2nd Annual Heritage Engineering Reception


Some comments from 2014 and 2015

"I felt it was a great success..." Mike McMahon, AREVA Inc.

"Fabulous event.." David Causey 1983

"My husband and I had a wonderful time...It was wonderful to see so many young, aspiring engineers." Sharon 1993 and Chuck Mobley, UNC Charlotte"

"...Congratulations for a wonderful recognition event...and the result was a very classy donor event." Mark Walter, UNC Charlotte

Click to view 2014's photos, videos, and information,

Click to view 2015's photos

Video highlighting The William States Lee College of Engineering's 50 years

Supported by

Areva Click here to download the CRI logo bundle


Celebrating its 50th anniversary, The William States Lee College of Engineering held its second annual Heritage Reception on October 29th at UNC Charlotte Center City. As a scholarship event for students and donors, the reception focused on student success and the generosity that inspires scholarships.  The annual reception connects donors with scholarship recipients and allows for conversation, celebration and appreciation. We highlight the College’s past, present and future while honoring scholarship recipients and their donors.The event was led by Paula Canter, a Mechanical Engineering alumna now working at Sikorsky Aircraft. The keynote speaker was Rye Barcott, author of “It Happened on the Way to War,” and a former Marine Corps officer who cofounded the non-governmental aid organization Carolina for Kibera. Photos of the event are here.


Rye BarcottRye Barcott is author of It Happened on the Way to War.

"A compelling and important book about the merging of social entrepreneurship and military service.It shows how one man working hand-in-hand with local leaders made a difference in the slums of Kibera." -- Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

“A must read for anyone interested in leadership.  The solutions to our greatest challenges will be found by unlocking the potential of communities like Kibera.” –Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google

“A tremendous story of the power of friendship, love, and the transforming grace of God.” –Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Rye is a former Marine Corps officer and cofounder of Carolina for Kibera, an acclaimed non-governmental organization that uses a unique model of participatory development to break cycles of violence and develop leaders in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011. President Barack Obama appointed him to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board as a representative of the veteran community in 2012. Rye was a special advisor to the Office of the Chairman and CEO at Duke Energy for 4 years. Currently, Rye is a managing partner at Double Time Capital in Charlotte. Rye has been active in energy matters and the Charlotte entrepreneurial scene. He was nominated for this year's BDO Seidman Entrepreneur of the Year award presented by JLT Joules, a regional incubator for energy-related startup companies.









Paula June Canter

Master of Ceremony

Paula J. Canter (January 2015)

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

3rd Party Engineering Lead

Customer Service Engineering, Trumbull, CT

At 19 years old, Paula joined the United States Navy as an Aviation Machinist Mate (Aircraft Mechanic) with nothing more than a high school diploma from Davie High School in Mocksville, NC and a year at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC. In the Navy she spent four years as a mechanic, quality inspector and crew leader on Rolls-Royce T56-A-425/427 turbo prop engines. After her service was complete, she was hired at Lockheed Martin as a Quality Analyst and instrumental in the contract receiving ISO9001 certification. Dedicated to serving her country, Paula enlisted in the NC Army National Guard where she was appointed as an Active Guard Reserve Recruiter. In her thirst for knowledge she pursued and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Mathematics from UNC Charlotte in December 2014. While in college, she was Vice President of Society of Women Engineers, active in Alpha Omega Epsilon and a Student Ambassador for the College of Engineering. She was the 2014 recipient of COE MEES Outstanding Student Leadership and inducted into Order of Engineer in May 2014 and worked a co-op at USAirways. Upon graduation she moved to Connecticut to work for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation as an Engineer providing technical support for Customers, Engineers and Executives. She also completed the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program from the Institute of Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

Paula is a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts, is a member of Rotary International and the current Vice President of her club. She is active in the community with STEM outreach, Sikorsky Heliventures, Connecticut Pre Engineering Program and schools. She is an Advisory Committee Member for Homes for the Brave and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) mentor. She is passionate about STEM outreach and Veteran Issues. She is a single mother of two teenage sons and loves to mountain bike in her spare time with them.


Photos of the event are here.

Video highlighting The William States Lee College of Engineering's 50 years