Minh-Thu Dinh is NC State’s 2022 Leader of the Pack!
Dinh received the award during NC State’s homecoming football game. Zachary VanHekken was also recognized for having the highest GPA among the finalists.
More than 1,100 students cast their vote for the 2022 Leader of the Pack, and on Saturday, Nov. 5, Minh-Thu Dinh (Electrical Engineering ’23) was presented the award in front of the homecoming crowd at Carter-Finley Stadium.
A record-breaking 97 students applied for this year’s award, and Dinh was one of six finalists. The other finalists were Devon Waterman, Elizabeth Beese, Madison Darley, Rachel Raineri and Zachary VanHekken, who was also recognized at the football game for having the highest GPA among the finalists.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., Dinh is a Goodnight Scholar majoring in electrical engineering with a renewable electric energy systems concentration. During her time at NC State, she has served as a founder and coordinator of CRANE Collective, an Asian American organization focused on critical narratives, community engagement and creative expression. Dinh also has served as a Goodnight Scholars outreach ambassador and mentor; University Theatre volunteer and writer; and a Vietnamese Student Association family leader, script writer and mentor.
Dinh has participated in two Alternative Service Break trips focused on STEM outreach for youth across North Carolina, and has interned for a non-profit based on Asian American voting engagement. She is passionate about creating accessible education and inclusive spaces for marginalized communities. After graduation, she will be working full time as a power systems engineer at Eaton Corporation while exploring Asian American history in her free time.
As part of Red and White Week, the Leader of the Pack program honors and recognizes students for outstanding contributions in leadership, scholarship and service. This program has long been a tradition on campus, dating back to the 1990s. While originally known as the Homecoming King and Queen Competition, the award transitioned to a more inclusive and equitable process — removing the gendered structure and focusing on scholarship, leadership, a commitment to creating an inclusive campus community, and service to the campus and broader community.
Finalists are recognized at halftime of the Homecoming football game and attend the chancellor’s pre-game reception. The student finalist with the highest GPA receives a $250 gift certificate from the NC State Bookstores, and the student designated as “Leader of the Pack” receives a $3,000 scholarship and a class ring.
Finalists are chosen based on feedback from a review committee made up of NC State staff and student leaders. The Division of Academic and Student Affairs and Student Leadership and Engagement would like to thank the following individuals for serving on this year’s committee:
- Latosha Williams, Student Conduct
- Thor Buryea, International Services
- Erica Epps, NC State Student Centers
- Adam Culley, Student Leadership and Engagement
- Kallie Menard, Student Leadership and Engagement
- Crystal Vazquez, New Student Programs
- Jenna Jeslis, University Housing
- Mary Swayze, Student Leadership and Engagement
- Harrison Andrews, Student Government
- Justine Hollingshead, DASA