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South Atlantic Chapter

ISPE-CaSA Student Chapter Profile - NCSU

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Student Chapter Spotlight

By Mary Matkovska, NCSU ISPE Student Chapter President


Commissioning Agents Social from ISPE Annual                      At Carolina Brewing Co. tour.

Meeting, November 13, 2013.

  Site tour at Novo Nordisk, November 16, 2013.

The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Student Chapter of ISPE was founded in 1995 by Jane Brown, Dan Dunbar, and Dr.Peter Kilpatrick. The first Student Chapter had nearly two dozen students, representing various departments at NCSU, such as Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Microbiology, and Food Science. NCSU ISPE is active in the university community by being involved in activities such as holding informational meetings, social events, and service events. The NCSU Student Chapter gives students the opportunity to learn about the pharmaceutical industry by hosting monthly dinner meetings with industry speakers, and participating in industry site tours.  NCSU ISPE Chapter has grown significantly since 1995 and now has over 400 student members in its distribution list with each general meeting being attended by an average of 30 students.  The Chapter is open to university students of all majors with most members pursuing chemical engineering, bioprocessing science, biochemistry, microbiology, biology, and chemistry degrees.

Over the years NCSU ISPE has received multiple awards.  In 2012 the Chapter was recognized as ISPE Student Chapter of the Year. The former Chapter president, Brandon Berry, was a winner of the ISPE CASA poster competition, undergraduate level, in March 2012. In April 2013, Oscar Bernal was a winner of the ISPE CASA poster competition in the graduate student level.

NCSU ISPE is a very active Student Chapter through general meetings, service and social events and in 2012 the chapter got the chance to host the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The speakers of the meeting were John Thorsky and Pat Schafer, both are district directors, representing the St. Louis and New Orleans District offices. In the last 2-3 years, the Student Chapter has been actively engaged in the BTEC ISPE Career Fair. Student Chapter Board Members volunteered at the event and helped with event flow. Representatives from the Student Chapter also attended the ISPE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL in 2010, Dallas, TX in 2011, San Francisco, CA in 2012, and Washington D.C in 2013.

For the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year, the Chapter will be hosting speakers from Novartis and Biogen Idec in November. The Chapter will end the semester with a tour of Novo Nordisk, located in Clayton, NC and a social event to celebrate the end of yet another successful semester. Spring semester 2014 plans include hosting at least four general meetings. The Chapter has plans to volunteer once again at the CaSA Leadership Symposium in February and the BTEC ISPE Career Fair in March and at the 21st Annual ISPE CASA Life Sciences Technology Conference in April.  Another tour of a local pharmaceutical company is on the agenda but will only be available to current up to date dues-paying student members. The Chapter will celebrate the end of the spring semester with a social event.

NCSU ISPE Chapter organizes multiple service events every year. The NCSU Board officers and student members participate in the Toys for Tots drive, an event to raise funds and collect toys to distribute as Christmas gifts to under-privileged children around Raleigh and the surrounding communities.  ISPE members also volunteered at local land and water cleanup projects that were part of the NC BIG Sweep.

NCSU ISPE Chapter is a highly professional, informational, and involved student organization aimed at providing opportunities for NC State students to learn about, network with, and to become involved in the strong connections NCSU and Raleigh have to the pharmaceutical industry. At the general meetings, students can gain first-hand knowledge about companies, specific job roles and opportunities, and what it takes to be successful from professionals in the field. Students are also provided the opportunities to participate in on site tours, network with professionals, and get involved with service activities. As a treat, free food is provided to all of the attendees at each general meeting.


NCSU ladies: current officers Maria Matkovska (President), Sarah Brown (Vice President), and Jamie Sigmon (Public Relations) with ISPE NCSU alumna Jennifer Clark, CPIP, and chapter founder Jane Brown at ISPE Annual Meeting 11/5/13.


ISPE Annual Meeting (l to r): Ray Anover, Maria Makovska, Jamie Sigmon, and Sarah Brown.

Current Chapter Board (l to r): Sarah Brown, Jamie Sigmon, Maria Matkovska, Sherri Gerepka,
Shelby Bernal, Amanda Kaufman, and Denise Suter.