Thursday, September 29, 2016

Wilmington College Reflections

Almost 50 years later, Shirley Zeznock recounts the story of the impact Wilmington had on her and husband Eugene ‘67. 

“In 1965, my husband Eugene and I moved our young family to Wilmington, North Carolina and settled on Harbor Island. Eugene planned to finish a bachelor degree in Accounting that he had starting working on years before at what was then known as Wilmington College, now UNC Wilmington. The original college buildings sat across from New Hanover High School on Market Street. At the time, Wilmington College only offered associate degrees and a large percentage of the student body was comprised of enlisted service men returning from the Korean War.

Our return to Wilmington was very exciting. We had previously lived in Wilmington in 1956 to 1957 and at that time I was a new Registered Nurse working the night shift at James Walker Hospital on Rankin Street.

During our second two years living back in Wilmington, 1965 to 1966, I had the best job ever at Babies Hospital. This children’s hospital originally opened in 1920 and was located on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway just before the first bridge to Wrightsville Beach. I had returned to Wilmington as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and was the sole anesthetist in the hospital. I previously had worked in a large and busy operating room so this new job felt almost like a vacation.

I lived five minutes from Babies Hospital. The daily schedule usually was finished by late morning and even though I was on standby six days a week for emergencies, I had lots of time to… take a few college courses. All the new-found free time gave me the opportunity to work with the Wilmington College Marine Biology department which was right next door to Babies Hospital. They were doing a wide range of studies that I found very interesting and they even had an adopted seal named Lucille on site.

We left after the Wilmington College graduation ceremony in 1967 for improved job opportunities near Philadelphia but throughout the years our connection to the area remained strong… and after our retirement in 1995, we permanently moved back to Wilmington. We still remember and cherish all the opportunities made possible for us here."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Advocate for Equitable Education

As a young man growing up in rural North Carolina, Sherick Hughes ’97 experienced inequities and opportunities at the intersection of race, class, gender, education and desegregated schools. He later witnessed those same inequities and opportunities while working with urban and rural public elementary school youth in North Carolina and Ohio.

His experiences sparked a desire to advocate and seek solutions that would provide equitable educational opportunities to all.

Over the years, Hughes’ work has aided in the advancement of education. His research was applied to a N.C. Supreme Court case involving schools; to rural extension education efforts in Pennsylvania; urban education policy efforts in Indiana; and, most recently, his research on the myth and math of affirmative action was requested by national- and local-level legal advisors. “It has the potential to be used in pending cases regarding race-conscious college admissions,” he said.

Read more about Sherick at We Are UNCW.