Campbell student’s interest in science leads to starring role

Buies Creek, N.C.—A gift of gab and an outgoing personality nabbed Campbell University senior Bethany Starnes a starring role in a public service television commercial sponsored by the North Carolina Biofuels Center. The commercial, which can be seen on WRAL and other television stations as well as on the NC Biofuels Center website now until April, is designed to inform North Carolinians about the safety and economic benefits of using biofuels.

As vice president of the Campbell University chapter of the American Chemical Society Chemistry Club, Starnes can’t remember a time when she wasn’t passionate about science. As an officer in the club, she has also participated in a host of events designed to interest and encourage other students in her field. One such event is the North Carolina State Fair where Starnes and other club members help man the Green Booth operated by the N.C. Biofuels Center.  This year, however, Starnes was surprised when she was approached by the center to make a commercial.

“Hundreds of people also took part in making the commercials throughout the length of the fair, but only approximately 12 commercials were chosen to air on North Carolina television stations,” said Starnes. “I was thrilled when I learned that the commercial I was in was one of those!”

The North Carolina Biofuels Center website is part of the state’s Advancing Public Education Project and is devoted to extolling the benefits of biofuel technology in the state. For one, North Carolina has a long growing season conducive to a wide range of crops that can produce biofuels. A favorable climate and the availability of land are other positive recommendations for the industry. And in the commercial, Starnes touched on another benefit.

“Biofuels are great for the environment,” she says. “Instead of using regular fuels which cause so many harmful emissions, we’re actually helping the environment out by using this alternative fuel method.”

Starnes said she had no idea what she was going to say when the camera started rolling, but she has never been shy about speaking off-the-cuff.

“I’ve always been a person who doesn’t mind speaking in front of people, so when I was asked to speak in the commercial, it wasn’t terribly difficult for me,” she said.“Besides, I really believe in the commercial’s message.”

Starnes will graduate in May with a double major in bio-chemistry and chemistry. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and teach in a small university environment such as Campbell.

“If I could be a Campbell professor, that would be my dream,” she said. “Out of all of the schools I visited, Campbell gave me the greatest feeling of friendliness and made me feel welcome. I would like to be a part of making other students feel that way.”

A native of Granite Falls, N.C., Starnes is the daughter of Phyllis and Lee Starnes.


For a look at Starnes’ commercial, click on this link




Photo Copy: Bethany Starnes