Monday, June 20, 2016

From Graduate Student to Grant Writer

Upon beginning her graduate program in Liberal Studies (GLS) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the fall of 2012, Tara Goodwin ’15 had no idea how passionate she would become about the language of grant-writing. She certainly did not predict that her internship with the Cape Fear Literacy Council (CFLC) would grow into a future placement as a grant writer within the organization.

Goodwin knew almost immediately after starting her internship that she wanted nonprofit grant writing, specifically for the Cape Fear Literacy Council, to become her profession.

“I have seen how funding directly impacts the experiences of students at CFLC and how students facing struggles with literacy skills can not only change their lives with the help of CFLC but also change our community,” Goodwin said. “To me, that makes my job as a grant writer that much more important.”

Read more about Tara at We Are UNCW.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cameron School of Business 2016 Outstanding Alumni

Strong work ethics, integrity and commitment to lifelong learning are just a few qualities
shared by Charles Craft ’79, David Pirrung ’90 and Maurice Smith ’79, this year’s Cameron 
School of Business Outstanding Alumni.

Charles Craft
Craft is a partner at RSM US LLP (RSM), the largest provider in the nation of audit, tax and financial services with a focus on the middle market. Pirrung is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of IAT Insurance Group, a property and casualty organization headquartered in Raleigh. Smith is the president and CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), a cooperative serving the financial needs of those affiliated with local governments in North Carolina.

Craft, a Wilmington native, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and became a CPA in 1981.  He continued to accrue decades of experience in the industry, including ten years with a large regional firm. Craft ultimately became a founder and stockholder of Lanier, Whaley, Craft & Co. until they joined with RSM US LLP in 2013, where he now serves as a partner and CPA. Along with the leadership he currently provides the Wilmington tax practice, Craft serves on several boards, including the Executive Advisory Board of the Cameron School of Business and the MSA Advisory Committee at UNCW.

Craft credits his success to family, and to surrounding himself with people who challenge him to grow. "Seeing people around me succeed is part of success," he said.

David Pirrung
Like many, Pirrung took a more winding road before he ultimately settled on a school and a major. Originally from Pennsylvania, Pirrung first spent a year on a scholarship at Rochester Institute of Technology as a physics major, and then another year at community college. He arrived in Wilmington in the summer of 1988 to attend summer school, said Pirrung, “in a pick-up truck with a motorcycle strapped to the back.”

Pirrung said it was the magnetism of the faculty that got him really interested in school for the first time. Realizing he wanted to continue his education at UNCW, he worked first in real estate to his establish North Carolina residency, then returned to campus the following spring. He continued to work full-time in real estate while taking a full course load until he graduated with a Bachelor of Science. Not long after graduation he joined Ernst & Young in Raleigh, and was soon promoted to senior manager. He moved to a CFO position at a start-up insurance company, and ultimately landed at IAT Insurance, a global organization with approximately one billion of premiums written annually. Pirrung was named the CFO in 2005.

“Make yourself the expert,” he suggests, particularly to recent graduates transitioning to the business world.

Maurice Smith
Smith’s work ethic began with his family, and advice his father that he took to heart: “Nobody in the room better outwork you.”

Smith grew up on a small farm in Southport. Along with the value of hard work, he knew from an early age that he wanted to go into banking. When it became time to gain his secondary education to help fulfill that goal, he knew that as his parents' only son, he would need to go to college close to home so he could return to work on the farm on weekends. For this reason, UNCW fit the bill.

In 1979 Smith earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, and upon graduation began his career with the State Employees Credit Union. He served in a variety of roles until 1992 when he joined LGFCU as executive vice president. In 1999 he was promoted to president.

His education did not end with UNCW. He earned a Juris Doctorate from the North Carolina Central University School of law and is licensed to practice in North Carolina, the District of Columbia and before the United States Supreme Court. He is also a North Carolina Certified Superior Court Mediator. Smith serves on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees at UNCW.

His sage advice could apply to anyone: “Learn everything.”

-- Kimberly Falkenhagen

These award recipients will be featured in UNCW Magazine's next issue, coming out in July.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Moves, Inspires and Drives You? This Seahawk Sticks to Her Values

Nadya Nataly ’08 co-founded Forever Original, a marketing and PR firm based in New York City, and she pens a monthly lifestyle column entitled City Girl. Now working as a journalist for the Duplin Times in Kenansville, NC, volunteering for diverse causes and planning for law school, Nataly fondly – and with gratitude – recalls her time as a Seahawk.
“During my time at UNCW, I was encouraged to find out what moves, inspires and drives me,” says Nataly, who majored in creative writing. “It’s exciting because being an undergraduate is one of the most pivotal moments in a student’s life; to have support and a foundation that allows curiosity and development [was] a luxury. When it was time to graduate, I felt ready for the world.”

Find out more about Nadya at WE ARE UNCW.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Campus Internship Set the Stage for World Travel with U.S. Army

In this special season of giving thanks we’d like to take a moment to shine the spotlight on a former Ultimate challenger who now travels around the world as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) subject matter expert for emergency preparedness.

Trevor Lancaster ’09 tells a familiar tale. He fell in love with Wilmington, UNCW, and the close proximity to the ocean after his first visit.

“I really felt at home on the UNCW campus,” Trevor remembered.

He made a name for himself as captain of the men’s Ultimate team, the Seamen, and travelled the country. In addition to his practices and tournaments, he chose to double major in Environmental Studies and Geography.

“I really learned the value of time management and prioritization,” Trevor said. “I was really busy, but enjoyed every bit.”

Trevor loved his time on campus, but his internship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is what helped him realized what life could be like after campus. Now, Trevor is a Geographer for the USACE and travels around the world teaching workshops and classes about GIS.

His most recent trip brought him to Belgrade, Serbia. As the GIS subject matter expert, Trevor presented and lead discussions about the value of GIS in Emergency Management.

“This particular event was a Scenario Planning Workshop (for Disaster Preparedness) where I taught the importance of emergency management and good data,” said Trevor.

This was not the first trip like this that Trevor has been on – it’s actually his second to Belgrade. He’s also been to Kabul, Afghanistan; Kazakhstan; and Tbilisi, Georgia twice.

“Each trip is a little different. In the republic of Georgia, I led what is called a Table Top Exercise – essentially simulating a real-time disaster with all the various host-country government agencies using their response framework,” Trevor recounted. “In Kazakhstan, myself and other GIS professionals travelled to two different cities and taught a week-long introductory course on GIS.”

Trevor’s work in Afghanistan was for a six-month civilian deployment, primarily working with GIS and mapping Afghan National Security Facilities.

Throughout his travels around the world, Trevor has never forgotten where he got his start.

“I’m proud of my university and I try to represent the school to the best of my ability in every scenario,” said Trevor.

UNCW Alumni Relations/Christine Schulze '15

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Fresh Start Becomes a New Beginning

Matt Glova ’07 was looking for a fresh start when he came to UNCW but he was really beginning a new chapter of involvement and leadership, as a student and as a future alumnus. Because of Matt, thousands of alumni are able to attend multiple events in the Triangle area.

Michigan-born and raised, Matt didn’t know a soul in North Carolina but he was looking forward to the change of scenery when he moved to Wilmington in 2004. He dove head-first into the UNCW community – in addition to his studies he joined a number of academic clubs and then Kappa Sigma fraternity – where he held multiple leadership positions.

The summer before his senior year, Matt had a “welcome to the neighborhood” party at his new house where he met his future wife, Sarah ‘08.

“I thought she was the prettiest girl there,” Matt said. “We started playing darts on an old dartboard we had hanging up and she hit the bullseye twice in a row – it was unbelievable.”

Matt and Sarah started dating, and when he graduated in May of 2007 and moved to Raleigh they became a long-distance couple. Again, Matt didn’t know a single person where he was moving so the first thing he did was reach out to the UNCW Alumni Association.

“I figured there was a big concentration of alumni in the Triangle and that it would be a good way to meet people," Matt said.

The current Director of the Alumni Association responded to Matt right away. He told Matt that there wasn’t a Triangle Chapter yet but suggested that Matt begin a formal chapter and serve as president.

“I had asked to be involved and I had a good experience in Wilmington, so I said, 'let’s do it.'”

Since becoming actively involved in 2008, Matt has served as Triangle Area Alumni Chapter President for two years, served on the Triangle Steering Committee for nine years, is currently serving on the Alumni Board of Directors, founded the Matthew D. Glova Scholarship, became a E.L. White Society member, and attended 41 university events.

“I like to know that I’m supporting the place that helped me get to where I am today, both professionally and personally," Matt said. "I met my best friends and my wife because of UNCW, so I’m very thankful and passionate about giving back.”

To all alumni, Matt says, “There are so many way to get involved. You don’t have to have huge pockets either – if every alum would donate just $25 per year, it would have a huge impact. And donating doesn’t have to be the only way – get involved with your local chapter and attend events like Homecoming and Family and Alumni Weekend.”

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Solution for Those Who Dread Networking Events

It can be terrifying to walk up to a complete stranger and say “Hi, I don’t think we’ve met before.” Even I, a self-proclaimed extrovert, have to give myself a mental pep talk before walking in the door.

But what if there isn’t a physical room to enter, but a virtual chatroom instead? For many, starting a conversation is so much easier in a virtual setting than a physical one. This was the concept of UNCW’s Virtual Networking Hour that took place Thursday, September 10.

Over the course of the hour, I was paired up with thirteen people. I spent the majority of the hour typing back and forth. There was only one time that I had to wait less than thirty seconds to be paired with someone. I talked to twenty-somethings looking for new jobs, experienced professionals trying to expand their network, and recruiters searching for fresh talent. Even though there were participants from all over the world and from a variety of fields, I found something in common with every person I talked to.  And, a takeaway I’ve learned from other networking events I’ve been to, I followed up with all of them on LinkedIn after the event was over.

UNCW’s Virtual Networking Hour allowed me to collect some great advice from successful UNCW alumni without the stress associated with in-person networking events. There were no nerves, no thin layer of sweat on your skin and there were no hard feelings if you entered into a chat and decided to leave. I had a great experience and I look forward to future virtual events for alumni!

UNCW Alumni Relations/Christine Schulze '15

Friday, May 1, 2015

Introducing UNCW dubrai$er: Jasmine Hagwood ’16

In just two short years, UNCW rising senior Jasmine Hagwood has raised more than $25,000 for UNCW departments, events and programs – an accomplishment that few other college students can claim. Hagwood would have not been able to do such remarkable work had she not found her way into UNCW’s dubrai$ers program.

Working as a dubrai$er for UNCW’s Division for University Advancement, Hagwood contacts alumni and parents of current students to share information about special UNCW news and events. During these conversations, she also updates alumni contact information and, most importantly, promotes participation in the university’s fundraising efforts.

Hagwood said her favorite part about being a dubrai$er is speaking with many different alumni. She enjoys hearing about how UNCW has changed over the years.

“You definitely hear some interesting stories,” she said.

A Mount Airy, N.C. native, and an elementary education major, Hagwood loves watching and participating in local community theatre. In a recent production, she portrayed Miss Hannigan in “Annie: The Musical.”

After graduating in May 2015, Hagwood hopes to begin teaching at an elementary school. She already knows that the skills she’s learned as dubrai$er will help her succeed as a teacher.

“I’m able to communicate with many types of people,” she said, “and the job has helped me learn to stay on my toes.”

Gifts generated by the dubrai$ers provide funding for equipment and services across campus, including supplies for student research projects; resources for student travel; textbooks for students in financial need; and scholarships for high-performing students.

Fulfill your gift before May 9 help the dubrai$ers make a difference at UNCW. Visit or call 910.962.7613.

UNCW/Davis McKinney '15