Friday, September 21, 2012

Alumna Makes a Career out of a Passion

Alumna Mary Thomas ‘90 began playing golf at just 12 years old. She grew up in Southern Maryland, where changing seasons allowed her the opportunity to pursue many different sports. Her father taught her the game right out of their backyard. “He was an aerospace engineer, and tried to figure out the crazy game of golf. Now that’s what I do! Ironic,” she said.

Also ironic, Mary chose UNCW, not for its golf program, but for its widely renowned Marine Science department. Drawn to the academic reputation, small class sizes, and beautiful campus, Thomas made the decision to attend UNCW. The golf program was merely a bonus. “I wanted to try to play [golf] at school if possible, but a larger school would not have offered me the opportunity,” she said.

Mary walked on to the golf team, and earned a partial scholarship after her freshman season. Her golf skills grew, as did her passion for the game. “I pursued my education and grew as a golfer along the way.” Throughout her UNCW golf career, Thomas remained committed to her academics. “It was a challenge, especially as a golfer when missing multiple classes for tournaments. But academics came first,” she said.

Members of the 1990 UNCW golf team reunite.
Left to Right: Christina Jazkowlski-Geiger '91, Mary Thomas '90,
Paige Cribb '90, Laura Covington '91
Mary’s UNCW golf coach encouraged her to pursue her golf career. “I played professionally for almost two years. I found I improved, but it was not the way I would earn my living. I enjoyed being around the game and the people I met. My goal changed; I wanted to see where the game would lead me next,” she said.

Now the Head Golf Professional at the Greensboro Country Club, Mary is bringing the game of golf to new players. “There are incredible rewards. Wonderful relationships develop with your customers, you help someone learn to play the game or play better and enjoy it more. You create recreation in a world that needs it.”

In her spare time Mary also serves as a member of the UNCW Triad Area Alumni Chapter Steering Committee. “I have always been a proud Seahawk and enjoy meeting other alumni. The school gave me a great opportunity and I want to pay it back. I have enjoyed learning firsthand what is happening at UNCW during our meetings,” she said.

Mary is excited to network with other area alumni at the upcoming Triad Chapter Fall Reception, where Chancellor Miller will speak on the state of the university. “I look forward to being with other alumni friends and making new ones. The common background of UNCW is a great intro into making new friends and networking in general,” she said.

UNCW Alumni Relations/Shannon Rodenheiser '11

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Announcing New Alumni Chapter Leaders

The Alumni Association has nine alumni chapters and groups which are represented by dedicated volunteers. Chapters which are led by Steering Committees have an executive leadership that serves two-year terms. The association is excited to welcome Brad Barbour '02, '03M; Jensen Caudle '05; Jenna Curry '08 and Virginia Teachey '09 as our 2012-2013 chapter leaders.

Brad Barbour '02, '03M at a past
Triangle Alumni Spring Mixer
Brad Barbour '02, '03M is the owner of TRC Staffing Services in Raleigh. An example of his professional networking expertise was shared on the alumni blog in July. After working in public accounting as an auditor for five years, Brad realized what he really enjoyed was recruiting, networking events, business development and the time he spent with CSB during on-campus recruiting activities.  Brad has been on the Triangle Steering Committee since its inception in 2008.

Jensen Caudle '05 is a graduate of the Cameron School of Business.  He is currently the Assistant Vice President and  Commercial Banker at North Carolina Bank and Trust in Charlotte and volunteers on the Town of Harrisburg Parks & Recreation Advisory Board.  He has served on the Charlotte Steering Committee since it’s inception in 2010. Find out more about Jensen from a past blog post.

Jenna Curry '08
Jenna Curry '08 received her  degree in Communication Studies and has remained in Wilmington. She is a partner at Little Wing Marketing, an Internet Marketing firm. In 2009, Jenna founded Port City Young Professionals, a networking group for professionals in their 20s and 30s. She has been a mentor to Communication Studies students in the Project Protege program, supervised interns and been a guest speaker for the Communication Studies Alumni Panel and Capstone classes.

Virginia Teachey '09 has been associated with UNCW since 1987 where she volunteered, attended numerous trainings, workshops, and conferences. She has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, and mentor. Virginia also serves as a member of the NHC Library Board and as Vice President of the Master Gardener Association while mentoring groups of aspiring Master Gardeners and teaching 4-H students.