Story+ Project

RTI International 60th Anniversary Commemoration


Nearly sixty years ago, a group of visionaries from the North Carolina business, government and education sectors had a bold idea. These leaders envisaged a vibrant, transformative research community anchored by Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1958 the centerpiece of Research Triangle Park, RTI (then known as the Research Triangle Institute), was formed to inspire graduates of North Carolina institutions of higher education to remain in the state and provide research services for government and business clients.

Today, RTI International is one of the world’s leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. The essence of our mission at RTI—a mission we share with our clients—is to make the world a better place. We apply rigorous research methods and science-based solutions to complex challenges facing people and communities around the world.

Our staff of more than 5,000 provides research and technical services to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory testing and chemical analysis. (Our annual report conveys the depth and breadth of our project work: Headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, we maintain offices in the United States and around the world to support our ongoing projects and changing client needs.

Project Objectives

RTI International will retain a team of Duke Story+ students to help shape story-making across disciplines in advance of its upcoming 60th anniversary commemoration and celebration.

This research would be invaluable for use in presentations and publications. Eventually, this research could result in one or more of the following:

  • Written document, interactive timeline, or exhibit conveying RTI contributions to RTP and NC

  • Written document or interactive timeline, or exhibit communicating the impact of women leaders at RTI

  • Written document or interactive timeline, or exhibit drawing attention to the history of university collaborations at RTI

During the Summer of 2017, members of the Duke Story+ student team will be expected to accomplish the following:

  • Understand the goals and objectives of the RTI’s 60th Anniversary Committee and the related Office of Public Relations and Corporate Communications work plan

  • Familiarize themselves with the existing secondary literature, including materials relating to the 50th anniversary commemoration

  • Conduct some preliminary oral interviews with key stakeholders

  • Inventory related materials housed at North Carolina State University, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill special collections libraries and begin researching primary sources

  • Meet with members of RTI’s 60th Anniversary Committee

  • Begin to develop “My RTI Stories”

Project Sponsor(s): 

Jacqueline Olich, Director of University Collaborations, RTI International

Graduate Mentor(s): 

Adela Deanova, Philosophy


Isamary (Lola) Telo, Claire Xiao


Interactive, social media-friendly timelines, staff profiles, audio interviews, and other materials illustrating the history of RTI International, created for the organization’s 60th anniversary celebration.

Image source RTI International.


  • Digital Storytelling

Skills required

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as strong interpersonal skills
  • Time management skills
  • Ability to research, organize, and document