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Faculty and Staff

3 Faculty Win Holladay Medal

NC State Memorial Belltower

Three faculty members have been selected to receive the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by NC State and the university’s Board of Trustees. These faculty will be honored and receive their medals at the Celebration of Faculty Excellence, tentatively scheduled for September 1.

The 2020 honorees are:

  • Mohamed Bourham, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Department of Nuclear Engineering
  • Victoria Gallagher, Professor, Department of Communication
  • Wayne Place, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture

The award was named in honor of Alexander Quarles Holladay, NC State’s first professor of history and its first president. This year’s award winners have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the university through achievements in research, teaching, or extension and engagement. Honorees receive an engraved medal and framed certificate.

Bourham earned his Bachelor of Science in electrophysics engineering from Alexandria University, his Master of Science in electrophysics engineering-plasma physics from Cairo University, and his Ph.D. in electrophysics engineering-plasma physics from Ain Shams University. His research interests include plasma-matter interaction, plasma propulsion and thrusters, fusion engineering, plasma surface modification, particle accelerators and electron beam irradiation systems, x-ray sources for medical and screening imaging, materials synthesis and coatings, shielding and radiation attenuation studies, nuclear and mixed waste disposal, dry casks and high-level waste packaging studies.

Bourham has served NC State for nearly 27 years, and has developed and modified numerous courses providing state-of-the-art education materials to undergraduate and graduate students. He has obtained educational grants from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; his research grants and funds totaled $13,186,409 as of 2019. He currently serves as the director of the College of Engineering’s master’s in engineering program; is a member of Sigma Xi; was awarded the university-level Outstanding Teacher Award in 2019 and is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers, among many other memberships and honors. 

Gallagher earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication from Michigan State University, and her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in communication studies from Northwestern University. Her primary area of publication and scholarship is rhetorical criticism, particularly of civil rights-related discourse, commemorative sites (museums and memorials), visual and material culture, and public art. She was also the principal investigator of the Virtual Martin Luther King project.

She has received more than $420,000 in research funding and scholarly awards. Her research has been funded by external agencies including the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Engineering Information Foundation. Gallagher’s other awards include the Harlan Joel Gradin Award for Excellence in Public Humanities, the NC State University Libraries Faculty Award and the Robert M. Entman award for Excellence in Communication Research. She has served as president of the Southern States Communication Association and currently serves on the North Carolina Freedom Monument Advisory Board and Artist Liaison Committee, and consulting for a variety of organizations including the former Exploris Children’s Museum, Headstart of New Hanover County, the North Carolina League of Women Voters, and the Integral Mid-Range Users Group.

Place received his Master of Architecture from NC State and his Ph.D. in physics from UNC-Chapel Hill. His areas of focus include architectural structures, passive solar technologies, and daylighting. He was essential in helping the College of Design develop a research-focused culture, with inquiry guided by the needs of humans through the development of sustainable, material-driven, large-scale designs; he was also instrumental in the creation of the college’s Ph.D. program.

Place has been a consultant on more than twenty building projects, conducting daylighting design and analysis, structural design and analysis, and system integration. He is a registered professional engineer in California and North Carolina, and holds numerous professional memberships, including those in the Society of Building Science Educators, American Solar Energy Society, American Institute of Architects Associate, American Society of Civil Engineers, among others. Place has been awarded the NC State Outstanding Extension Service Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, College of Design Outstanding Advisor Award, Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award, and has been named an Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor. He has also been named to the university’s Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension and Research Leadership Academy.