Leader of the Pack

Welcome to the Leader of the Pack page! For questions about the Fall 2020 Leader of the Pack process, please contact us via email at leadandengage@ncsu.edu. Thank you.

Congratulations to the 2019 Leader of the Pack scholarship recipient, Sam Chan!

Leader of the Pack Finalists tag

2019 Leader of the Pack Finalists

Sam Chan is a fourth-year student studying political science and communication from Cary, North Carolina. On campus, Sam is a Mental Health Ambassador, co-host and co-founder of #PassTheMicYouth, a NC State Extension podcast and blog about youth activism, and founder of the Exploring Mental Health in the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Experience event. She has also served as the Student Government Diversity Outreach Co-Director, Read to LEAD mentor, Common Reading Committee member, and Alaska Alternative Service Break member. Sam is passionate about racial justice, civic engagement, access to education, and mental health.

Lilly Neal is a fourth-year student from Pittsboro, NC majoring in psychology with a minor in social work with plans to attend graduate school for clinical mental health counseling. Lilly comes from a low-income background and is a first-generation college student, and for a while she felt like the odds were stacked against her, but can now proudly say she will graduate this year as the first person in her family to earn a college degree. Lilly is a daughter, sister, dog-mom, and future beekeeper. She is well versed in leadership roles, and has served as a Mental Health Ambassador, an Orientation Leader, a CHASS Ambassador, the chairperson of the Board of Elections, a CHASS representative for the Student Media Board, a student mentor for the Career Identity Program, and as a host for a podcast in TRiO’s series, Beyond the Belltower, as a scholar of the TRiO Student Support Services program. Lilly has worked in the Department of Psychology as an undergraduate research assistant and as a communication and marketing assistant for the advising department. Lilly’s passions lie in mental health advocacy and education. Some of her specific interests include the intersectionality of mental health and identities held by under-resourced or underrepresented populations, alcohol and other drug use, and suicide prevention. Lilly hopes to make lasting change on campus and decrease the stigma surrounding mental health so that students know they can ask for help when they need it.

Yahssain Khan is a fourth-year student majoring in business administration from Mocksville, NC. He currently serves as a Mental Health Ambassador and a co-lead for the San Francisco Alternative Service Break trip, focusing on social justice and intersectionality. His goal throughout his time at NC State is to uplift others by creating inclusive environments where everyone can succeed. Yahssain developed this passion as an Orientation Leader and student coordinator with New Student Programs. He continued to develop his passion by serving as a member of the Masculinities Project with the Women’s Center. Throughout his last year at NC State, he is excited to continue his work and leave NC State in better shape than when he arrived.

Chandra Manivannan is a senior double majoring in computer science and applied mathematics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She feels fortunate to be a Goodnight Scholar at NC State, which is a community of students from the STEM and STEM-education disciplines driven by the mission to pay it forward in North Carolina and beyond. She has served as a retreat leader, ambassador, and service trip leader within the program. Chandra has a passion for language learning which she ignites by pursuing a Global Perspectives Certificate, volunteering with bilingual elementary school students, and creating projects that intertwine her love for language. She pushes her technical strengths outside of the classroom by working with a supportive research group at NC State known as the Center for Research in Scientific Computation, and by blending entrepreneurship with her engineering background. Chandra is also the founder of Math Mundo, which is a multilingual math education platform with the aim of enhancing learning for refugee and migrant youth.

Ryan Dunn is a fourth-year, first-generation college student majoring in political science with a minor in history. Ryan currently serves as the chief of staff for the UNC System Association of Student Governments. He also is the co-founder and vice president of F1RST, a new student organization that supports first-generation college students. His previous roles include student senator, executive chief of staff for NC State Student Government, and Read to L.E.A.D. mentor. He loves all things NC State, his Twitter feed, and ranch dressing. Ryan has a passion for leadership and a dedication to service, and is excited to spend his last year at NC State making moves and creating positive change.

Naila Segule, born and raised in Cary, NC, became a passionate advocate for health equity after seeing the profound environmental health disparities in her home country of Tanzania. She is a senior Park Scholar majoring in biomedical engineering and a self-design major in global health communication and development. During her time at State, she’s been involved in public health research both locally with the GenXExposure Study and globally while studying abroad in Botswana. She has lobbied for marginalized voices as a SustainUS youth delegate at the UN COP 24 and by co-writing resolutions that would affect the UNC school system on the importance of gender-inclusive housing and beyond the box. Upon graduation, she will be pursuing a graduate degree in public health.

Vote for Finalists tag

Vote for Finalists

Leader of the Pack Finalist voting opens during Red and White week and lasts for 36 hours. Students may vote for one candidate. Voting constitutes a portion of the overall scoring for finalists. The Leader of the Pack scholarship recipient will be announced at the homecoming football game.

Vote for Leader of the Pack

Voting is closed

LOP Overview tag


The Leader of the Pack Program recognizes students who make outstanding contributions to NC State in the areas of leadership, scholarship and community service. Finalists for the honor are selected based on a combination of written essays on their leadership and service experience, co-curricular involvement, a personal interview, grade point average, and a student-body vote.  The Leader of the Pack finalists will be recognized at the Homecoming football game. The Leader of the Pack scholarship recipient will receive a $3,000 scholarship and a class ring.

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  • Completed two semesters at NC State at the time of application
  • Enrolled as an undergraduate student at NC State
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Free from academic integrity probation and any previous or current disciplinary probation

Award Information

  • Participate in the Homecoming Parade/Pep Rally
  • Receive three tickets and Parking Pass to the NC State vs. Clemson University football game
  • Be recognized at half-time and attend the Chancellor’s reception during the Homecoming Football Game

Applicant Timeline

Please contact us via email at leadandengage@ncsu.edu for more information about the Leader of the Pack program in fall 2020.

  • Grade point average
  • Demonstrated leadership in co-curricular and community engagement activities, which will be assessed through a series of essay questions to be evaluated by NC State faculty, staff, and students
  • Based on a pre-determined application scoring process, the applicant pool will be narrowed to 12 semi-finalists
  • A panel comprised of university faculty, administrators, and student leaders will interview each of the semi-finalists and select six finalists
  • The six finalists will be posted online and voted on by the student body
  • The total number of votes from the student body and scores from the interview and application processes, will determine the student who will be designated ‘The Leader of the Pack’

  • Part One – Complete demographic information section
  • Part Two – Two 200-word essays
  • Part Three – One 750-word critical reflection
  • Part Four – Biographical statement
  • Consent to a check of academic standing and judicial standing from the appropriate university offices.
  • Please submit your completed application by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 30, 2019 (late applications will NOT be accepted)
LOP Recipients tag

  • Fall 2019 – Sam Chan
  • Fall 2018 – Malasia Mcclendon
  • Fall 2017 – Victor Eduardo
  • Fall 2016 – Kati Scruggs
  • Fall 2015 – Mikayla Raleigh
  • Fall 2014 – Ashley Eli
  • Fall 2013 – Austin Bath
  • Fall 2012 – Rusty Mau
  • Fall 2011 – Alan Sheridan & Michelle Philllips
  • Fall 2010 – Sam Dennis & Chandler Thompson
  • Fall 2009 – Taylor Massey & Nicole Machado-Alvarez
  • Fall 2008 – Elise Bullard & Matthew Avery
  • Fall 2007 – Anna Patton & Nicholas Schultz
  • Fall 2006 – Paul Carruth & Casey Coats
  • Fall 2005 – Nancy Zagbayou & Mark A. Clapp
  • Fall 2004 – Erin Welch & Robby Moorefield
  • Fall 2003 – Sarah King & Mital Patel
  • Fall 2002 – Andrea Hernandez & Tony Caravano


Please contact us via email at leadandengage@ncsu.edu. Thank you!

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