ways.”

Harris’ connections to the university actually run through five decades. She initially was hired September 1973 by Hardy Berry for duties in his office that included the university news services and other communications efforts across the campus. She had a break in service to spend time with her family, returning in 1994 to join North Carolina Sea Grant’s headquarters office.

With expansion of her communications duties, Harris’ title was updated in 2015 to university program associate. She has been a valued proofreader, circulation manager for Coastwatch magazine, and a key contact for the National Sea Grant Library, other partners and the public seeking program products.

Colleagues past and present came together to celebrate Sandra’s career and retirement.

In 2004, Harris was selected by NC State’s then Office of Research and Graduate Studies to move to the university level of the Award for Excellence competition. Now known as NC State’s Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, it is the administrative home for North Carolina Sea Grant.

Retired Sea Grant Director Ronald Hodson recalls Harris’ ability to easily adapt. That included changes in the program’s leadership, as well to technology advances, such as new database software and the increasing importance of the Internet for sharing research and outreach information.

But as the Order of the Long Leaf Pine was announced, Hodson and B.J. Copeland, who was director when Harris joined Sea Grant, both especially wanted to note her kindness. “Her friendly nature has been an asset to the team,” Hodson adds.

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