Dr. Clyde Sorenson, Entomology Department assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, remembers quite vividly his gut reaction when he first came to campus in the fall of 1976.
“There’s no way I can spend the next four years of my life here,” thought the homesick freshman as he stood on the balcony of Bragaw Dormitory.
It’s a good thing for the College’s Fisheries and Wildlife Program that he overcame that first impression. Sorenson ended up graduating with an undergraduate zoology degree as well as two advanced degrees in entomology, including a Ph.D. In April, he assumed leadership of the Fisheries and Wildlife Program alumni board. And although his career has taken him as far west as Reno, Nevada, Sorenson always knew that N.C. State was where he wanted to be.
“I traveled 2,500 miles and ended up in the same building I left,” he says referring to the fact that he now occupies an office in the same building where he received his graduate training. “It is an honor to come back and serve the Entomology Department and the Fisheries and Wildlife Program in the College.”
Sorenson began his involvement with the alumni group in 1997 because of his respect for how his own undergraduate experience shaped him. “The time I spent as an undergraduate here was invaluable,” he says. “It has colored everything else I have done since.”
Being connected to your alma mater is one thing, but serving as an alumni board president involves a step up in commitment. Dr. Rich Noble, head of the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences academic program in the College, is confident that Sorenson is the right leader.
“Clyde is a dedicated outdoorsman, conservationist and educator,” says Noble. “I look forward to the collaborative approach he is taking with meshing the alumni personnel resources with that of the program and its students. I anticipate real progress as Clyde mobilizes alumni, many of whom are champing at the bit to do good things for the College.”
As president, Sorenson’s main goals will include raising the profile of the Fisheries and Wildlife alumni group, encouraging more experiential learning at the undergraduate level through support of such ventures as the Thomas Quay endowment, establishing networks that will help graduates with career development and connecting alumni to each other.
“Many folks simply want to keep tabs on the people they went to school with,” he says, noting that some of the program’s 1,200 alumni are scattered across the world in places such as Alaska and Africa. He is planning to revamp the program’s newsletter to help accomplish this task.
“I am thrilled to be here. I enjoy connecting with the professors who trained me and, now, teaching students myself the wonders of wildlife. I want to give something back to the Fisheries and Wildlife Program. I hope that by serving as president of the alumni board I can.”