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About Watson

Race, Equity and Inclusion

We are committed to recruiting educators of color, building a more diverse education profession, sharing unique narratives and creating new opportunities so we can create positive learning experiences for our students and meaningful impact in the communities we serve.

students in randall library learn how to use a 3-d printer.

Curriculum and Programming

We strive to imagine, design and transform learning experiences – in our partnerships, communities and our own hallways – through innovative and inclusive approaches to education that reach every student in every classroom.

students learning in a classroom with computers.

Community Engagement

The quality and strength of the partnerships we maintain with schools and school districts, universities, community colleges, businesses and community organizations significantly enhance our academic programs and our impact in the region, and are a central area of focus for the College.

White blossoming tree on campus

Access and Enrollment

We’re proud of the opportunities we offer both perspective and veteran educators, and committed to creating equitable points of entry and more inclusive access to our exceptional programs and educational experiences.

student working on a mac computer.

Leadership for Innovation and Change

We believe innovative, inclusive leadership inspires personal growth and enhanced teaching and learning, and we’re committed to preparing professionals to assume leadership roles in virtually any setting where teaching and learning occurs.


Positive and Supportive Environments

Our commitment to student engagement and student success starts within our “walls.” We want every space that Watson College influences to help learners and participants feel supported, heard and inspired.

Group talking at table at event

Commitment to Diversity

Research that shows that diverse communities of teachers are essential for the success of diverse communities of learners, and that diversity in the workplace helps to enhance productivity, creativity, innovation and the bottom line. At Watson, several initiatives are underway to build greater diversity in our educator preparation programs and the profession across North Carolina.

Meet Our Team

Van Dempsey joined UNCW as Dean of the Watson College of Education in 2015. As Dean, he oversees Watson's 54 academic programs and the College's 17 engagement centers and partnership initiatives whose work extends across eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Dempsey is also actively engaged in education at the state level. He is currently chair of the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC), an advising body to the North Carolina State Board of Education. He is a member of the Executive Committee for Governor Roy Cooper's DRIVE Task Force, formed in 2019 to achieve greater equity and inclusion in the education field. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Prior to UNCW, Dr. Dempsey was at West Virginia University and Fairmont State University. At WVU, he served eight years as Director of the Benedum Collaborative, a nationally recognized school-university partnership and Five-Year Teacher Education Program. At Fairmont State, he was Dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance for seven years, and later served as Interim Vice President for Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness.

Dr. Dempsey was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Professional Development Schools. He served on the Executive Committee of the National Network for Education Renewal. He also served on the WV Commission for Professional Teaching Standards for seven years, serving as chair for three years.

His many recognitions include the National Academy of Sciences “Frontiers of Research on Children, Youth and Families” National Research Award; the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Education Alumni Association; and the 2013 Outstanding Contributions Award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.

Dr. Dempsey holds a B.A. and M.A.T. from the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Foundations, also from UNC Chapel Hill. He is a former high school Social Studies teacher, football coach, and debate coach.

Faculty and staff representing Watson’s two offices, three departments and many centers and engagement initiatives serve alongside the Dean on a team that provides leadership and direction for the work of the College.

  • Dr. Brian Brinkley, Director, Betty Stike Education Lab
  • Ms. Joy Childs, Business Officer
  • Dr. Heddy Clark, Director, STEM Learning Cooperative and Interim Director, CESTEM
  • Dr. Van Dempsey, Dean
  • Dr. Jeff Ertzberger, Director of Technology
  • Dr. Heidi Higgins, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education
  • Dr. Angela Housand, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Program Support, and Student Success
  • Ms. Somer Lewis, Director, Professional Development System
  • Ms. Natalie Lucero, Executive Assistant to the Dean
  • Dr. Andrew Ryder, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Leadership
  • Dr. Candace Thompson, Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean of Office of Engagement, Professional Learning, and Scholarship
  • Dr. Ameila Moody, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations, and Secondary Education (ITFSE)
  • Dr. Keryn Vickers, Director of Student Advising
  • Ms. Cindy Wiseman, Director of Professional Experiences


Ms. Kristine Adams Senior Web Developer  910-962-3363
Dr. Daisyane Barreto Associate Professor 910-962-7600
Ms. Kathryn Batten Director, Curriculum Materials Center 910-962-2856
Dr. Traci Bellas Lecturer  910-962-3633
Ms. Lori Best NC New Teacher Support
Lead Instructional Coach  910-962-7281
Dr. Brian Brinkley Director of Educational Laboratory 910-962-3731
Ms. Grace Buermester Student Engagement Specialist & Advisor  910-962-7357
Dr. Jes Cardenas Assistant Professor  910-962-2919
Dr. Edward Caropreso Associate Professor 910-962-7830
Dr. Marsha Carr Associate Professor 910-962-2913
Ms. Amy Carroll Data Analyst Specialist  910-962-4017
Ms. Frances Carter Isaac Bear Early College Coordinator  910-962-2095
Ms. Misty Cayton PDS Program Associate  910-962-4173
Dr. Alex Chambers Assistant Professor  910-962-0614
Ms. Joy Childs Business Officer 910-962-2740
Dr. Heddy Clark Director of STEM LC  910-9623639
Ms. Tammy Clark Instructional Designer 910-962-7938
Ms. Kimberly Cockrell MarineQuest, Budget Manager 910-962-3971
Ms. Amber Colon Educational Technology Specialist  910-962-0518
Dr. Sheri Conklin Assistant Professor  910-962-7952
Dr. Elizabeth Crawford Associate Professor 910-962-2916
Dr. Donna DeGennaro Associate Professor 910-962-7551
Dr. Van O. Dempsey III Dean 910-962-3354
Dr. James DeVita Associate Professor 910-962-3953
Dr. Satlaj Dighe Assistant Professor  910-962-2128
Dr. Amy Garrett Dikkers Professor 910-962-2915
Dr. Jeff Ertzberger Director of Technology 910-962-7670
Ms. Susan Finley Public Communications Specialist 910-962-2672
Ms. Kerri Fowler Executive Assistant, EPLS 910-962-7101
Ms. Sara Fowler Academic Advisor  910-962-7348
Dr. Kathy Fox Professor 910-962-3240
Ms. Nicole Geczi Alternative Licensure Support and Placements Coordinator 910-962-3561
Ms. Gianna Geiss Administrative Associate 910-962-3287
Ms. Mary Jo Giammaria Ed Lab Administrative Associate 910-962-4296
Dr. David Gill Associate Professor 910-962-4293
Ms. Stephanie Glowa Field Experience Coordinator 910-962-3086
Dr. Crystalyn Goodnight Associate Professor 910-962-2658
Ms. Jelene Grace Academic Advisor  910-9622291
Ms. Rachel Greer NC New Teacher Support Program Instructional Coach  910-962-7281
Ms. Maggie Guggenheimer Senior Lecturer 910-962-2416
Ms. Michelle Hafey Program Associate, CESTEM 910-962-3168
Dr. Tracy Hargrove Associate Professor 910-962-7395
Mr. Dean Heath Recruitment & Enrollment Management Specialist  910-962-3087
Dr. Denise Henning Director of Community College Collaborative  910-962-0568
Ms. Jodi Hebert DC Virgo Operations Coordinator and Liaison  910-251-6150
Dr. Heidi Higgins Department Chair of EEMLS, Associate Professor 910-962-2674
Dr. Jeremy Hilburn Associate Professor 910-962-2897
Ms. Vicki Hise Executive Assistant, APS  910-962-4142
Dr. Steven Hooker Assistant Professor 910-962-7577
Dr. Angela Housand Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Program Support, & Student Success (APS), Associate Professor 910-962-3361
Ms. Laurie Howell Administrative Associate 910-962-4171
Ms. Lisa Hunt Business Services Coordinator 910-962-3179
Dr. Meredith Jones Assistant Professor 910-962-3366
Dr. Chuck Jurich Associate Professor 910-962-7201
Dr. Hengameh Kermani Associate Professor 910-962-4182
Ms. Jennifer Knight Assistant Director, Professional Development System 910-962-4246
Dr. Martin Kozloff Distinguished Professor 910-962-7286
Dr. Dennis Kubasko Associate Professor 910-962-7817
Ms. Diane Lane Administrative Support Specialist  910-962-4172
Dr. Lou LaNunziata Associate Professor 910-962-3368
Ms. Somer Lewis Director, Professional Development System 910-962-7244
Dr. Christine Liao Associate Professor 910-962-3556
Dr. Yan Liu Assistant Professor  910-962-3883
Ms. Natalie Lucero Executive Assistant  910-962-3354
Dr. Julia Lynch Visiting Assistant Professor  910-962-3366
Mr. Dar Mayweather Lecturer  910-962-7592
Dr. Kevin McClure Associate Professor 910-962-7819
Mr. Michael McGuire Digital Classroom Network Administrator  910-962-3041
Ms. Logan McKnight Licensure and Internship Coordinator 910-962-2796
Ms. Tonia McKoy CMC Specialist  910-962-2856
Dr. Carol McNulty Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Faculty, Associate Professor  910-962-3653
Dr. Amelia Moody Interim Department Chair of ITFSE, Professor 910-962-2580
Ms. Erin Moran Director, MarineQuest Summer Camp Programs 910-962-2992
Ms. Wendy Moran Administrative Associate  910-962-3913
Dr. Shelby Morge Professor 910-962-7501
Dr. Sara Movahedazarhouligh Assistant Professor  910-962-0613
Mr. Harris Mulhstein MarineQuest School Programs Coordinator 910-962-2640
Ms. Ann Nations Administrative Associate  910-962-4001
Ms. Carly Norman MarineQuest Registration Marketing & Communications Associate  910-9622939
Ms. Morgan O'Connell MarineQuest Program Assistant  910-962-2992
Mr. Chris O'Conner MarineQuest PreK-12 Coastal Engineering Associate  910-962-7783
Dr. Denise Ousley-Exum Associate Professor 910-962-7175
Dr. Symphony Oxendine Associate Professor 910-962-3430
Dr. Jennifer Park Assistant Professor  910-962-2483
Dr. Eleni Pappamihiel Professor 910-962-2746
Mr. Jimmy Parker Administrative Associate  910-962-3192
Dr. Michele Parker Professor 910-962-2292
Dr. Raymond Pastore Professor 910-962-2912
Ms. Tracy Pena Technology Liaison  910-962-7615
Ms. Phyllis Pierce Administrative Associate 910-962-3040
Mr. Brian Powell Technology Support Analyst 910-962-4357
Dr. Angelia Reid-Griffin Professor 910-962-7176
Dr. Sharon Richter Associate Professor  910-962-3507
Dr. Jessica Rivenbark Assessment Data Analyst 910-962-7115
Dr. Kerry Robinson Associate Professor 910-962-3652
Ms. Tonnia Rodriguez Academic Advisor  910-962-2472
Dr. Kathleen Roney Professor 910-962-7195
Dr. Donyell Roseboro Chief Diversity Officer, Professor 910-962-3283
Dr. Caitlin Ryan Associate Professor 
Dr. Andrew Ryder Department Chair of EL, Associate Professor 910-962-7318
Dr. Shawn Savage Assistant Professor  910-962-3460
Dr. Kathleen Schlichting Associate Professor 910-962-7786
Dr. Amy Senta Assistant Professor 910-962-2851
Dr. Marilyn Sheerer Professor   910-962-2535
Dr. Samantha Silberstein Visiting Assistant Professor  910-962-6221
Dr. Lynn Sikma Associate Professor 910-962-7287
Dr. Robert Smith Professor 910-962-4076
Dr. Dana Stachowiak Director of Women’s Studies and Resource Center, Associate Professor 910-962-7806
Dr. James Stocker Associate Professor 910-962-2739
Dr. Laura Szech Assistant Professor  910-962-3651
Dr. Amy Taylor Professor 910-962-2673
Dr. Candace Thompson Interim Associate Dean of Engagement, Professional Learning, & Scholarship (EPLS), Associate Professor 910-962-4174
Ms. Courtney Townsend Ed Lab Coach 910-962-7645
Dr. Keryn Vickers Director, WCE Student Success Center  910-962-3912
Ms. Bria Walker Administrative Associate  910-962-7539
Dr. Tamara Walser Professor 910-962-4175
Dr. Cara Ward Assistant Professor   910-962-3366
Dr. Martin Wasserberg Associate Professor 910-962-2917
Dr. Jaci Webb-Dempsey Director of Program Assessment, Accreditation & Development  910-962-2161
Ms. Cindy Wiseman Director of Professional Experiences 910-962-3360
Dr. Karla Zaccor Assistant Professor  910-962-2890


Emeritus Faculty

Dr. James Applefield Associate Professor Emeritus
Dr. Cathy Barlow Professor Emeritus
Dr. Paz Bartolome Professor Emeritus
Dr. William A. Bryan Professor Emeritus
Dr. Calvin Doss Professor Emeritus
Dr. Andrew Hayes Professor Emeritus
Dr. Hathia A. Hayes Professor Emeritus
Dr. Barbara Honchell Associate Professor Emeritus
Dr. Richard Huber Professor Emeritus
Dr. Linda Mechling Professor Emeritus
Dr. Catherine Nesbit Professor Emeritus
Dr. Ann Potts Associate Professor Emeritus
Dr. Debbie Powell Associate Professor Emeritus
Dr. Marcee Steele Professor Emeritus
Dr. Carol Chase Thomas Professor Emeritus
Dr. Robert E. Tyndall Professor Emeritus
Dr. Karen Wetherill Professor Emeritus
Dr. Brad Walker Associate Professor Emeritus
Dr. Eleanor Wright Professor Emeritus


Representatives from local schools, businesses and the broader community serve in a reciprocal capacity on the Community Advisory Council, bringing new perspectives to our work, and helping to inform the community and region about the work of the College.

Community Advisory Council Members

  • Rachel Bodkin-Fox, Community Member
  • Jennifer Booher, New Hanover County Schools
  • Dawn Carter, UNCW - University Advancement
  • Michael Cobb, Cape Fear Community College
  • Travis Corpening, New Hanover County - Office of Diversity and Equity
  • Bo Dean, New Hanover County - Human Resources
  • Van Dempsey, UNCW - Watson College of Education
  • Bill Fields, Chase Commercial Banking
  • Susan Finley, UNCW - Watson College of Education
  • Linsey Honaker, Monteith Co.
  • Jennie Jackson, Bank of America
  • Jerry Jackson, The 100 Black Men of Coastal North Carolina Inc.
  • Wanda Marino, Community Member
  • Dawn Martin, New Hanover County Schools
  • Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith, UNCW Diversity and Inclusion - Human Resources
  • Deloris Rhodes, Community Member
  • Edelmira Segovia, UNCW - Centro Hispano
  • Sheila Sokolinsky, New Hanover County Schools

Advancement Council members promote and support the Watson College through attendance at events, a philanthropic commitment and outreach to others with philanthropic interest and the capacity to make an impact through charitable giving.

Advancement Council Members

  • Wilma Daniels
  • Bo Dean
  • Brian Etheridge '95
  • Susan Rabon
  • Margaret Robison
  • Angie Shoff
  • Ellen Wells '69
  • Jan Wessell '83
  • Acquenetta Wheeler

Watson Chronicle Newsletter

Learn more about the work of the Watson College including new programs, accomplishments of our faculty, students, alumni and partners, and upcoming events in our bi-monthly Watson Chronicle newsletter.