College of Arts & Sciences

Applied Learning in the College of Arts & Sciences

Applied learning is a hallmark of the student experience in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each of the College's departments requires an applied learning experience as a part of the curriculum for its undergraduate majors. Examples include faculty-directed research, internships, service learning, and capstone courses and projects, all of which challenge students to integrate various strands of knowledge and to apply that knowledge to broader, real-world or real disciplinary situations. Through applied learning, students in the college gain direct hands-on experience with the skills of their major fields as an essential part of their preparation for life and career.

Applied Learning in the Department of Biology & Marine Biology

Applied Learning is an important curriculum component in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Several Biology students have completed research projects with the faculty and while many have ongoing projects.

Dr. Amanda Southwood has an on-going herpetological survey that several students have participated in since Spring 2009. Students are involved in documentation of the diversity of reptiles and amphibians at sites on campus while they gain experience handling and marking/identification of species. Students have expanded the survey through the purchase of turtle traps. Through this project 67 turtles have been captured and marked for identification in the Recreational Center Pond and the Bluthenthal Wildflower Preserve.

Biology Graduate student, Zachary Siders completed an Honors project, "Biological and temporal variation in egg energy content in the American lobster (Homarus americanus)." Siders presented at several undergraduate conferences and was selected by CSURF to present at the Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Symposium at Hofstra University. He was awarded a CSURF Paul E Hosier Undergraduate Research Fellowship for his Honors project.

Undergraduate Biology major, Maria White (group leader) and other UNCW undergraduates completed an honors research project focused on assessing the use of an animal virus, equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) as a possible oncolytic agent for human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The most frequent occurring brain tumor in humans is the GBM. It is highly resistant to current therapies and new treatments are needed. White's results showed EHV-1 was successful at killing the brain tumor cells, however different glioma lines showed variability in infection and killing.

Applied Learning in the Department of Communication Studies

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Ctr

In the Advertising course of the Department of Communication Studies, students gain insight
into the complex world of advertising as well as practical experience of an advertising agency
and advertising campaign. The course incorporates simulations of real life experience for a fullservice advertising agency to promote a product or service for off-campus clients.

As a full-service agency, students assume an agency role such as an account executive, researcher, media planner, creative artist for electronic and print media, and creative writer. They work closely with the client throughout the process. Students conduct field research in order to get the feel of the client's business environment, to learn about the client's advertising needs and wants, to take pictures and videotape scenes for the advertising campaign, and to gather as much information as needed. Subsequently, students determine the communication objectives and advertising message, profile the consumer segment, develop a creative strategy, set media objectives and strategies, and take into consideration all the relevant steps that they deem necessary for the project. Next, students focus on creating various forms for the print media and electronic media using a number of computer applications as well as running the advertising campaign. Finally, students put together all the material related to the project including the results of the survey research for the campaign and presenting it in the class. A copy is also given to the client. Among our clients that students recently worked with were The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Topsail, Island (ad pictured above) and Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program Wilmington (ad pictured below).

Coastal Therapeutic Riding

Applied Learning in the Department of Public & International Affairs

Eddie Rubio TAnIndia

(Pictures Above)The Department of Public & International Affairs has organized several study abroad trips for students. Take a peek at the opportunities available through Public & International Affairs. Click here for more information.

Applied Learning in the Department of Sociology & Criminology


Pictured above is Kim Lancaster (Public Sociology alumni and MA student in the Criminology and Public Sociology Program), Coordinator of the WHA-UNCW Community Campus at Hillcrest. The Public Sociology program was instrumental in creating the Community Campus, with over 20 programs for WHA residents. Interns from the Public Sociology program devote two semesters and over 300 hours per student, to working with residents in public housing.

Photographed here is the newly created 10-week Community Garden/Cooking/Nutrition Education Series for the children at the Hillcrest Community Center. Award winning Chef, Keith Rhodes from Wilmington's CATCH restaurant, Nutritionist Jane Steigerwald and Susan Holman, meet with children weekly to cook and learn about healthy foods using products from the Hillcrest Community Garden. Public Sociology students Lacey Hancock and Liz Dodson serve as interns on the program collecting data health and food security. Margaret Shelton from Shelton Herb Farm and Evan Fold from Progressive Garden teach kids about sustainable gardening. The Program is co-sponsored by the Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program (