NC State Wilson College of Textiles senior Brian Iezzi was awarded the Community Impact Award for outstanding
leadership and service by North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and
universities with a shared commitment to community engagement. The organization honors one student
leader at each member school.
A senior in Textile Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering from Gastonia, N.C., Iezzi stands
out as a passionate advocate for sustainability. He has been a project manager for the NC State Stewards
program and chair of the Sustainability Fund Advisory Board, and he is co-founder of the NC State Bike
Share program. He also played a key role in building a shack made of 100 percent reclaimed material and
raising over $2,000 for NC State’s Habitat for Humanity Shack-a-Thon event this year.
In addition to his community and campus involvement, Iezzi has conducted extensive undergraduate
research seeking a more sustainable alternative to platinum for hydrogen generation, and he co-founded a
business that researched and designed these alternatives. He currently holds a U.S. Provisional Patent
as a co-inventor of this new technology, which could significantly impact the energy storage industry.
“The impact Brian has had on sustainability initiatives on our campus is quite visible,” says Rebekah
Dunstan, program coordinator in the University Sustainability Office. “His leadership and dedication has
been critical for the Bike Share program and the increasing success of the Sustainability Fund.”
Iezzi’s interest in sustainability began in high school after he completed an energy audit of a
“I saw the massive amount of waste that the building was producing energy wise, and it made no sense.
Why would you have an overhead light on 24/7 when there is a huge window right beside it? When I began
to find more and more things like this and no explanation why they weren’t being addressed, something
sparked. I quickly got involved with the Stewards and the Bike Share when I came to State and realized
that true change is not going to come around by simply reducing waste. Instead it will take rethinking
how we interact with each other and our shared environment on a daily basis,” he said.
Iezzi said he believes the path to solving many local and global problems begins with an understanding of communities.
“Community service provides an opportunity for people who would previously never interact to share and
learn from each other. This is huge, because maybe for the first time in history we have the technology
to combat many of the problems that are facing all of our societies. But that technology is not a
solution if you do not understand the actual community needs. Service is critical to building a brighter
future where everyone is at the table,” he said.
Iezzi and 20 other Community Impact Award winners were honored at the Compact’s annual CSNAP student
conference, held Nov. 7 at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The event brought together
nearly 100 students and staff from more than 20 campuses in the network. In addition to awards
presentations, the conference included training on cultural competency, community engagement, and the
“sustained dialogue” leadership process. Iezzi is one of more than 200 college students recognized by
the network since the award was first presented in 2006.
North Carolina Campus Compact, the state affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, builds
the capacity of colleges and universities to produce civically-engaged graduates and strengthen
communities. Started in 2002 and hosted by Elon University, the statewide network includes 36 public,
private, and community colleges and universities. NC State first joined the Compact in 2002.