In 2016, UNC Pembroke and N.C. State University established a joint engineering degree program allowing students to spend three years at UNCP and two years at N.C. State and graduate with bachelor’s degrees from both institutions.
Dana Lamberton was among the first cohort of students at UNCP to take advantage of the 3-plus-2 program. This summer, she becomes the first student to transition to N.C. State.
Under the program, UNCP students must complete the required courses for an applied physics degree, then transfer to NCSU to spend the next two years working toward a degree in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering.
“I decided to do mechanical engineering track,” said Lamberton, a junior from Red Springs. “At first I was looking at electrical because honestly I didn’t know much about the two fields of study, but after I learned a little bit more, I tended to be more interested in the things that dealt with mechanical engineering.”
At the end of the program, Lamberton will have earned both a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
With a growing demand for engineers in the area, the 3-plus-2 program is designed for UNC Pembroke students who are interested in engineering or, like Lamberton, develop an interest in it after they get here.
“When I started at UNCP I didn’t know what I was going to do,” she said. “I was considering transferring to NC State for engineering, so when I learned about the 3-plus-2 program I thought it would be a good way to get my feet wet.”
Students must follow an intensive course load in order to complete all the requirements in time for the start of the fourth year at NCSU, which often means taking summer courses. To remain eligible for the program, students must maintain an overall 2.5 grade point average and a 3.0 average in all mathematics and science courses.
At UNCP, Lamberton participated in several research and development projects. She first gained valuable experience performing research–Mercury Concentration of the Lumber River Basin–in 2017 with Dr. Roland Stout and later Testing and Construction of Microscale Electrochemical Devices in 2018 with Dr. Paul Flowers.
She presented both projects at the Pembroke Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC) in 2018. This past spring, she performed simultaneous research, Study of Quantum Cryptography using a Thorlabs Apparatus, with Dr. Quinton Rice and with Dr. Bill Brandon, Educational Resources in Magneto-Optics: Faraday Rotation in F2 Glass. She presented posters summarizing those activities at PURC 2019.
Lamberton was a member of the Maynor Honors College and UNCP's Rocket Team. During the 2018-2019 year, she served as the team captain. The team won first place for oral presentations at the 2019 First Nations Launch in Wisconsin.
“The impressive list of extracurricular activities Lamberton has participated in reflects the invaluable R&D (research and development) opportunities energetic students can obtain at UNCP,” said Brandon, associate professor in the Chemistry and Physics Department.
“Clearly, an NCSU professor would be well-advised to recruit her for their own R&D program.”
In an effort to provide access to students from all around the state who aspire to study engineering and computer science, the College of Engineering at NC State offers dual degree programs with several schools across North Carolina including Fayetteville State, North Carolina Central and UNC Pembroke.
“We are committed to providing opportunity and access to the engineering programs here at NC State to students from all four corners of the compass in our state,” said Dr. Jerome Lavelle, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering at N.C. State. “The dual degree partnership with UNC Pembroke provides an important linkage for the Southeast region. I am delighted that the seeds of this program, planted only a few short years ago, are now yielding excellent students matriculating to N.C. State.”