RCCC biotech grad hired

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 25, 2011

KANNAPOLIS — N.C. State University has hired one of the first graduates from the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College biotech program.
Lorie Solomon works as a research technician to help maintain the population of Dr. Allan Brown’s research specimens.
Brown is a faculty member with N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.
In the past 10 years, Kannapolis resident Solomon’s career has made a few interesting turns. After years behind a computer at a desk job, she found herself on a manufacturing assembly line.
Though she enjoyed the fast pace of the line, she was sidelined by carpal tunnel syndrome and ultimately laid off. She decided the time was right to go back to school.
Solomon graduated in May 2010 with an associate degree in biotechnology. A member of the first graduating class of the biotechnology program at RCCC, Solomon parlayed her training into a full-time job in Brown’s lab.
“Lorie made herself too valuable to let go,” Brown said. “She started out as an unpaid intern and worked her way into the program.
“She demonstrated a great work ethic, showed up when we needed her, did what needed to be done and never complained.”
As a student, Solomon learned how to operate common pieces of laboratory equipment. She also learned the importance of following protocol to ensure the best results.
In addition to pollinating broccoli and extracting glucosinolates in the lab, Solomon will add greenhouse management to her duties in the near future. She will work closely with the cabbage germplasm recently acquired by N.C. State to evaluate varieties for production performance in North Carolina.
Solomon said she plans to take at least one class a semester through N.C. State and possibly work toward a bachelor’s degree.
“I can attend seminars by leading scientists and understand the basics of their research,” she said. “I hear vocabulary and concepts I’m now familiar with.”