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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Good Mojo and Great Friends

Seahawks came to the Quintile Wrightsville Beach marathon
in support of Sam Shelby.
The word “cancer” isn’t a good one. For most of us, it means a disease that kills a lot of people. But when the doctor looks at you and says “cancer,” the word takes on a new meaning.

This is what Sam Shelby ‘93 experienced on December 1st, 2014. He had a bad feeling about this appointment – his doctor and friend had called him two days earlier than scheduled. Here was a healthy, active, slim, non-smoker with stage four cancer in his lung? But being a man of action, Shelby only paused a few moments before asking “what’s next?”

Since then, Shelby has not only kept an upbeat and hopeful mindset himself, but inspired positivity in others as well.

“Bummin’ around isn’t gonna do me or anyone else any good. I want to convey confidence, but also a bit of goofiness and levity,” Shelby said. He is using his blog, Mojo Warriors, to keep his friends and family updated about his fight against cancer, but also to keep them cheerful.

“I didn’t have the energy to write or call everyone in my world,” Shelby said. “It made sense to use [the Mojo Warriors blog] and social media to brief everyone.”

Cancer can negatively influence the way one perceives the day-to-day. However, that isn’t the case for Shelby. He has continued to be as hopeful and as charismatic as usual. In fact, based on the content of the Mojo Warriors blog, you might say the Shelby has become more positive.

Alumnus (and Shelby's old suitmate) Rick Civelli '94 with his WB Surf Camp in Costa Rica.
Mojo Warriors is a hybrid of posts from Shelby about his treatment with funny videos and pictures. His posts range from news about his chemo appointment, to Seinfeld references and stories about ice cream. Regardless of the content of the posts, they are always entertaining to read.

“My entire career has been in digital media, so I’m familiar with online publishing and have done some writing in the past,” Shelby shared.

His professionalism shines through. Many of the posts from the “Update from Sam” section of the Mojo Warriors blog have dozens of messages of support, encouragement, and praise. The comments mention how much enjoyment readers get out of his posts – not just the ones sharing good news, but the ones that simply brighten readers’ days with funny stories or memories.

Even the name of the blog is optimistic: “Mojo” to represent all the good vibes and love coming Shelby’s way, and “Warriors” to represent the battle Shelby and his support group are fighting. The Mojo Warriors even have a sign: three fingers up, three fingers down to make “MW.”

Former UNCW point guard Drew Phillips '94 and his son's hoops squad showing their love for "MW."
And the good mojo just keeps flowing. Shelby is surrounded by people who are rooting for him. He has a support system in Wilmington and Chapel Hill, and it’s only growing. Friends from UNCW have been large supporters of Shelby.

“I am only a small part of the support that Sam has received,” said Adam Keen, a friend of Shelby’s for five years. “From the locals of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, to individuals across the US, Sam has been encouraged by many and has inspired many more.”

Just a few weeks ago at the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon, the Mojo Warriors gathered in support of Shelby. That’s in addition to the calls, text, cards, gifts, and donations that Seahawks have sent.

“I can’t thank them enough and I’m super grateful to have such caring and supportive people on my side. They are true friends of 25 years now, and will be for another 25 plus.”

UNCW Alumni Relations/Christine Schulze '15

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Introducing UNCW dubrai$er: Chris Shaw ’16

UNCW junior Chris Shaw is perfect proof that the dubrai$ers program can prove useful across a variety of areas. Double-majoring in English and creative writing, Shaw is applying his call center experiences to his life as an aspiring writer.

“Not every person I call is able to say yes, so this job has taught me how to persevere,” he said. “This has helped a lot in my writing.”

His favorite thing about working as a dubrai$er is making connections with the numerous alumni and parents of students he calls every week. On these calls, Shaw encourages them to participate in UNCW’s various fundraising programs. During his time as a dubrai$er, Shaw has secured more than $14,500 in gifts.

Shaw, 21, is a transfer student who was drawn to UNCW because of its successful creative writing department and great location. He joined the dubrai$ers program because he wanted a campus job, but stayed because the position “really helps the university, which makes it more meaningful than other jobs.”

When he’s not in class or at the call center, Shaw enjoys reading, working on his various writing projects and playing basketball. In the future, he plans to attend graduate school in creative writing; his long-term goal is to become an author.

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 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Working at Your Dream Job? This Alumna Is.

“I volunteered at an orphanage, spent time with the locals and talked to NGOs (non-governmental organizations),” Natasha Davis '12M recalled about her time in southeast Asia. “That’s when I realized that there was a great need for people with business knowledge in the nonprofit world. I decided that if I was going to work 60 to 80 hours a week, then I wanted to make the world a better place.”

“As soon as I could come back to Wilmington, I did. This place is home to me. UNCW is home to me,” she said. In 2012, Davis earned Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a concentration in nonprofit management from UNCW. Now she's the director of UNCW’s Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations (QENO).

Find out more at WE ARE UNCW.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Introducing UNCW dubrai$er: Jason Walsh ’15

UNCW senior Jason Walsh has lived his college life to the fullest, engaging in a variety of extracurricular activities from club ice hockey to studying abroad in both Morocco and South Africa. But Walsh has participated in one activity that stands out from the others: the dubrai$ers program.

The “dubrai$ers” are a team of UNCW students who call alumni and parents of students to inform them of recent UNCW news and events and, most importantly, encourage them to participate in the university’s fundraising efforts. During his time on the dubrai$ers team, Walsh has personally raised more than $7,000 in gifts to the university, a very impressive number, as the average gift ranges from $25 to $50.

Walsh, who is double-majoring in environmental science and economics, plans to attend graduate school after graduation in May 2015. Later, he hopes to pursue a career in environmental evaluation for large businesses and companies. He feels that his time on the dubrai$ers team will serve him well in the professional world.

“This job has made me more confident with speaking to people in the science field,” he said. “I think that experience in fundraising will prove useful while asking for money for scientific projects.”

Walsh is very proud to be a dubrai$er, but also to be a student at UNCW, saying that this university provides him with a “hands-on learning experience” that he feels he couldn’t get elsewhere.

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.

Want to help the dubrai$ers make a difference at UNCW? Consider contributing to a scholarship or program that is meaningful to you. For more information, visit the Office of Annual Giving or call (910) 962-7613.

UNCW/Davis McKinney ’15

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Coming Home to UNCW

Homecoming earns its name because alumni want to come back to UNCW - their home. I have a few months left at UNCW before I’m an alumna myself but I still went to the alumni events during Homecoming.

I work in the University Advancement Office as the Digital Marketing Intern. With every event that I attended, I was playing the role of both student and staff. I was at the International Festival on Saturday as part of my women’s a cappella group the Seabelles (that's me, all the way on the left), but I was also there to take pictures for Alumni Relations.

This was my first Homecoming experience. I didn’t know what to expect but I quickly realized why so much work is put into Homecoming – it’s a ton of fun! Technically I was working, but it didn’t feel like it. When we were under the TEALgate tent immersed in music from the UNCW Pep Band and a crowd of smiling faces, I knew I was coming back next year as an alumna. There was no way I was going to miss the good food and drink, the awesome light show, cornhole, bounce houses, catching up with other alumni – well, you get the picture. As a soon-to-be-graduating senior, it’s comforting to know I’ll be coming home in a year to see old bosses, professors, and friends at reunion events and the TEALgate.

UNCW Advancement/Christine Schulze '15

Friday, February 20, 2015

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients Honored at Homecoming

Left to right: Lt. Col. Robert Rideout Jr. ’95, Josh Vach ’87 and Ryan Crecelius ’06 

Lt. Col. Robert Rideout Jr. ’95, Ryan Crecelius ’06 and Josh Vach ’87 may have different backgrounds, but they share a common bond – a love for the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the distinction of being named distinguished alumni.

The three award recipients were honored during UNCW Homecoming held Feb. 13-14. Rideout, the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year; Crecelius, the Young Alumnus of the Year; and Vach, the Citizen of the Year, were nominated for these awards by fellow alumni and peers due to their achievements and contributions to their communities. Find out more about the recipients in WE ARE UNCW.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Introducing UNCW dubrai$er: Olivia Sadler ’15

When UNCW senior Olivia Sadler submitted an application to the dubrai$ers program in her sophomore year, she did not anticipate the experiences she’d create, or the benefits she would generate for her university.

As a dubrai$er, Sadler, 21, a Charlotte native and a communication studies major, calls numerous alumni and parents of students every week to share information about UNCW events and news. During these conversations, she updates alumni contact information and, most importantly, encourages everyone to participate in the university’s fundraising programs.

“Sometimes people can really open up to you when you’re on a call,” said Sadler, “but my favorite part about being a dubrai$er is speaking with alumni who are very passionate about UNCW. They are eager to give to and to help their university.”

Sadler shares this same passion about UNCW, especially for the faculty in the Department of Communications Studies.

“They really incorporate real-world applications into the education, and the faculty projects help set students up in the world,” she said.

When she is not working, Sadler enjoys attending concerts and plays. Sadler recently decided to take this hobby to the next level by getting an internship in event planning at the new Cape Fear Theatre located in downtown Wilmington. After graduating in May 2015, she hopes to continue with a career in event planning or enroll in graduate school.

According to Sadler, her time as a dubrai$er will serve her well in both graduate school and event planning.

In her three-year tenure as a dubrai$er, Sadler has raised more than $16,000, helping many UNCW departments and programs. These gifts were given in an average of $25-$50 amounts. Although the individual gift amounts are not large, their combined impact is meaningful. Gifts generated by the dubrai$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.

Want to help the dubrai$ers make a difference at UNCW? Consider contributing to a scholarship or program that is meaningful to you. For more information, visit the Office of Annual Giving or call (910) 962-7613.

UNCW/Davis McKinney ’15