Katie Mosher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-515-9069
Spencer Rogers, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal construction and erosion specialist, was one of two recent winners of annual Awards for Excellence in the NC State University Office of Research and Innovation.
Laura Kroeger, research program specialist, also was honored. Rogers and Kroeger will represent the office at the NC State University Awards for Excellence Ceremony, on June 11.
“All 13 nominees for the 2019 Awards for Excellence have shown they are among the university’s highest achievers,” Vice Chancellor for Research Mladen Vouk said during the awards announcement. “I thank you all for the phenomenal work you’ve done over the last year and the dedication you have shown to our university and the state of North Carolina.”
The 2019 nominees in the ORI group included: Julie Leibach, Sea Grant science writer and digital content specialist; Jobi Cook, NC Space Grant associate director; and Nicole McIntosh, research coordinator for the state’s Water Resources Research Institute. (See the full list of ORI nominees with photo at the end.)
Rogers’ Four Decades of Service
As a Sea Grant employee for over 40 years, Spencer Rogers has regularly gone above and beyond to provide scientific, research-based information to coastal property owners, government agencies, designers and building professionals — earning a statewide and national reputation as one of North Carolina’s “go-to people” for coastal construction and erosion knowledge.
Rogers’ focus on coastal safety has been a tremendous service to North Carolina residents, property owners and visitors. Of particular note are his research and outreach efforts related to rip currents and coastal construction.
“I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that his research and outreach relating to rip current safety has and will save lives,” notes Frank Lopez, Sea Grant’s extension director.
“Because he focuses on sound science offered up in plain-spoken, understandable terms, Spencer is sought after as a public speaker to local homeowner’s associations and town meetings, state and national panels, and international conferences on topics like flood insurance, the role of sand dunes in coastal management, and beach safety,” Lopez adds.
Additionally, in his work with the North Carolina Building Code Council and local communities, Rogers has saved homeowners over $1 million annually through reduced insurance premiums, Lopez estimates.
“Spencer has thrived at North Carolina Sea Grant since 1978 because of his love of the extension role — never knowing who will call, stop in or send a message seeking his assistance,” Lopez said. “There have been many of these personal encounters, and he still takes great pride and satisfaction in telling me about them.”
Kroeger Serves Research Enterprise
Kroeger’s current role requires working with all parts of ORI and its partnering divisions and colleges, as well as external local, regional and national collaborators. But her main focus is to provide essential administrative support to the Vice Chancellor for Research’s four advisory committees — the Research Leadership Academy (RLA), the Research Operations Council (ROC), the Research Support Council (RSC) and the University Research Committee (URC).
Kroeger got her start as the Springboard office manager, where just one of her many jobs was to serve as the always smiling face who greets each and every office visitor. She quickly became university program associate in 2017, before moving to the role of research program specialist in 2019.
Her nomination letter noted that one thing all who’ve worked with Laura seem to agree upon is that she is committed to providing customer service of the highest quality.