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Alumni Magazine

Engineering Mentorship Circles are back for 2024

A summertime daytime view of Fitts-Woolard Hall from The Oval on NC State's Centennial Campus. A large tree frames the picture on the left. Blue sky and white clouds frame the top of the background.
A summer morning on the Oval on Centennial Campus. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

Starting in January, the College of Engineering will bring alumni and students together for the College’s annual Engineering Interest Circles Program with a new name: Engineering Mentorship Circles (EMC). This is the first year the program will be offered in person as well as virtually to keep it as accessible as possible.

In addition to offering in-person meetings, EMC will also take place over the course of four weeks instead of three based on feedback from previous years.

“It’s an engagement opportunity for both students and alumni to participate,” said Hannah Kunkel, assistant director of development, alumni engagement & stewardship. “So it’s a time where students can come to gain career advice, or graduate advice or resume advice.

“Students can come with a large range of questions, and so you can learn from other students, as well,” she added. “We’ve also heard from alumni that younger alumni really enjoy having more seasoned alumni in the same group because there’s been collaboration and overlap there, as well.”

Rob Glass
Rob Glass

Rob Glass, a former EMC alumni lead, led the conversation with his alumni and student circle when he participated in 2022. Glass, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1981, said that his students were mostly juniors and seniors and seemed very interested in what he and his fellow alumni had to say.

“I have really enjoyed participating in the Engineering [Mentorship] Circles,” said Glass. “It is a very easy way to give back to people who will be the next leaders in our society.”

Robert Kobrin, a biomedical engineering student, Park Scholar and National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholar who previously participated in EMC, said that the biggest takeaway from his experience was how engaged the NC State Engineering alumni network is.

Robert Kobrin
Robert Kobrin

“I remember seeing the opportunity get sent out and thinking that it would be interesting to hear from other students and alums,” he said. “During the end-of-program celebration, all of the circles got together on Zoom and you could see just how many had taken the time to come talk to current students.

“It was a great way to engage with other engineering students and alumni without the pressure of formal introductions and cold emailing that alum contact can involve,” he added. “Everybody in my circle was super friendly and ready to share about their interests.”

Registration is open, and interested alumni can register at