June 14, 2019 | Lee Cannon

Above: Spencer Rogers receives an Award for Excellence from Randy Woodson, chancellor of NC State University. Photo by Becky Kirkland/NC State Communications

NC State University recently announced its 2019 Awards for Excellence winners. Spencer Rogers of North Carolina Sea Grant, is one of 12 winners of the highest honor given annually to non-faculty staff at NC State. Rogers is the coastal construction and erosion specialist for North Carolina Sea Grant, which is a sister program to North Carolina Space Grant.

Rogers had been nominated by the university’s Office of Research and Innovation. Rogers and the other winners are now eligible to be considered for this year’s Governor’s Award for Excellence. Last year, three NC State University employees took home a Governor’s Award for Excellence.

Jobi Cook (right) accepts her Award for Excellence nomination certificate from Mladen Vouk, vice chancellor for research in the Office of Research and Innovation on April 26.

NC Space Grant’s associate director, Jobi Cook, was also nominated for the Award for Excellence at the department level, and was honored in the Office of Research and Innovation’s awards ceremony on April 26. Susan White, executive director of both North Carolina Sea Grant and NC Space Grant, nominated Cook for the ORI award and spoke at the April 26 awards ceremony on Cook’s leadership and dedication to her work.

Each year since 1996, the university has presented the Awards for Excellence to recognize employees who “go above and beyond the call of duty” in one or more of the following categories: Customer Service, Efficiency and Innovation, Heroism, Human Relations, Outstanding State Government Service, Public Service, and the Spirit of North Carolina.

Clockwise from top left: Rogers with a wave gauge and hurricane forecast model; Rogers with University of North Carolina Wilmington graduate student Cobi Christiansen and University of New South Wales coastal geomorphologist Rob Brander as they worked on a rip currents study; Rogers with his wife, Carol Rogers; Rogers attaching a wave gauge to a dock in North Topsail Beach in advance of a storm; Rogers with a drifter, a device he uses to track movements during rip current experiments.

Laura Kroeger, Research Program Specialist. Photograph courtesy of NC State University Office of Research and Innovation.

Rogers, a 40-year Sea Grant employee, was nominated in the category of Outstanding State Government Service. He previously has won awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the national Sea Grant Network, among others.

North Carolina Sea Grant has headquarters on NC State University’s Centennial Campus and three coastal offices. Rogers is based at the Wilmington office.

According to Sea Grant Extension Director Frank Lopez, it’s not hyperbole to say Rogers’ research and outreach related to rip currents and coastal construction has saved lives. Additionally, through his work with the North Carolina Building Code Council, it’s estimated Rogers has helped homeowners save over $1 million annually in reduced insurance premiums.

Research Program Specialist Laura Kroeger also represented ORI at the June 13 University Awards for Excellence. Read this April announcement to learn more about the ORI Awards for Excellence winners.

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