Excellence Project Coordinator




Brandon Bell, Excellence Project Coordinator

Brandon Bell is a two time alum of UNC Wilmington (2011, 2014) with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration. Serving as the Excellence Project Coordinator, Brandon oversees the academic excellence campaign of the Upperman African American Cultural Center with a cohort of 60 students. He supervises a staff of eleven peer mentors and implements the academic and leadership development programs for the students. Brandon’s professional strengths lie in academic advising and mentoring, program development, crisis management and intervention, identity development, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Current Peer Mentors



Isaiah Surles, Peer Mentor

A current sophomore at UNCW majoring in International Business and German, Isaiah Surles has showed exemplary leadership skills by functioning as the Program Coordinator for One In Four, Vice-President of the Caribbean Students Association and Vice-President of the UNCW High Seas. Isaiah is currently scheduled to graduate in 2016 and plans to attend the Cameron School of Business. Academic excellence as well as life-long relationships is the key to the success of UNCW’s students and Isaiah Surles is dedicated to ensuring the best for his fellow peers.



Corinthian Abella, Peer Mentor

I was born in the Philippines, but I spent most of my childhood here in the United States. I was raised to celebrate the Filipino culture, which is why I can speak two Filipino dialects and learned English as a third language. Coming from a diverse background, I strive to give a voice to the minority population at UNCW by being active in student organizations that empower all the minority groups. Aside from being involved, I am also a dedicated student in UNCW’s School of Nursing. I plan to work as a traveling nurse for a few years before applying to graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Health. My dream job is to work for the CDC. My other passions in life include traveling, biking, shopping, and spending time with my family and friends.

taylorTaylor Abrams, Peer Mentor

Hometown: Charlotte NC

Academic year: Junior, Film Studies and Creative Writing Major

Extracurricular activities: Vice President of the Black Student Union, a CARE my stand mentor, active volunteer at D.C. Virgo, Mentor for Outside the Walls

I’ve always loved movies ever since I was a child. Although a lot of things have changed, I still decided to follow my childhood dream of working in the movies. I remember the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a film major; it was right after I came out of the movie Princess and the Frog with my dad. I want to use my majors to help me land a job in screen-writing or cinematography. My hobbies include sketching, painting, and guitar playing.

Ne'DraNe’Dra Bell, Peer Mentor

Hi my name is Ne’Dra Bell, and I’m a senior at UNCW. I’m from Louisburg, NC and I’m majoring in Clinical Research and minoring in Psychology. My ultimate career goal is to become a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine that travels and cares in areas with less medical resources.  I’m a CNA (certified nursing assistant), in which I greatly enjoy caring for the elderly.  I love to cook, shop, watch movies, and go to the beach. Some of my favorite TV shows are Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. My favorite sports to watch are cheerleading and basketball. While being a student here at UNCW I have learned a lot about myself and others. I hope that I’m making an impact on others as they have done for me. I chose to come to this institution because of its outstanding academics, graduation rate, and of course the beach



Kevin Smith, Peer Mentor

Hey how are you? Im Kevin Smith and a junior from High Point, North Carolina. I am a double major, Psychology and Film Studies. My love for psychology comes from my mother who is a psychiatrist herself. I also gained a love for film in middle and high school at the art school i attended. I choose to come to UNCW for the diversity and the exceptional film program. In my free time I enjoy photography and making videos with my friends. I am a very outgoing person and willing to help people anyway I can.


Connor Smith, Peer Mentor

Hello, my name is Connor Smith and I’m a junior from Warsaw, NC. I am an English major with a double minor in Africana and Native American studies. My love for literature and cultural studies has inspired me to become a cultural critic/journalist who may perhaps dabble in the entertainment industry.

On UNCW’s campus, I serve as co-president of the Black Student Union, a member of the Chancellor’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee as well as a member of UNCW’s “Voices of Praise” Gospel Choir. Outside of my studies and involvement on campus, I am a spoken word poet, blogger, avid comic book reader, and slight reality television junkie. I am looking forward to serving as a peer mentor for the Upperman Center this semester!




Ashley Hinds, Peer Mentor

Hi my name is Ashley Hinds, I am 19 years old and I am a sophomore here at UNCW. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Charlotte, North Carolina a few years ago. I am a pre-med International Studies major with a minor in French. I aspire to be a Pediatric Endocrinologist and practice medicine abroad in third world countries. On campus I work as an Event Staff with Campus Life and I am also apart of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I love to dance, listen to music, travel, watch Netflix and basketball, reading, and the beach! I enjoy meeting new people so if you see me feel free to say hello!



Temira Rountree, Peer Mentor

Hello! I’m Temira Rountree. This is my third year here at UNCW. I’m a Social Work major with a minor in psychology. With my degree I plan to advocate and case management for military veterans. I’m currently in the Reserves with the U.S. Navy. I’ve been working for the navy for three years now. On campus I’ve worked with Residence Hall Association. I met a lot of new fun people and went to a lot of cool programs. I’ve also worked with Collaboration for Assault Response Education (CARE). I LOVE to eat so I’m in the kitchen a lot. I like to have fun with friends. I like to laugh and joke around. Overall, I’m just a pretty chill person.

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