UNCW Magazine Fall/Winter 2018

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N:

UNCW Stronger


Fall/Winter 2018

Volume 28 Number 2



IN EXCEPTIONAL COMPANY National publications and organizations continue to recognize the quality of the UNCW experience




Short stories with big impact

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UNCW officially opened the first K-8 lab school in North Carolina


EDUCATION FOR EDUCATORS Education and science majors take the classroom outdoors




Computer competencies for college and the workplace


DAWN OF DIVERSITY The legacy of Lela Pierce Thompson ’67, UNCW’s first African American graduate



16 On the cover: Sophia Winters ’21 sits in front of the spirit rock on the campus commons. Photo by Jeff Janowski/UNCW

18 21 32

Produced by the Office of University Relations

CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER Janine Iamunno EDITOR Jennifer Glatt GRAPHIC DESIGN Shirl Modlin New PHOTOGRAPHY Jeff Janowski CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Caroline Cropp ’99, ’06M Venita Jenkins Logan Matthews ’19 Christina Schechtman Tricia Vance Andrea Monroe Weaver COPY EDITOR Lane Fullagar ’16 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS River Bondurant ’19 Amanda Gabbard Nikki Herridge Krista McKinney Margaret Monteleone Bradley Pearce Matt Ray Valerie Rider CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS Thomas Cone Kyle Prey CLASS NOTES Caroline Cropp ’99, ’06M Division for University Advancement WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Education Association UNCW Archives UNCW Athletics EDITORIAL ADVISORS Missy A. Kennedy ’01 Eddie Stuart ’05M EDITOR EMERITA Marybeth Bianchi

UNCW Magazine is published for alumni and friends of the university by the Office of University Relations, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Rd., Wilmington, North Carolina 28403. Correspondence may be directed to uncwmagazine@uncw.edu. UNC Wilmington is committed to and will provide equal educational and employment opportunity. Questions regarding program access may be directed to the Compliance Officer, UNCW Chancellor’s Office, 910.962.3000, Fax 910.962.3483. UNCW does not discriminate on the basis of sex. Questions regarding UNCW’s Title IX compliance should be directed to TitleIX@UNCW.edu. 86,000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $39,494 or $0.459 per copy (G.S. 143-170.1). Printed by PBM Graphics.

DEAR SEAHAWK COMMUNITY, The fall 2018 semester will go down in UNCW’s history as a time of tremendous challenge, but also of great achievement. We began the academic year with a record-setting enrollment of 16,747, and national recognition, once again, from U.S. News and World Report, as the 6th best public regional university in the South and 7th in the nation for online bachelor programs. Then, just 12 days into the term, Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach. The storm caused more than $140 million in damage to the university, forcing us to reshape the semester in countless ways. When faced with profound struggles, our students, faculty and staff opted to soar, as Seahawks do, to even higher levels of collaboration and collegiality. I cannot begin to adequately acknowledge all that they accomplished, in the midst of their own personal challenges, but as you read their stories and visit our special website dedicated to their efforts (uncw.edu/hurricaneheroes), you will quickly realize how very much these Seahawks invested in UNCW and our community. The people featured in this issue represent the best of our community of scholars, creatives, researchers, helping hands and open hearts. We are better because of each and every one of you. UNCW has always enjoyed strong connections with alumni, donors and friends of the university. The Seahawk community’s commitment to excellence – and to our students’ academic and cultural experience – has sustained our institution. In the months and years to come, I have no doubt that we will emerge an even stronger university. Go Seahawks!

Jose V. Sartarelli Chancellor

In Exceptional Company National publications and organizations continue to recognize the high quality of the UNCW experience, bestowing high praise on the university for its commitment to excellence, its global mindset and its community engagement.


1 of only four UNC System institutions featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019

UNCW ranked

UNCW ranked



most innovative public university in the South U.S. News and World Report

among peer institutions for number of students studying abroad Open Doors®

UNCW ranked

UNCW named a

UNCW ranked


Best Southeastern School


Best Regional University in the South (public) U.S. News and World Report

The Princeton Review

in the nation for online bachelor’s programs U.S. News and World Report

www.uncw.edu/rankings compiled by Logan Matthews ’19



SEAHAWK SNIPPETS New Programs, Endless Possibilities As UNCW grows in enrollment, its academic offerings do as well – more than 10 new programs have been approved since 2015. Several new programs cross disciplines to better prepare students for an increasingly complex world and ever-changing job market.


There is no doubt we are living in the digital age – so much so that it is now an art form. Future animators, designers and developers (roles that require both technical and aesthetic savvy) can now earn a bachelor’s in digital arts. Combining courses from the Departments of Art and Art History and Computer Science, the digital arts major was instituted in 2017. There is no better place than college to learn that “life happens,” and unfortunately, life, in the form of personal and financial obstacles, can sometimes thwart one’s college plans. A second chance for anyone who has ever said “I should have finished my degree” arrived at UNCW this fall in the form of a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies. Students with at least 70 previous college credits – regardless of their previous declared major – can now re-enroll, with specialized advising support to best navigate “where to go from here” and complete the program entirely online. The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies program is part of the university’s ongoing effort to raise already impressive degree completion rates.

“UNCW is committed to developing programs that prepare students for existing jobs and those of the future.” — Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli

As much of southeastern North Carolina continues to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Florence, the need for coastal engineering is greater than ever. Rightfully known as the state’s coastal university, UNCW is ever-growing in its multifaceted marine science curriculum. Pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, a program leading to a bachelor of science in coastal engineering will begin in the next academic year. The program will prepare students to address the needs of southeastern and mid-Atlantic coastal communities as related to beach renourishment, dredging, sediment management, coastal structure analysis and design, wetlands/marsh stabilization and restoration, among other concerns. These new programs reflect UNCW’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of the workforce by providing students with critical, relevant skills. – Caroline Cropp ’99/’06M



Rising to the Challenge Keeping UNCW accessible and affordable to the sons and daughters of North Carolina and helping them “rise” to their full potential is a key strategic institutional goal. The Reaching and Inspiring Student Excellence (RISE) program helps first-year students from rural counties acclimate and form connections through a living/learning community. The current cohort of 26 moved onto campus a few days before the rest of their class to get a jump-start on connecting. Participants live in Cornerstone Hall and enroll in a leadership seminar course taught in the same building to gain a greater awareness of themselves and others, and to get a feel for what may best suit them at UNCW. Since many are coming from high school classes of 20 to 100, living with other rural students helps with the culture shock of suddenly being on a campus of thousands. Through monthly check-ins, Patrick Gosier, RISE coordinator, said he has found that participants are a tight-knit group who bond by doing what most college students do: studying together, eating together and going out and about together.

Doug Burrell resides in Cumberland County and his daughter,

“I could not be happier that she was selected to be a participant. I’m not so sure the transition would have gone as smoothly for her without RISE,” he said. Emily, is in the RISE program.

The program is managed by the University College, the academic starting point for all freshmen, and is funded by a grant provided by the UNC System Office through a competitive application process. Participants are given an annual $500 retention scholarship as long as they stay at UNCW. “University College’s mission is to support all students as they transition into UNCW,” said Melinda Anderson, director of University College and associate dean of undergraduate studies. “The grant that funds this program allows us to provide additional support and guidance to our Seahawks who come to us from rural counties across our great state.” – C.C.

First-rate Runner ranked #1 IN THE WORLD

Cynthia (Peters) Monteleone ’98 ran track & field as a Seahawk and, after a 20-year break, decided to lace up her shoes again in 2016. She said her 13-year-old daughter inspired her to start sprinting again and now, at 42, she is achieving the same times she did when she was in college. Currently ranked number one in the world for the women’s 400m, she competed for Team USA at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga, Spain, in September, winning two gold medals.



SEAHAWK SNIPPETS What Friends Are For True friends last a lifetime. In 1963, a volunteer group formed to help Wilmington College increase its library’s holdings, a requirement at the time for accreditation as a four-year institution. As the college surpassed that goal and grew to become UNCW, the group officially became the Friends of UNCW, and they continue their steadfast support even today. Each year, the group funds proposals for projects that directly benefit a university department to support and promote educational, scientific and charitable projects on behalf of the university.

Seventeen awards totaling more than $12,000 were awarded in FY 2018, with individual grant amounts ranging from $600 to $1,200. Taniesha Young (right), a first-year admission coordinator, applied for the annual monies to help fund the admissions podcast “Seahawk Talk.” The grant allowed admissions to purchase the equipment to produce the podcast, which is available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play. “To my knowledge, we are the only admissions office in the UNC System that produces and creates content through a podcast specifically for college admissions,” she said. In addition, the organization supports a merit scholarship and has purchased several pieces for the UNCW Campus Life Permanent Art Collection, one of the largest permanent collections of student art in the UNC System. Learn more at giving.uncw.edu . – C.C.


UNCW Staff Award for Excellence Nicole Geczi, an executive assistant in the Watson College of Education, was awarded the 2018 UNCW Staff Award for Excellence. In her nomination letter, Associate Dean Donyell Roseboro praised Geczi’s can-do attitude and spirit. Geczi and 27 other staff members were recognized in a ceremony November 15 for their contributions to the campus and the community. The staff members, representing divisions across campus, were nominated by colleagues for their exemplary work ethic.



Faculty, Staff Members Earn Accolades Susan Sinclair, a professor of clinical research in the UNCW School of Nursing, won the 2018 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. The prestigious award is presented annually to an outstanding faculty member at each of the 17 institutions of the UNC System.


Michael Last, the AiM system administrator within UNCW’s Office of Facilities, was among the 20 state employees honored with the 2018 Governor’s Award for Excellence. The award is the highest honor a state employee can receive for dedicated service and recognizes accomplishments and actions that are outside the scope of their usual job duties.



SEAHAWK SNIPPETS Poetic License North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green visited campus in October as part of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture Series in the Humanities. Green, who teaches documentary poetry at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, has penned eight books of poetry, co-edited two poetry anthologies and written one play. She is also the owner of SistaWRITE, an organization that provides writing retreats and travel excursions for women writers. “Jaki Shelton Green has contributed her poetic work to the themes of Southern life, with particular attention to North Carolina specifically, for decades,” said Maia Butler, assistant professor of African American literature. “She writes about family, she writes about history and social issues, and she grounds her work in the African American experience. In addition to producing amazing art herself, she leads residencies and writing workshops, she touches the lives of children and adults with her support and mentoring, and she is an amazing community member. North Carolina truly occupies a large place in her heart and her work. She was the perfect visitor as we came back together as a campus community after reopening post-Florence. She inspired us to think about the importance of words to shape our lives and the importance of developing our own voices and sharing them in our communities.” – Jennifer Glatt

A Pilgrimage of Epic Proportions For 34 days last summer, a group of eight Seahawks walked 550 miles along Spain’s winding Camino de Santiago while acquiring a deep appreciation of the cultures of the Iberian Peninsula along the way. The trek provided Honors College students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and experience the pilgrimage route firsthand. Valerie Rider, a Spanish lecturer in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, led the prerequisite class, “¡Buen Camino!: Language, History and Culture on the Camino de Santiago,” prior to the study abroad trip May 9–June 14. “Camino is a feast for the intellect and the spirit,” said Rider, who has hiked Camino three times. “It was important to me, before taking the very first step to cross the Pyrenees, that our students be well-informed about the adventure they would embark on.” – Venita Jenkins




(left to right) Kaitlyn Kern, Hannah Gantz, Lucy Keller, B Deveau, Nick Roche and Mead Krowka

There’s an App for That If pain can’t be alleviated completely, mitigating it may be the next best thing. Researchers in the Cameron School of Business and the College of Health and Human Services have developed compelling new approaches to better manage medication and pain episodes of cancer patients. Three UNCW professors have teamed up to design two apps through a mobile health software research and development laboratory called HealthHawks. Elizabeth Baker, associate professor of management information systems business analytics, information systems and supply chain; assistant professor Crystal Dodson; and associate professor Jeeyae Choi, both in the School of Nursing, are working with one goal in mind: to improve cancer patient care.

Coffee Talk What do opioid addiction, food insecurity, virtual reality and innovation have in common? All have been topics of discussion during a unique initiative sponsored by the College of Health and Human Services. CHHS coffee hours were created to foster collaboration among the wider community and faculty and staff from diverse disciplines. “People have an opportunity to share current projects and needs for collaborators,” said Justine Reel, CHHS associate dean for research and innovation. “Community partnerships are vital to ensure that researchers are asking relevant questions about a particular topic and have access to community populations and data.” The first coffee hour was held in September 2014. The events have grown in popularity; most topics now attract at least 20 attendees. Featured partners have included Coastal Horizons, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the Cape Fear Food Council and the University of North Carolina Greensboro. – Christina Schechtman

The PGx app helps oncology nurses determine the correct dosages and effectiveness of particular cancer drugs based on a patient’s genetic makeup. Baker and Dodson worked together on the application. The project was awarded a UNCW J. Richard Corbett research grant in fall 2017 for nurse practitioners to use and offer feedback on the app and how to improve it. The PainSmart app, developed in tandem with Choi, is a tool for cancer patients to track their pain episodes for targeted treatment. Research from work with breast cancer patients has already been presented at an international conference and is under review for journal publication, said Baker, HealthHawks’ lead researcher. “The best part about this work is that I am able to bring students in to help with the development and testing of these applications, giving them applied learning opportunities,” said Baker, “all while improving healthcare outcomes with the finished products.” – V.J.



SEAHAWK SNIPPETS Sports Therapy UNCW’s Candace Ashton-Forrester has been working in the recreational therapy field for more than 45 years. Focusing on individuals with physical disabilities and their participation in leisure and sports, Ashton-Forrester’s classroom provides students with a unique opportunity to work firsthand with the populations they hope to serve. One of her endeavors, Project Sports, Outreach, Adapted Recreation (SOAR), is an adapted sport program offering archery, cycling, golf, kayaking, SCUBA and surfing for veterans and active members of the Armed Forces living with serviceconnected illness or injury. “Southeastern NC is the home of two of the largest military installations in the country – Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg – but there is a serious lack of recreation services for people with disabilities in our area,” said Ashton-Forrester, professor and coordinator of recreation therapy in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. “These things combined highlighted a need for such a project, and we were fortunate to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”

In collaboration with ACCESS of Wilmington and led by volunteers including UNCW students, Project SOAR currently services 20-30 local veterans and active members of the Armed Forces living with disabilities.

UNCW Seahawks and the Clemson Tigers played an exhibition game on October 27 to support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Efforts raised more than $25,000 each for the Good Shepherd Center and the UNCW Campus Emergency Fund.



Ashton-Forrester’s newest project brings student volunteers to the Warrior Games, an event where wounded, ill, or injured active-duty service members and veterans go head-to-head in sports competitions. The Warrior Games were established as a way to enhance participant recovery and increase exposure to adaptive sports. “We have a really strong connection with the military and veterans, and we want to provide an opportunity for students to assist as much as possible,” she said. – C.S.


Goal-Oriented UNCW women’s soccer goalkeeper Sydney Schneider ’21 helped the Jamaican women’s national team make history as they became the first Caribbean nation to qualify to play in the 2019 World Cup in France. The exercise science major and New Jersey native was eligible to play on the national team because her grandparents were born in Jamaica. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played June 7­–July 7. – C.C.




Malcolm’s interest in wildland fire management was “sparked” as a UNCW student. Through UNCW’s Department of Environmental Sciences, he took a wildland fire management course taught by Angie Carl of the Nature Conservancy. He also worked with a variety of natural resource management agencies as an undergraduate, including Carolina Beach State Park and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in Florida. “Each of these positions was different in scope, but what they had in common was working outside in unique environments. Both provided experiences and certifications that opened doors in the natural resource management field,” he said. “Some of my fondest memories as a student go back to the times where my classroom was in the field.”


On the Front Line While working in 100-degree temperatures and carrying more than 45 pounds of equipment, Mike Malcolm ’03 could think only of whether he had enough resources to protect the homes that were in the line of the raging wildfire before him. Over the summer, Malcolm, a district ranger with the North Carolina Forest Service, spent 14 days on the line fighting the Sugar Pine Fire in Prospect, OR, which burned more than 6,000 acres. He served as a division supervisor in charge of structure protection.



After obtaining his wildland firefighter certification, Malcolm landed an entry-level position with the NC Forest Service in his hometown of Camden, NC. His current position allows Malcolm to travel around the state and the U.S. assisting other agencies. Malcolm said his experience at UNCW helped him become a better instructor, and led him full circle – he now teaches the same wildland fire management class that launched his career, along with wildland fire suppression at Cape Fear Community College. He also instructs wildfire classes across the state on an as-needed basis for the NC Forest Service. “It’s nice to be able to give back to UNCW,” Malcolm said. It’s even better when I get emails from former students who have been able to utilize the certifications we provide to land internships and even permanent jobs.” – V.J.

Sea La Vie (left to right) Rocco Quaranto III ’08, Kelly Struble ’08 and Wells Struble ’07

In the spring of 2018, Aquanette Sanders ’17 “fell in love with the ocean all over again” during a five-week research expedition studying the Sargasso Sea ecosystem. Through a program offered by the Sea Education Association, upper-level science students like Sanders embark on a “SEA Semester” to learn hands-on marine biodiversity assessment and conduct research that contributes to international conservation efforts. After four weeks of initial coursework at SEA’s campus in Woods Hole, MA, participants enjoy the capstone experience: a voyage from Nassau, Bahamas, to New York City, with a midcruise port stop in St. George’s, Bermuda.

Thirsty for Change Not everyone has the luxury of access to clean water. Tama Tea co-founders and UNCW alumni Rocco B. Quaranto III ’08, Kelly McKenzie Struble ’08 and Raimond “Wells” R. Struble ’07 want to change that. Because many of the areas that grow and harvest teas featured at Wilmingtonbased Tama Tea are affected by the world water crisis, the company is teaming up with the Thirst Project to tackle the problem one cup of tea at a time. The Thirst Project, a youth activism organization, funds or builds freshwater wells in impoverished communities in 13 countries, including India, Uganda, El Salvador and Kenya. The nonprofit’s representatives also travel the U.S. to speak to students about the global water crisis and challenging them to act.

“Although I did oceanographic work on boats at UNCW, I didn’t comprehend the difficulty of being out on 10-plus foot waves trying to make sure my samples didn’t get contaminated while things were falling in the lab,” said Sanders, who double majored in biology and chemistry. Now back on dry land, Sanders says the experience confirmed her career goals, and she plans to pursue both a master’s and Ph.D. in marine science. – C.C.

“The availability and cleanliness of water are necessary for life, and they’re worth our time and energy,” said Quaranto. Tama Tea donates one percent of purchases made through its app to the Thirst Project. With additional locations in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, the company’s community contributions are poised to really add up. The co-founders, who also started Fuzzy Peach, a local frozen yogurt shop, searched for more than a year to find the right nonprofit with which to partner, he said. “We found an organization that was energetic and doing some really cool things,” he said. “We align with them very well, and our money will have a direct impact.” And with your next sip of oolong, matcha or chai, so will yours. To learn more, visit tamacafe.com. – V.J. Sanders at the helm of the SSV Corwith Cramer, en route from Bermuda to New York City Photo by Sea Education Association/SEA Semester



Students greet Sammy in the halls of D.C. Virgo. (Bottom, left to right) UNCW Provost Marilyn Sheerer; Princeton Parker, keynote speaker; Watson College of Education Dean Van Dempsey and Donyell Roseboro, professor and WCE associate dean for teacher education and outreach.

Inspiring Partnership PROGRAMS

UNCW officially opened the first K-8 lab school in North Carolina with classes beginning July 18. The first year-round K-8 public school in Wilmington, D.C. Virgo’s curriculum focuses on inquiry-based learning, community engagement and the importance of literacy. An opening ceremony for the new school took place with students, teachers, selected donors, community partners and elected officials in attendance. A class parade, mascot introduction and lawn cookout marked the day’s festivities. – C.S. Learn more at uncw.edu/virgo

Education for Educators Each summer, Carolina Beach State Park’s natural beauty and 13 distinct ecosystems provide UNCW education and science majors an exceptional learning opportunity. “Island Ecology for Educators,” a course taught for the past eight years by Watson College of Education associate professors Dennis Kubasko and Amy Taylor, teaches education majors how to take the classroom outdoors while exposing science majors to pedagogy and lesson planning. Students spend five weeks trudging through sand dunes, marshes and forests of pines and oaks to identify plants, animals and ecosystems along the way. In this class, mosquito repellent, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes are non-negotiable. Students can expect to be outdoors almost the entire time. For some students, that takes some getting used to. Many elementary education students have an aversion or fear of science and come to college with what is known as “nature deficit disorder,” said Taylor, a K-12 science educator. “People are not out in nature as much anymore,” she explained. “I like to find ways to make science fun and relatable for education students and to keep them in touch with nature.”

Environmental studies majors generally have experience with field work, but Island Ecology gives them a taste of what it’s like to educate others about nature and the environment. Some students may eventually find work with parks, environmental groups, aquariums, public gardens and other organizations whose missions include education and outreach. Because it is taught by education faculty, the course includes an emphasis on teaching methods and lesson planning that is valuable to students in both disciplines, but particularly for science students whose coursework doesn’t typically extend to education theory and practice, said Kubasko, an associate professor of science education. Lest there be any doubt, this summer elective isn’t an easy A. “It’s a lot of work,” said Kubasko. Students must produce four “products,” including a short documentary and a website. When possible, education and science students are paired off so that each brings individual strengths to the team. Throughout the course, students work closely with university science faculty, park rangers, environmental experts and science educators to shape their projects. “We emphasize building partnerships and teaching students how to collaborate with each other,” said Taylor. The five-week course provides credits in education or environmental sciences, depending on the student’s academic concentration, and can be taken as either an undergraduate or graduate course. – Tricia Vance




Know-How by Tricia Vance

Students in computer science lecturer Marni Ferner’s “Computer Competencies for College and the Workplace” grew up with smartphones, tablets and assorted other digital devices, making them well-versed in a rapidly changing tech environment. But casual use doesn’t equate to digital competency. Enter the modern classroom. Since 2016, all UNCW students and about a quarter of the faculty and staff have had access to the Creative Cloud suite – applications that use digital technology for design, illustration, animation, video editing and more. It’s part of a university-wide initiative to promote digital literacy. “We can’t possibly cover all the skills they need, but we can give them the confidence that they can figure it out as they proceed,” said Ferner. So much of our culture is conducted in this multimedia forum, said Sarah Hallenbeck, associate professor of English and the coordinator for composition courses.

“We would be doing a disservice if we didn’t teach students how to produce and analyze content.” Beginning in the spring 2019 semester, digital applications will be a formal part of the English curriculum. The UNCW digital initiative is about more than teaching specific job skills, however. Weaving digital tools into composition classes helps underscore the relevance of communication, critical thinking and other “soft” skills in the 21st-century job market, said Senior Associate Provost Rich Ogle. “It’s something that touches 90 percent of our students,” Ogle said, noting that the majority of UNCW students must take at least one basic composition course. “It is also a way to stress the importance of a humanities education in the life of a UNCW student.”



The initiative involves collaboration across the UNCW campus. Hallenbeck asked Adobe to provide stipends to composition faculty this academic year to learn and incorporate Creative Cloud assignments into the curriculum. Ten UNCW faculty members from various departments participated in a summer institute in 2017 supported by $30,000 in stipends contributed by Randall Library for a similar purpose. In addition to incorporating digital literacy into coursework, UNCW is making technology more widely available to students in other ways. The Digital Makerspace in Randall Library has a 3-D printer, virtual reality equipment, powerful computers and other state-of-the-art digital technology. The Tech Nest, an interactive space in Fisher University Union, has Adobe-loaded computers, a virtual reality

This fall, UNCW’s Randall Library added a Digital Makerspace for all UNCW students, staff and faculty in support of digital creation and literacy.

station, a large interactive display with touchscreen capabilities and a small video recording station. The Technical Assistance Center in Randall also offers “Adobe Row,” a row of computers equipped with the Creative Cloud suite. Students may train to become certified in one or more Creative Cloud applications. Come spring, students will also get an opportunity to experiment with the applications during “Creative Jam,” an Adobe-sponsored competition that challenges teams to produce amazing results using their imaginations and Adobe applications. “As an educator, I really embrace the term ‘digital literacy,’” said communication studies Chair Rick Olsen ’87. “It moves us beyond software training to a place of professional readiness through critical thinking and transferable skillsets.”

Many comm studies graduates will enter integrated marketing, media production or journalism jobs where they will be expected to be proficient in or learn those applications quickly.

“Our students need to know these applications because they are the industry standard,” said communication studies associate professor Jeanne Persuit. “But beyond that, we need all students to be digitally literate, and we need to think about what they require in terms of more specialized skills to compete for the jobs that await them.”



UNCW Commencement, 1967

Dawn of Diversity

by Venita Jenkins

The legacy of Lela Pierce Thompson ’67 goes beyond her three granddaughters, who followed in her footsteps by attending UNC Wilmington. She also left an indelible mark on the institution as the first African American woman to graduate from the university. Thompson had settled into her life as a wife and mother of four children when Herman Johnson ’66 encouraged her to look into Wilmington College. She and Johnson both attended Williston College, which served African American students before Wilmington College was integrated in 1962.

Lela Pierce Thompson ’67 was surprised to learn she was UNCW’s first African American woman graduate.



“I thought it would be somewhat of a burden on me to attend school,” said Thompson, who was 26 at the time. “It was kind of difficult doing housework and taking care of the family while trying to study, but I got through it.” Johnson greeted Thompson and showed her around the three-building campus on her very first day. She felt uneasy when she learned she would be the only person of color in many of her classes, but her instructors and classmates went out of their way to make her feel comfortable, Thompson recalled.


(left to right) Tamesha Moore ’02, Lela Pierce Thompson ’67, Kourtney Moore ’13 and Angel Moore Major ’03, ’06M

Thompson also had the support of two other African American students, Georgia Bowen ’69 and Eva Mae Smith. “We would meet and discuss the various things we had done in our classes,” Thompson said. “I don’t know how I would have made it without them.” It wasn’t until more than 50 years later that Thompson learned she was a part of UNCW history. Cynthia Wiggs, her daughter and the business services coordinator in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, informed her mother of her special status after seeing Thompson’s name on a timeline created by the Upperman African American Cultural Center.

“I didn’t think about being the first female because later on there were two other African American females who attended,” Thompson said. “I was really surprised when Cynthia told me I was the first black woman to graduate from Wilmington College – surprised and thankful. I give God the glory because he got me through this journey, along with the support of my family.”

Thompson, the first in her family to attend college, majored in education because of her love for children and reading. She taught in New Hanover County schools for 30 years. “I was not sure what kind of a teacher I would make, but I knew I loved children,” she said. “I also felt I could learn some things myself. Even when you’re teaching, you’re learning.” Thompson’s passion for learning was passed down to her granddaughters, Tamesha Moore ’02, a therapeutic recreation major; Kourtney Moore ’13, an English major; and Angel Moore Major ’03, ’06M, a criminal justice major. Major earned her master’s degree in liberal studies from UNCW and received her doctorate in business administration from Walden University. “Both my grandparents, Lela Thompson and the late Melvin Thompson, instilled the importance of education and family,” said Major, who teaches part-time at Cape Fear Community College. She is proud of Thompson’s accomplishment and excited about her grandmother’s place in UNCW history. “One thing I’ve learned from my grandmother is that anything and everything is possible.”

17 19


uncw stronger Just 12 class days into the fall 2018 semester, the back-to-school momentum came to an abrupt halt. In mid-September, what started as a tropical storm grew into monstrous Hurricane Florence, its trajectory sobering – straight toward Wrightsville Beach, just a few miles from the UNCW campus. The storm would make landfall in the early morning hours on Sept. 14, and force the university to close for an unprecedented amount of time. In the pages that follow, we share stories and images that shine a light on just a few of the remarkable ways in which our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends responded to the storm, many in the midst of their own personal losses. To all of you, we offer our gratitude and appreciation. For additional coverage, visit uncw.edu/hurricaneheroes.

Bracing for Florence: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite image of the storm heading for the southeastern NC coast.




Logistics of Emergency Management

As students, faculty and staff made their own personal preparations and grappled with whether to leave town or stay and ride out the storm, many UNCW employees were intently focused on making sure the campus was prepared. by Tricia Vance and Andrea Monroe Weaver

UNCW’s Emergency Operations Center in Hoggard Hall officially opened Sept. 11, although planning began days earlier. The EOC would remain open until Oct. 3. Hurricane Florence was projected to strike as a Category 4 storm capable of catastrophic damage. With that in mind, UNCW’s Crisis Decision Team concluded that only a small core of employees – from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, the physical plant and the University Police Department – should ride out the storm on campus. Among them was Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Griffin, who monitored the forecast and coordinated efforts of other employees on campus as the storm progressed. “This was the most intense storm the university has ever faced,” Griffin said. “I was relieved to hear, after communicating with the National Weather Service, that the strength had diminished. I felt more confident in our abilities to provide at least an initial level of damage assessment and to stabilize the situation on campus.” Once the hurricane passed, access to the campus and to individual buildings was precarious, and many employees had evacuated and couldn’t get back, or were unable to get out of their neighborhoods. “People had evacuated because they were concerned about the damage potential for this storm, so the available pool of staff was drastically reduced – and even many of those who remained here were cut off by localized flooding,” said Deb Tew, interim EH&S director. Despite the challenges, employees worked quickly to clear campus roads, sidewalks and building entrances of downed trees and other hazards to allow damage assessment and remediation to begin. Job descriptions didn’t matter at that point. Everyone pitched in to do what was necessary.



(left to right) Peter Groenendyk, Eric Griffin, Deb Tew, Mark Morgan

“There was a need to move research material out of Dobo Hall,” Tew said. “With standing water in the building, we had to turn off the generator because of the electricity, so we had to get the freezers out. Landis Bullock, our fire safety technician, was loading freezers in the back of trucks, and researchers were pushing freezers down the road to Friday Hall and Oriole Burevitch Laboratory. It was a multidivisional effort to get that done. People just jumped in where they needed to.”

Help also came from the University of North Carolina System and partners on other UNC campuses. In October 2017, UNCW led a statewide drill known as “Hurricane Zephyr,” which tested the response plan for a Category 5 hurricane. Part of the emergency plan called for UNCW to evacuate students to another UNC campus and to enlist support from other campuses to staff the EOC, assist in damage assessment and help with academic and student support. While UNCW’s commitment to reviewing, revising and rehearsing emergency procedures paid off, it took many people working together to get the campus ready to reopen, Griffin said. “Hundreds of people were involved in this effort to help UNCW reopen and save the semester.” “Our EH&S team did a terrific job responding to a situation that was both unprecedented and constantly evolving,” said Chancellor Sartarelli. “They – along with their peers in University Police, ITS and Auxiliary Services – were the difference between failure and success for us during and after the storm.”


Impacts on Campus by Tricia Vance

The university has weathered many storms before, but it has never suffered the extent of damage that Hurricane Florence wrought. “UNCW has more than 4.2 million square feet of interior space and over 100 significant buildings, and more than 80 percent of the buildings had some damage,” said Mark Morgan, associate vice chancellor for business affairs in charge of facilities. Most damage fell into the category of roof or window damage requiring minor repairs, he said. Several buildings had a moderate level of damage that was contained to one or two areas. “We had 18 significantly damaged buildings: Dobo, Leutze, Cameron, Cornerstone, Galloway and all 13 University Apartments,” Morgan said. “Most minor repairs were addressed prior to the campus’ reopening. The moderate repairs will be completed over the next several months. The heavily damaged facilities will require substantially more time to fully remediate, varying from a few months to a few years.” Damage assessment began as soon as the storm passed and the campus was safe enough to allow a good look at individual buildings, and continued for weeks. Not all damage is apparent, so the facilities staff had to consider the impact of not addressing minor damage immediately. “Prioritization is a difficult process with a storm as destructive as Florence, and depends on many factors,” Morgan said. “For example, one of the first buildings addressed was Randall Library, even though the damage was relatively minor. We knew that the water intrusion, if left unattended, would create a very expensive and somewhat unrecoverable situation, as books can easily be damaged without properly maintained temperatures and humidity levels.” “Having Mark at the helm of this extensive recovery operation put us in a good position to respond very effectively,” said Chancellor Sartarelli. “We counted on his decades of experience and expertise every single day, from before the evacuation to the present. And his team, including Tom McCarley and Jim Nicholson, worked night and day to help us get back on our feet.” Planning is key in guiding the response to any emergency, and UNCW continually tests its response plan.

UNCW maintains more than

4.2 million square feet of interior space

18 buildings severely affected more than

80% of buildings suffered damage

Cameron Hall

Dobo Hall 2nd floor hallway

Leutze Hall

“Our emergency operations plan has hurricane-specific information that has been tested numerous times during prior storms,” said Miles Lackey, vice chancellor for business affairs. Each event teaches important lessons, which are incorporated into plan updates. The Hurricane Zephyr exercise proved especially helpful as the scenario involved a destructive storm that would disrupt campus operations and cause significant damage. But each storm is unique, and Florence posed a formidable challenge to the response efforts. “The greatest unexpected development that affected our plans during Florence was the flooding that isolated Wilmington from the rest of the state, which prevented resources from entering into the area and delayed mitigation processes,” Lackey said. The attention the recovery effort requires has forced Lackey and his team to shift some priorities to focus on capital infrastructure. While Dobo Hall will require extensive repairs and necessitated relocating classes, faculty and lab space, the University Apartments could not be saved. Fortunately, UNCW was already planning to build student housing to increase the number of beds on campus. “We expect to break ground on the new student village on the Millennial Campus in January,” Lackey said. “The project will offer



Fisher Student Center parking lot

1,040 new beds by the fall of 2020 and an additional 760 new beds by the fall of 2021.” While repairs will take some time, work will be completed with attention to the needs of students, faculty and staff, Morgan said. “Our goal for completing the recovery process is to keep the campus operating in a safe manner while limiting the disruption to campus activities, with priority given to teaching and research.”

Dobo Hall Dobo Hall sustained significant damage during Hurricane Florence. Scientific classrooms, teaching labs, research labs and offices throughout the building will require extensive renovation – a construction effort projected to cost $59 million. In the spring 2019 semester, the university plans to have modular lab units in place on the main campus, and by the end of the summer of 2019, lab facilities comparable to those in Dobo Hall should also be operational in other campus buildings.

Student Affairs

Unites the Campus Community by Logan Matthews ’19

Student Affairs, like many other divisions, had plenty to overcome after Hurricane Florence hit. For the past 21 years, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Pat Leonard has been bringing a sense of community to UNCW, but after the storm, she faced a difficult task: helping to bring the campus community back together after an unprecedented weather event. According to Leonard, the biggest challenge prior to Hurricane Florence was the hastened decision-making required to benefit everyone’s safety. The storm was initially projected to be a Category 4, and the challenge was to make the best call regarding preparation and evacuation processes. After the storm passed through the Carolinas, the next challenge was to determine the impact on campus. “We needed to get back and assess the damage and work with the limited number of people we had to make the university safe again,” Leonard said. Trees needed to be cleared, and minor structural damage was visible. The true impact of Florence, however, was found inside university buildings and student living facilities. Water damage proved to be a significant issue with several buildings on campus. “We’ve never lost an academic building before. We’ve never had to shut down the University Apartments before,” she said. Leonard is full of pride when she reflects on how people stepped up to help bring the campus together. Staff members were coming to campus every weekend to offer their services.

“We learned about so many of our student groups who, during that month off on their own, were out doing service with people. We had alumni calling and emailing, asking how they could be of help,” she said. “That is a testament to the kind of community we are as Seahawks.” Chancellor Sartarelli credits that sense of community to Leonard’s leadership. “There is a reason that Vice Chancellor Leonard is legendary on this campus for her service to students. As always, she put the students first during this incredibly trying time, and her efforts made a huge difference,” he said.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here at UNCW.”

The personal and professional commitment of the team’s staff to UNCW students is a priority for Leonard. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be here at UNCW. Students come here with hopes and dreams and goals,” she said. “We have the privilege to work with people and help them figure that out. We have that opportunity to step in and help.”

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, David Olson, director of the physical plant, and Shawn Burkett, associate director of housing operations, led the effort to assess residence hall damage, Groenendyk said. Eventually, all 4,148 residential spaces were inspected and repairs quickly began in the areas of greatest need.

HRL Brings Seahawks Back to the Nest Following a campus closure that was almost a month long, Peter Groenendyk, director of Housing and Residence Life, was more than happy to put the welcome mat back out for students. Employees across campus collaborated to reopen all but two of the university’s residence halls on Oct. 6.

“The entire team’s efforts were heroic. Our staff worked seven days a week, from dawn until late evenings, for almost 30 straight days,” he said. “Many employees did this even though their own roofs were leaking, windows were blown in and trees came through their roofs. We even had a staff member who lost his home due to flooding. Despite these difficult personal circumstances, every one of them reported for duty.”

Thanks to a team effort, the university reopened all residence halls except University Apartments, which were closed due to the storm’s effects. UNCW worked closely with students and their families to reassign the apartments’ 390 residents to new locations, including nearby apartment complexes and hotels. In addition, the university assisted more than 100 students who live off campus with housing concerns. Colleagues from the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Facilities, University College and the housing staff at N.C. State University provided invaluable assistance, Groenendyk said. “I work with an amazing group of people,” he added. “They did everything from cleaning up campus to reassigning students, meeting with families, and removing and cleaning wet items, to answering and logging hundreds of phone calls. These staff showed tremendous courage and integrity in the face of adversity.” Chancellor Sartarelli noted his appreciation for Groenendyk and his team. “Peter managed this extraordinary challenge with such a steady and upbeat demeanor,” Chancellor Sartarelli said. “His team – and especially Jenna Freeman, Keith Wickliffe and Shawn Burkett – faced every new question mark with a terrific attitude and a can-do approach.”

“The stories of personal loss and property destruction that many students, faculty and staff have faced are devastating. And yet, at the same time, we’ve all been uplifted by outpouring of support shown by UNCW’s donors during this difficult time. Every gift has helped to reaffirm the power of the Seahawk spirit and provide assistance to those who need it most. UNCW is a stronger campus community, today and every day, because of those who give.” – Eddie Stuart, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

336 students and 53 employees have received funding thus far.

Candidly Speaking Provost Marilyn Sheerer shared her reflections on Hurricane Florence’s impact on UNCW.

Ready, Set,


“I understand why people are nervous and frustrated and worried. I see everyone working really closely together trying to come up with answers and alternatives, investigating every possible way we can provide a better situation. This university is very resilient; I’ve seen it over and over in so many ways. I’m hoping that we can do enough to support people during these rough times – and they are rough times; we can’t say that people aren’t making accommodations. Faculty are working harder, students are working harder, administrators are working harder, people are spending long hours on campus trying to figure out the best way to move and make decisions. This university will endure, and when it gets put back together, it’ll be better than ever.

I never expected that the campus would be so hard-hit. But a year from now, I’m sure I’ll look back and think ‘I can’t believe we did all that.’ The place is going to look different, we will have solutions to things. I’ll remember just how well we worked together. I’ll

think, ‘Wow, we got through this, we got through it well, and we’re better.’”

For small businesses struggling to recover following Hurricane Florence, UNCW’s Small Business & Technology Development Center has been a lifeline. SBTDC helped more than 220 businesses develop strategies after the storm, said Heather McWhorter, SBTDC regional director. Staff aided business owners with long-term strategies such as additional marketing, reviewing their business or strategic plans to make corrective actions, and even scrutinized insurance policy coverage for future disasters. SBTDC is part of the state’s emergency response plan; its staff is trained in disaster recovery. Most services are provided free-of-charge. “We have trusted relationships with business owners in our region that reached out immediately after Hurricane Florence to ask about strategies related to capital, cash flow and recovery,” McWhorter said. “Disasters are stressful times and small business owners were struggling with impacts on their homes, employees and businesses. It can seem insurmountable. We help them to take the necessary steps to survive in the long-term.” According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster, and for those that do, only 29 percent are still operating after two years, McWhorter added. Cameron School of Business students Adam Hernandez O’Donnell ’18, accountancy major; Tanner Miles ’19, finance major; and Noah Spear ’20, business analytics and marketing major, were able to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to help small regional businesses. They were a part of the SBTDC Business Recovery intern team. Interns received training in disaster recovery and assisted with outreach to the Small Business Association Business Recovery Centers, Disaster Recovery Centers and partners, said McWhorter. The students also helped the staff determine business needs and recovery status and conducted client research and analysis.

At press time, 1,372 donors have contributed $179,917 in support of the UNCW Campus Emergency Fund (student relief) and the Hurricane Florence Employee Assistance Fund. This does not include the $25K from the exhibition game against Clemson or other initiatives benefiting these funds.

“This is an impactful learning opportunity for the students because it applies classroom knowledge to real-life business,” she said. Learn more at w w w.sbtdc.org/hurricaneflorence. – V.J.



Calm in the Storm by Venita Jenkins

As Hurricane Florence strengthened and barreled toward Wilmington, Steven Still ’02, ’11M took steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of more than 230,000 New Hanover County residents.

Steven Still ’02, ’11M, New Hanover County’s Emergency Management director, activated the NHC’s Emergency Operations Center, a 24-hour-a-day communication and command hub where officials monitored the storm, coordinated efforts to evacuate and shelter residents and mobilized first responders. The Category 1 hurricane battered the area with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and wind gusts of 105 miles per hour when it made landfall on Sept. 14, 2018. The storm dumped upwards of 30 inches of rain as it lingered for days. “We’ve been fairly lucky in the past. It’s been quite some time that we’ve had a storm of this magnitude that required prolonged operations,” said Still, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in public



administration from UNCW. He has led the county’s Emergency Management and 911 departments for nearly two years. “The depth and duration of this storm were a challenge for us.”

temporary shelter or housing for the numerous residents rendered homeless by flooding or downed trees. Thousands remained displaced even months after the storm.

Several hours into the hurricane’s approach and eventual landfall, the Emergency Operations Center suffered roof damage as well as electrical damage from a generator malfunction. “We were able to move to another location and put together an EOC and 911 center in under four hours, which was phenomenal,” he said. “We have the flexibility to make those ‘large muscle movements’ at a drop of a hat.”

Officials estimated more than $200 million in property damage to New Hanover County, and Still noted that it could be at least five years before the county returns to its pre-Hurricane Florence condition. He and his staff are researching ways to lessen the impact of future hurricanes.

When the skies cleared, officials assessed the devastation left in the wake of storm. Still’s office worked with FEMA, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other volunteer agencies to find

“It’s a huge responsibility and I don’t take it lightly,” Still said of his job. “I take it personally. The outcome of the county’s response is on me. I constantly think about whether I did everything that was necessary to prepare for an event. It weighs heavy on [my] shoulders. Most people were safe in New Hanover County during Hurricane Florence; it could have gone very differently.”

Oasis of

Hope by Tricia Vance

Twelve days after Hurricane Florence made landfall, Susan Hermanson backed a trailer to the edge of the murky floodwaters covering NC 53 near Burgaw and loaded four stranded horses aboard. No one was happier to see her than Nikki Herridge, whose 15-year-old quarter horse, Zip, was among the trapped animals. “Susan was waiting at the bridge on Highway 53 with a horse trailer and open arms,” Herridge said. “In that moment, we knew we were on the way to safety.” By the time Hermanson arrived, the horses had been trapped by floodwaters for more than a week. Veterinarian Ginger Reagan, who has mentored several UNCW pre-veterinary students, managed to reach them by boat to provide basic medical care and IV fluids. Before the vet could treat the horses at her facility, they had to be scrubbed from head to hooves to remove floodwater contaminants. Hermanson and her daughter, Katie Ivancevich, a UNCW sophomore, assisted with the bathing. With Category 4 winds initially forecast for Hurricane Florence, Hermanson, a UNCW accounting professor, and her husband, Ritner Goff, a farrier, evacuated their own 12 horses to western North Carolina at considerable personal cost. They had also agreed to take in a neighbor’s two horses during the storm on their 70-acre farm. Goff remained behind with his son to care for the guest horses while Hermanson, her daughters and her husband’s apprentice rode out the hurricane in Statesville. Watching from afar as news cameras showed the destruction and severe flooding Florence brought to southeastern North Carolina, Hermanson said she and her daughters didn’t want to return from the Piedmont empty-handed. She connected with Jennifer Hugg ’07, ’09M, one of her former master’s degree students, in Charlotte. The two filled a 12-foot U-Haul with water; horse, dog and cat food; diapers; and other supplies for hurricane victims and their pets. Hermanson drove that trailer back to the Cape Fear region and delivered the contents to local shelters.

Above: Volunteers lead horses through the dirty floodwaters to safety. Below: Susan Hermanson

Hermanson insists she was just being neighborly. “I was just trying to give back,” she said. “We were blessed.” By “blessed,” she means that her home did not flood and is livable. “I have friends who lost everything,” Hermanson explained. Roadsides near her family’s property were piled high with debris from flooddamaged homes and outbuildings. Despite jumping into action to make sure others’ horses were safe, Hermanson no longer rides. A January automobile accident left her with severe head injuries that required the accounting professor to relearn simple math. Her doctor ordered her not to get on a horse for at least two and a half more years. That’s not an easy prescription to follow for Hermanson, who began riding as a second-grader, but she can still enjoy the pastime through her younger daughter, Amanda, who has special needs and is benefiting from riding therapy, and her older daughter Katie, who is an avid rider. Hermanson is thankful that she could be available for her friends and neighbors. “It got to the point where we were the high ground,” she said. “Roads were closed all around us due to high water, but we were a little oasis of dry land.”



(Back row, left to right) Mikalen Cox, Gabby Turner, June Crawford, Daniel Ko (alum), Emily Brown, Haley Jensen; (front row, left to right) Leah Weaver, Victoria Gonzalez, Payton Perry, Gabrielle Burke



Because of the university’s ongoing community partnerships with nonprofits and agencies around the region, UNCW was uniquely able to compile resources and communications from a wide variety of reliable sources and make them available in one place.

“UNCW’s community and region is still recovering, and the work continues,” said Kristin Brogdon, interim associate vice chancellor for community engagement and director of the Office of the Arts. “We are developing ways that our students, faculty and staff can work with community partners in service, teaching and research. Beyond recovery, our office hopes to be a part of the regional conversation about capacity-building so we can all be better prepared for future storms.” UNCW’s Office of Community Engagement and the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement have developed a list of “Recovery Partners,” based on the organizations and agencies with whom the university has existing community engagement relationships, including partners in Brunswick, Pender and Onslow counties. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/UNCWFloPartners . For faculty and staff members, UNCW’s human resources website offers information about the community service leave efforts being organized by the Department of Human Resources. uncw.edu/d2la/ENGAGE/CommunitySer vice.html



SGA President Cole Tillett (left) and Paul Levanti

Students Lend a Hand Even as students were displaced and distressed, they still wanted to find ways to help their community. “We have sponsored a volunteer project each week since our return that has been tied to hurricane relief in some way,” said Jaime Russell ’16 Ed.D., director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. She cited a few examples of students reaching out to the greater Wilmington community. “We had a group gut houses with Habitat for Humanity in Burgaw, another group did home repairs with Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, and we have volunteered with the diaper bank. Several of our fraternities and sororities did volunteer work during the closure, and some have continued to volunteer since our return.”

Shelter and Friendship

by Venita Jenkins

International student Silvia Favro visited New York during the height of Hurricane Florence to escape the storm and returned to Wilmington with no place to go. Extensive damage by Hurricane Florence had forced the UNCW campus to remain closed. But she wasn’t displaced for long. Favro was welcomed home by Wilmington residents who opened their homes to her, including Kim Nelson and her husband, Tim Costello. “Thanks to the hurricane, I had the opportunity to live with an American family,” said Favro, a native of Italy who came to UNCW for a semester to study marketing and international business. “If I were a traveler in another country during a natural disaster, I would hope someone local would be willing to help me out,” said Nelson. “I think about the students and how scary this must be and their parents worrying about their safety. This seemed like a way we could help take some of the scariness away and get to know the students better during their short time here.” Nelson is a volunteer in UNCW’s Office of International Programs’ Community Host program, which pairs Wilmington residents and families with UNCW international students to foster cross-cultural friendships. They help ease students’ transition to campus while

providing them an opportunity to engage with American culture. Nelson and her husband had spent time with Favro prior to the hurricane, and their friendship had already taken root. Nelson, who also mentors through the Cameron Executive Network and the College of Health and Human Services’ Clinical Research program, said the host program allows her and her husband to learn about other cultures and meet new people. “I look at it from the perspective similar to the students that I mentor,” she said. “These young people are our future, so it’s nice to know what they are thinking about and what they are worried about, and maybe offer a little guidance and recommendations along the way.” Over the course of Favro’s stay, the couple’s home became an international crossroads, with students from Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as their host families, attending a potluck organized by the international students. Favro also spent time volunteering with the United Way of the Cape Fear area. She said it was a way to give back to her home away from home.

“It was a positive way of doing something to help the community,” Favro said. “The storm is something I will never forget.”



classnotes 1960s B. Ronnie Staton ’65 established the Jean Thorpe Case Scholarship in Education Endowment in memory of Jean ’80 and in honor of their children, John, Andrew and Mason Staton, and in honor of her husband Dale Case, former UNCW faculty member. He also established the Lake Forest Boys Scholarship Endowment in recognition of the support he received in achieving his own education. David Ansell ’67 was named to the board of directors of Equity Group Holdings Plc. The organization champions for socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa. Albert Pacer ’69 filed to run for NC Senate District 30.

1970s Haddon Clark ’74 was honored with the Meritorious Public Service Medal from the North Carolina National Guard. Earl Vaughan Jr. ’76 was inducted into the NC High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Gary Shipman ’77 filed to run for NC House of Representatives for District 20. Chris Fonvielle ’78, a retired UNCW faculty member, was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, the highest honor bestowed by the governor’s office.

1980s Linda Baddour ’80, ’96M was elected to the board of directors of Waters Corporation, an analytical laboratory instrument manufacturing company headquartered in Milford, MA. Jim Godwin ’80, was appointed to the board of directors of UMFS, a nonprofit organization in Virginia that provides foster care, residential treatment and private day school for students with disabilities. Mark Scalf ’80, UNCW baseball coach, was named the American Baseball Coaches Association east region coach of the year for the fifth time in his career.



1990s John Johnson ’82 filed to run for NC State Representative for District 16. Maggie Amsler ’83M, a UNCW Society member, traveled to Antarctica with a team from the University of Alabama for a 16-week research expedition at Palmer Station on Anvers Island. Sarah H. Cox ’83 and her husband, Louis, established the Cox Family Applied Learning Award for Nursing Endowment to support activities within the School of Nursing. Stewart Hobbs Jr. ’83 was named interim superintendent of Clinton City Schools (NC). Leslie Hossfeld ’83 joined Clemson University as the dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. Roy Page ’84 was a 2018 Cameron School of Business Outstanding Alumni award recipient. Robert Abbotts ’85, a UNCW Society member, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNCW Department of Public and International Affairs for past and ongoing alumni commitments to the university, membership on the Board of Visitors and 25 years of public service in Mecklenburg County, NC. He serves on the Charlotte Area Alumni Chapter steering committee. Ron Wight Jr. ’85 established the Betty Anna Wight Memorial Scholarship on his family’s behalf. Gary Finch ’87 was hired as vice president/commercial loan officer by Northrim Bank in Wasilla, AK. Jen Mangrum ’87 filed to run for NC Senate District 30. James Morton ’88 was approved as president of Cape Fear Community College. John Berry ’89 was named president of the Central Ohio Technical College Board of Trustees. Maj. Hans Miller, USMC (Ret.) ’89 received the Mack McKinney award for his work in the veteran community. The award was established to recognize those who go beyond the call of duty to protect the rights and privileges of service members.

Paige Cribb ’90 was elected as the first female president of the Carolinas PGA Section. Linda S. Gurganus ’90, ’93M established the Kenneth R. and Linda Smith Gurganus Scholarship in Mathematics and Statistics in honor of her husband Kenneth’s retirement from UNCW. Marty McGillian ’90 joined the Longwood University’s men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach. Tina Johnson ’91 is principal at McNair Elementary in Greensboro, NC. Gidget Kidd ’91 was elected secretary of the UNCW Board of Trustees. Donna Large ’91 joined the firm of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP as a paralegal in its Wilmington office. Sammy Kinlaw ’92, Lexmark vice president, was named to the company’s 2018 list of Top 100 Executives. Jeff Holeman ’93 was named vice president of enrollment strategy, marketing and communication at Keene State College, a liberal arts college in Keene, NH. Corey Mitchell ’93 was named The Charlotte Post Foundation’s Educator of the Year. Charles (Keith) Adkins ’94 is head coach of men’s basketball at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY. Ashlee Balena ’95, a UNCW Society member and senior lecturer, won the 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award in the Exemplary Course category. This award recognizes faculty and course designers who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Suzanne Neblett ’95, ’99M has joined Guaranteed Rate Inc., a U.S. residential mortgage company headquartered in Chicago, as branch manager/vice president of mortgage lending. She serves on the Cameron School of Business Alumni steering committee. Steve Elliot ’96, a UNCW Society member, is director of UNCW’s School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. Brad Heath ’96, ’07M, past chair of the UNCW Alumni Association Board of Directors, was the recipient of the 2018 Cameron School of Business Outstanding Alumni award. Jeremy Dickerson ’97, ’99M was named UNCW associate vice chancellor for distance education. Jon Franke ’97M was appointed vice president of safety and health at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the nation. David Miller ’97 is baseball coach of Northwood High School, located in Pittsboro, NC. Tim Pinion ’97M is chief of the science and resource management division at Mammoth Cave National Park, which preserves the cave system and part of the Green River valley and hill country of south central Kentucky. Michelle Smoak ’97 was one of three finalists for Sampson County’s Teacher of the Year for 2018-19. Kristeen Balog ’98 was featured in the Sun Journal article, “52 Faces of Community,” for her volunteerism in the Tryon Palace conservation lab in New Bern, NC.

Jennifer Combs ’95 is the parks, recreation and tourism director for Hardeeville, SC.

Kathryn Fuller ’98 participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Thailand.

Kirk Muffley ’95 and his daughter, Moria Rooney ’13, launched an app called ALIST that helps people give to charity.

Tom Gale ’98, a UNCW Society member, was Cape Fear Realtors’ 2017 salesperson of the year. He serves on the Cape Fear Area Alumni Chapter steering committee.

Chris Neal ’95, former UNCW assistant coach, returned to his alma mater as head women’s soccer coach. He became the third coach in the program’s history.

2000s Cynthia Monteleone ’98 won four gold medals in the 40-44 age bracket at the U.S. Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships in Landover, MD. (see more on pg. 5.) Ben Romeiser ’98 achieved shareholder status at Elliott Davis, an accounting, tax and consulting services provider in the southeast. Edel Segovia ’98, ’12 Ed.D., UNCW’s Centro Hispano executive director, was the recipient of the Kathleen Berkeley Inconvenient Woman Award for her commitment to issues of social justice. Christopher Bullock ’99 is an assistant professor of psychology at Francis Marion University.

Mika Elovaara ’99 is the Boys Elite Clubs National League director. Boys ECNL provides a top-class, club-based development, training and competition platform for youth male soccer players in the United States.

Rebecca Knudson ’00 was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 (personal injury litigation, defendants category). She works in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP.

Gina Goodenow ’99, ’00M was named as senior vice president and chief financial officer of the United Way of New York City. She is the first female to take on the role in the organization’s 80-year history.

Bianca Lee ’00 was named new member specialist by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation.

April Tisher ’99 is running for Alachua County Florida School Board.

J. Douglas Grimes ’01 is a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in the firm’s Charlotte, NC, office. Adaheid Mestad ’01 was hired as design anthropologist and senior associate by HGA in Rochester, MN. James Patterson ’01 qualified for the semi-finals of North Carolina’s Restaurant and Lodging Association’s third annual “Chef Showdown.”

Kristen Beckmeyer ’01 joined Clean Eatz as director of franchise relations. Founded in 2011, the company has 30 franchised locations in eight states.

Logan Sharpe ’01 is a certified financial planner with Fisher Wealth Management in Burlington, NC.

John Bell ’01, incumbent member of the NC House of Representatives, filed for another term for House District 10.

John Strickland ’01 was appointed by Talbot County Public Schools as assistant principal of St. Michaels Middle High School in St. Michaels, MD.

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In Memoriam: Michelle R. Howard-Vital (October 15, 1952 – August 21, 2018) Former UNCW Vice Chancellor of Public Service and Continuing Studies and associate provost and professor of specialty studies Michelle R. HowardVital lost her battle with cancer on Aug. 21. Her 30-year academic career spanned Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida. She served as interim chancellor at Winston-Salem State University and associate vice president for academic affairs with the University of North Carolina System before becoming the first female president of Cheyney, the oldest historically black college in the nation. In 2016, she became provost of Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens and was appointed interim president a year later. During her tenure at UNCW, she secured millions in grants and helped grow the university’s regional and community engagement, youth programs, lifelong learning programs and distance education programs. “Michelle was a great friend and colleague,” said Pat Leonard, vice chancellor of student affairs. “She had a wonderful sense of humor and was always supportive of initiatives to help our students.” The Chicago native received numerous awards and recognitions for her service in higher education, including the Association for Black Women in Higher Education Award for Leadership and the University of Chicago Distinguished Alumni Award. She is survived by her husband, Geri R. Vital; daughter, Madelyn G. Vital; stepson, Gabriel M. Priester and two siblings, Felicia Howard-Spalding and David J. Howard. A celebration of life event was held on campus in September.

uncw.edu/alumniupdate Laurie Whalin ’01 was elected to the board of The Good Shepherd Center in Wilmington. Christine Friedberg ’03 was a 2018 “40 Under 40” honoree by the Alexandria (VA) Chamber of Commerce. She opened multiple Griswold Home Care franchises, which help the elderly and disabled stay comfortably in their homes. Bryan Minton ’03 is culinary services manager at Waltonwood Lake Boone, an assisted living facility in Raleigh, NC. Sandra McClammy ’03, ’09M was featured in the WILMA Magazine article, “Tuned In,” which highlighted her ties to the Wilmington area and how they have helped shape her career and work in the community. She serves on the UNCW African American Graduate Association steering committee. Dan Owen ’03 was elected to a three-year term to the Cape Fear Museum’s associates board. Matt Wright ’03 was honored as a Roberson High School “Ring of Gold” winner. The award recognizes and honors former student athletes, coaches and administrators who have demonstrated excellence while involved in Roberson (NC) athletics as well as in their post-high school years. Jessica Edwards ’04, a UNCW Society member and member of the UNCW Foundation Board, served as master of ceremonies at the Inman Connect San Francisco real estate event. She is a full-time realtor with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in Wilmington. Krista Holland ’04M was named New Hanover County Principal of the Year. Pat Murphy ’04 is the head men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach at NC State University. Rich Powers ’04 was named head track coach at Marble Falls Independent School District in Marble Falls, TX. Justin “Zac” Snyder ’04 was named senior vice president and regional executive for the western region of North Carolina at Carter Bank & Trust.



Andrew B. Hendrickson II ’04, ’05M, along with his wife Andrea, established the Andrea and Drew Hendrickson Scholarship in Accounting at UNCW. Andrew J. Novak ’04, ’05M was appointed vice president and chief accounting officer of Novan, Inc. in the Raleigh-Durham area. Robert Wright ’04, ’17M, co-founder of Cardinal Crowdfunding Solutions, LLC, announced the company’s strategic partnership with LogicBay for equity crowdfunding services to North Carolina businesses under the NC PACES Act. Jason Alston ’05 joined the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies as an assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. Mariah Hayes ’05 was promoted to assistant vice president in the Shalotte, NC office of CresCom Bank. A. Kevin Lackey ’05, ’17M, business development manager of Brunswick Business and Industry Development, was featured in the NC Economics Development Association’s quarterly report. Robert Dean Lurie ’05M hosted a craft talk titled “No Certainty Attached” at Elizabethtown College, a private, nonprofit residential college in Elizabethtown, PA. W. Carey Parker ’05 is running for District Court Judge in District 22A, which covers Iredell and Alexander counties. Gerald Benton ’06 won the Republican race for the Brunswick County Board of Education District 5 seat. Anne Branigin ’06, a news fellow at The Root, was one of 13 journalism students and early-career journalists chosen for the journalism program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics to participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland. Brian Kubovcik ’06 was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the television show “Mr. Robot.” Amanda Miars ’06 was named a partner in the firm Murchison, Taylor & Gibson, PLLC, a provider of professional legal services located in Wilmington. She serves on the Cameron School of Business Alumni steering committee.

save the date ! HOMECOMING, FEB. 1-3, 2019 Jennifer Rice ’06, a teacher at Fred A. Anderson Elementary School in Pamlico County, NC, was WITN’s Teacher of the Week in May 2018. Ben Stikeleather ’06 was hired as Currituck County (NC) assistant manager. Chase Morgan ’06, ’07M has joined CompIntelligence as an accounting professional. He is based in Charlotte, NC. Jason Mott ’06, ’08M will have his 2014 novel, The Wonder of All Things, adapted into a film by Cheryl Dunye. Cally Harper ’07M is a conservation agent in Chatham, MA. Densay Sengsoulavong ’07 was appointed government affairs director by Cape Fear Realtors. He serves on the steering committees for the Cape Fear Area Alumni Chapter and the Cameron School of Business Alumni Chapter. Jo ’07 and Kenneth ’07 Supernaw established the Supernaw Student Leader Scholarship to assist students pursuing a degree offered by the Cameron School of Business. Daniel Glenn ’08 was awarded the Accredited Rural Appraiser designation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Carter Cheves ’08 was named the third head coach in the history of Ohio University men’s golf program. Carla Fisher ’08 was named executive director of Emereau: Bladen Charter School in Elizabethtown, NC. Daniel Hargrave ’08, a stunt performer who has appeared in Ant-Man; Captain America: Civil War; Thor; Ragnarok; Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, appeared alongside his brother, Sam, in Atomic Blonde, which won the Taurus World Stunt Award for best fight. Christopher Faulkner ’08, ’10M, ’13C, ’13M, a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Central Florida’s security studies program, was awarded a Minerva Research Initiative and United States Institute of Peace Dissertation Write-Up Fellowship for his dissertation on child soldiering.

Ryan Huffman ’08M filed to run for NC Senate District 42. Miriam Parker ’08M had her debut novel, The Shortest Way Home, published by Dutton Books in July. Sarah Payne ’08 was hired as account manager at Proclaim Interactive, a Wilmington digital marketing agency. She serves on the Watson College of Education Alumni steering committee. Steve Burdeau ’09 is head football coach at Lee County High School in Sanford, NC. Amanda Grant ’09 was promoted to assistant branch manager at Champlain National Bank in Elizabethtown, NY. Keith Holden ’09M was named general manager and chief executive officer of Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation, a member-owned nonprofit cooperative organized in 1955 by the citizens of Brunswick County, NC. Adam Olander ’09M is principal of Morehead City Middle School in Morehead City, NC. Andrew Simpson ’09 was named vice president of sales at Sunshine Beverages. The Winston-Salem based company produces alternative, all-natural energy drinks.

Camron Faulkner ’10, ’11M was named a partner at Earney & Company LLP, an accounting firm in Wilmington. Seth Frankoff ’10, a former UNCW pitcher, played in the Korean Baseball Organization’s All-Star game. Jenny Lee ’10 was named executive director of Rowan County NC United Way. Jeff Lesley ’10M, a real estate agent with Century 21 Sweyer and Associates in Wilmington, earned the Century 21 System’s Centurion Producer Awards for closed sales. Erin Starcke ’10 and her husband, Doug, are part owners of Transportation Impact, which was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces (fast-growing private company). It was the second consecutive year the company was recognized. Kerri Allen ’11, ’13M is the coastal advocate for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, working out of the Wrightsville Beach office. Michelle Bliss Billman ’11M is the news director at KNCJ National Public Radio in Reno, NV. Keith Butler, Jr. ’11 made his studio theatre debut in “Vietgone.” Studio Theatre is Washington’s premier venue for contemporary theatre.

Caroline Thompson ’09 is practicing family medicine at the New Hanover Medical Group at Brunswick Forest.

Nate Futrell ’11 is director of health and wellness services at Trinity Landing, an active senior living community in Wilmington.


Chase Holfelder ’11 is a major YouTube sensation. His “Major to Minor” series, in which he takes songs from a major key and transposes them to a minor key, has more than 454,000 subscribers.

Jamie Brummitt ’10 is an assistant professor of philosophy and religion at UNCW. Jillian Dempsey ’10, who works with the Pearson Patterson Smith Wealth Management Group in Wilmington, received her Certified Financial Planner designation. Devon Doyle ’10, has worked on and off camera on shows including ABC’s “Revenge,” HBO’s “John Adams,” and the indie films The Red Cape and Hick. He wrote, directed and edited the noir crime short “Sugar Crash” and was the director of photography and editor for the indie feature Class Acts.

Andrew Logan ’11 joined the law firm Wisler Pearlstine, LLP in Blue Bell, PA, as an associate. Bonnie Monteleone ’11M, a UNCW Society member, was one of 39 nominees for the 33rd Annual YWCA Cape Fear Women of Achievement Awards. Justin Smith ’11M was named editor of The News Reporter, a semi-weekly newspaper based in Whiteville, NC.

Ryan Wetherington ’11M will serve a three-year term on the North Carolina Economic Development Association board of directors. Becca Edens ’12 was named Cape Fear Jobs’ director of business development. Lauren Henderson ’12M received the 2018 Cameron School of Business Outstanding Alumni award. Kari Loeber ’12 was named New Hanover County Schools’ Middle School Teacher of the Year. Trey Morehouse ’12, artistic director of Wilmington-based Mouths of Babes Theatre Co., will direct Hamlet on April 19, 2019 at DREAMS Garage. Stephanie Nmashie ’12M is a state trainer with the NC Fast Training and Communications Team. She serves on the UNCW African American Graduate Association steering committee. Wil Zahorodny ’12 was the winner of the Ultimate Runner men’s overall title in Winston-Salem, NC. Marissa Blackburn ’13 participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Belize. Kyle Farmer ’13 is AquaTactics Fish Health’s new veterinarian and professional services manager, providing fish health consultation and fish health medicine support to public stock enhancement facilities and private aquaculture clients. The company is based in Kirkland, WA. Mara Cloutier ’14, a doctoral degree candidate in the soil science and biogeochemistry dual-title degree program at Penn State University, received the 2018 Clark Soil Biology Graduate Student Scholarship. Ryan Cullen ’14 is an associate in the Baltimore law office of Goodell Devries Leech & Dann. Samuel Jones ’14M is principal at Poplar Spring Elementary in King, NC. Dan Larkin ’14 was hired by Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte as the men’s basketball head coach.



The Class Notes are compiled by the Division for University Advancement. Share your news at uncw.edu/alumniupdate.


*Donor and giving society recognition reflective of July 1 to Sept. 30, 2018*

In Memoriam

Cody Love ’15 and Molly Love ’16, both UNCW track athletes, were married on June 30, 2018, in Petersburg, PA.


Morgan Taylor ’15 participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Baja.

Donald R. Lennon ’58

J. Scott Surrett ’82

Robert H. Baker Jr. ’60

Diane M. Warner ’82

Carolyn G. Connelly ’60

Mark D. White ’83

Barbara J. Brodnax ’62

Robert C. Warner Jr. ’85

Hiram H. Lee ’62

Dorsey D. Edmundson ’88

Lawrence E. Lanier ’63, ’65

John P. Bates Jr. ’90

John A. Compos ’65

Mary T. Huffman ’91

Myra B. Burtt ’66

Lewis E. Watson IV ’91

Thelton Q. Skipper ’66

Laura M. Cobb ’92

Robert H. Clemmons Jr. ’67

T. Clayton Willis II ’95

Margaret A. Locke ’68

Samantha L. Crompton-Owens ’98

Melford R. Baker ’69

James W. Haines III ’98

Curtis H. Dale ’69

Candace M. Rice ’98

Thomas J. Bradshaw ’70

Keith D. Kincaid ’99

David M. Jones ’70

Richard H. Romanek ’99M

Julian W. Anderson ’71

Gloria F. Simmons ’99

Edward A. Atkins ’71

Dylan R. Young ’03

William T. Bradsher ’71

Elizabeth B. Hailey ’04

Douglas W. Daughtry ’71

Justin Y. Hampton ’06

Brenda M. Pearce ’71

Bryan F. Morrell ’07

M. Katharine McIntire ’72

Kevin W. Palaganas ’08

James H. Hobbs Jr. ’73

Jessica L. Simpson ’08, ’13

Clement C. Bell ’74

C. Alex Sink ’09

Reba B. Bowen ’74

Mark C. Taylor ’11

Elias H. Pegram Jr. ’74

M. Arden Medlin ’13

Harry L. Davis ’79

Landon R. Griffin ’16

Barbara H. Nail ’79

Kathleen E. McDonald ’16

Charles V. Allo ’80

David P. Lewis ’17

Clinton F. Gandy ’81

Jade N. Apostolico ’18

Kathleen T. Kaiser ’81

Non-Alumni Elizabeth “Betsy” Walker Fensel

Elizabeth A. Pearsall

Ida “Pauline” Formy-Duval

Peter Browne Ruffin Jr.

Michelle R. Howard-Vital (see expanded listing, page 34)

Charles “Charlie” George Schaefer

Betty Jo Russell Kaylor

William Steven Wells

James “Jim” Christopher Mahony

John Zeko



Carolyn H. Simmons

Benjamin Rachlin ’15M, spoke about his book, Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption, at the ongoing author series sponsored by the Kingston Public Library. Luke Carnevale ’16 is one of four Port City Life Signature Cocktail bartenders. His drink, The Pina Dorado 2.0, was named by PCL Club judges as the “Best Cocktail for Contemplating Life by the Fire Pit.” Matthew Davenport ’16 is a licensed insurance agent at Crowson Insurance Agency in Burlington, NC. Taylor England ’16 was selected as director of communications for the Wilmington Area Hospitality Association. Samantha Farquhar ’16 received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Madagascar in Interdisciplinary Studies from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Charles (Chic) Scaparo ’16 joined MPW Marketing in Clinton, NY, as a video producer. Jenna Willis ’16 was selected for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors. Donna Yeung ’16 is an account executive for the Greensboro Swarm, an affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets. Hailey Black ’17 displayed her first solo show “The Liberation of the Individual,” at UNCW’s Ann Flack Boseman Gallery. Tippi Hales ’17 was promoted to quality assurance manager for RNA Research at Raleigh Neurology Associates, PA. Tiffany Locklear ’17Ph.D. embarked on her educational journey in 2003 after being awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. She and a select few scholars dined with Bill and Melinda Gates during a scholarship event in Seattle, WA. Maxwell Moody ’17 will live for three months at the Admunsen-Scott International Research Facility at the South Pole to test and certify equipment used at the facility.

Felix Morton IV ’17M was selected for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program-Youth. Walker Rose ’17 is an educational leadership consultant for Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity in Carmel, IN. Donald (Clem) Seifert Jr. ’17M, co-founder of Cardinal Crowdfunding Solutions, LLC, announced the company’s strategic partnership with LogicBay for equity crowdfunding services to NC businesses as they seek North Carolina investors under the NC PACES Act. Logan Tart ’17 returned to the stage as Tracy Turnblad in the Sampson Community Theatre’s production of Hairspray. Jessica Elaine Aiken ’18 will return to UNCW in fall 2019 to pursue her master’s in psychology. In between degrees, she will travel to Spain to teach English as part of a Fulbright Award. Lexie Alston ’18 joined the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce as manager of member experiences. Rebekah Banks ’18 was among a record 581 nominees for the 28th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Morgan Clark ’18 started the nonprofit, Make a Change, as a freshman at UNCW. The organization has secured donations of more than 125,000 diapers for struggling families. Ashley George ’18 will serve as a UNC Presidential Scholar for the 2018-19 academic year. JC Lyle ’18M, executive director of Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry Inc., was featured in the Wilmington Biz “Insights” article, “Cameron MBA Alumna Keeps Wilmington WARM.” Taylor Maloch ’18 was named account coordinator by Wilmington-based Plan A Advertising. Ashley Martin ’18 was named a clinical instructor in the labor and deliver rotation at Vance-Granville Community College (NC). Haley Norris ’18 is the wellness director at Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall, a retirement community in Wilmington.

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