Friday, February 10, 2017

Twenty-seven Years and Counting


Decorative solar dancing animals are the first thing people notice when they walk into the office of Beth Roberts '80, '05M in the Division for University Advancement. She uses them as ice-breakers for conversations she has when people drop by her office.

“I keep them in the window, they do their little dance and they get dusted a couple of times a year,” she said. “Besides, I’m not good with plants.”

The solar animals will remain a fixture in her office for a while, she said. Roberts ’80, ’05M has no plans to retire after 26 years at UNCW.

“It has been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot,” Roberts said. “I don’t know of any other place where I would have had such a well-rounded life. There are so many opportunities to participate in the community and be a lifelong learner.”

Roberts has worked with various departments and divisions across campus. She began her career in the biology department as an administrative secretary in 1991. Over time, her career shifted to focus on numbers.

Read more at We Are UNCW.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Congratulations 2017 Alumni Award Winners


Darion Jeralds ’10, ’14M; Chad Porter ’98; and Chip Mahan have demonstrated personal commitment to community engagement while achieving outstanding professional success. In recognition of their accomplishments, the UNCW Alumni Association presented them with awards on Feb. 3, 2017. Jeralds was named Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year; Porter, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year; and Mahan, Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

For Darion Jeralds, the senior sourcing manager for Global Nuclear Fuel, his UNCW experience prepared him for a smooth transition into the corporate world. His career path started with a class in business operations. After the final project, his professor invited Jeralds to interview for an internship with GE. The internship led to an entry-level opportunity. Jerald’s time on the men’s basketball team helped him develop the character, work ethic and determination to thrive during early career roles, he said.

Chad Porter, a motivational speaker and trainer who works with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies across the nation, also donates countless hours as a mentor to students of all ages. Porter earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from UNCW and a graduate degree in physical therapy from East Carolina University. His professional experience includes roles in real estate, at the Coastal Rehabilitation Hospital and as the founder of Porter Financial Group. Today, Porter is a member of the Zig Ziglar International Team, an elite group of highly skilled and knowledgeable corporate trainers.

For more than a decade, Chip Mahan has supported UNCW through service and giving. He has served as a member of the UNCW Board of Visitors, the Foundation Endowment Board and the Cameron School of Business Advisory Board. Mahan, founder, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Live Oak Bank, is also a founding member of nCino and serves on its board of directors. Prior to his work with Live Oak Bank, he served as CEO and chairman of the board for S1 Corporation and founder of Security First Network Bank, the world’s first internet bank.

Read more about these award recipients at We Are UNCW.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pursuit of Professional Passions


Matthew Kane '16 did more than “talk the talk” as a young entrepreneur; he “walked the walk” by running his own business – a fitness center – before he graduated from UNCW’s Entrepreneurship and Business Development program in May 2016. His drive left an indelible mark at UNCW, where he was honored as the 2016 Outstanding Graduate in Entrepreneurship and Business Development.

This success came after a lauded career in the military. From 2008 to 2012, Kane served as a Scout Sniper Team Leader in the United States Marine Corps with tours in Afghanistan, Haiti, Oman, Kuwait and Djibouti. He garnered a number of recognitions, including a Combat Action Ribbon, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

Kane currently works as a requirements analyst for Deloitte Consulting LLP in Arlington, VA. The job allows him to combine two of his passions – problem solving and public-facing service – while also learning more about how businesses and agencies operate.

“My favorite part of my job is the ability to support multiple federal agencies as they work toward accomplishing their missions,” he said. “I also enjoy the fast pace and small-team aspects of consulting.”

UNCW will always be special to him because both he and his wife, Austin Kane ’09, are alumni. He is still in touch with Professor Stephen Harper, whom he credits for helping him see what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur and motivating him to work as hard as possible to capture the opportunities in front of him.

Read more at We Are UNCW.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Making a Career of Counseling


His family had some reservations about him studying psychology. “They saw it as a fringe career path – one that was reserved ‘for others,’” James Zanker '01 said.

He worked and paid for all of his schooling without having to take out any student loans. In addition to earning a bachelor’s in psychology from UNCW, he received a Master of Arts Service Agency Counseling Degree from UNC Pembroke and is now the proud owner of Zanker Counseling Services, located in downtown Wilmington, NC.


“I had known for my entire cognizant life that I was talented at subjects related to human services and psychology,” he said. “I chose UNCW because of its fine reputation, the fact that is was part of the reputable UNC system and because of UNCW’s excellent psychology department.”

While at UNCW, he was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Psi Chi Psychology National Honor Society. He also served as a Student Ambassador and was a member of the UNCW Crew Team.

A licensed professional counselor, nationally certified counselor and licensed clinical addiction specialist, Zanker loves what he is able to give others through mental health counseling, life coaching or music arts therapy through a related business, Zanker Music Arts Therapy.

“They are all a continual thrill for me and I am working on improving and increasing the level of services that I can provide within each format,” he says.


Read more at We Are UNCW.

Monday, December 5, 2016

UNCW Provided the Perfect Path


As a Pender County native, Stephania Bloodworth ’00 didn’t have to travel far for her college education – there was a place within commuting distance that fit her needs exactly.

“As I look back to my senior year in high school, really not knowing where I wanted to go to college, I think I had a fear of leaving home,” Bloodworth said. Nevertheless, she was determined to pursue a degree in accountancy, a field she was first introduced to in high school.


“The first and only college I applied to was UNCW, and it was the best choice that I have made,” she said. She attended classes in the Cameron School of Business as a commuter but also immersed herself in campus activities: the gospel choir, the Association for Campus Entertainment and more. “UNCW was small enough to feel like one big family, but also big enough to feel like you could meet people from various places.”

Read more at We Are UNCW.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Building UNCW's Culture of Philanthropy


Keith Fraser ’13, assistant director of annual giving, has the privilege of helping build a culture of philanthropy among the UNCW community.

“As a proud alumnus, I understand the importance of investing in UNCW,” he said. “Our investment in one another sends an important message to the Wilmington community, alumni and the state that we are accomplishing great things here.”

Prior to his current role, he served as a first-year admissions coordinator. While traveling and meeting prospective students and parents, he learned firsthand the importance of educational access and affordability for all students, regardless of their background or financial situation, which provides a rich context for his role in the Division for University Advancement.

“UNCW had a record-breaking year in fundraising. Nearly $15 million in gifts and commitments were made during 2015-16. Of those gifts made, 50 percent were less than $50. This is an incredible reminder that no gift is too small to make a big impact for our current and future students.”

Read more at We Are UNCW.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Adaptable Anchor in UNCW's Growth



In a way, some stately old trees found on the UNCW campus are a metaphor for Wesley Padgett’s outlook on life.

“Having grown up here, I have had the opportunity to watch the university change in so many ways, but one of the constants that has always provided me peace were the majestic live oaks that adorn this campus,” said Padgett ’04, a Wilmington native and networking specialist in the Information Technology Services department.


“Through time, trends, fashions and movements, those oaks have always reminded me to remain anchored but also be adaptive. They are truly a treasure to this campus and a constant reminder to me to try to be the best that I can be without being the focal point of attention.”

As an ITS employee whose job is to keep the university’s voice and cable infrastructures working, Padgett considers himself part of the “backdrop” of UNCW. On the other hand, his work allows him to connect with many people daily in all departments and functions.

Read more at We Are UNCW.