Building a Better Wilmington Campaign


Team Members

Joseph Harris - Research and Teaching Assistant to Dr. Jeffrey Brudney, Betty and Dan Cameron Family Distinguished Professor of Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector 

M.P.A. Candidate

Public Policy Analysis

Joe Harris received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics with a minor in International Affairs from University North Carolina Wilmington. During his undergraduate experience he represented the University in Fed Challenge and took extensive courses in Mathematics. He is currently working towards his MPA at UNCW, with a concentration in Policy Analysis. As a graduate assistant for Dr. Brudney, he works as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate course Introduction to Public Administration and as a research assistant on various projects. Following the completion of his MPA, he plans to pursue doctoral study in Economics or Public Policy. His interests include macroeconomics, public finance, and economic growth & development.

Rachel Chavez - Building a Better Wilmington Campaign, Director 

M.P.A. Candidate

Nonprofit Management

Rachel Chavez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before returning to UNCW to obtain her Master's in Public Administration, Rachel served as the Membership Development Director of the Garner Chamber of Commerce. During her time in Garner, Rachel founded her own non-profit: Commit. Don't Quit!, a dropout prevention program geared toward providing mentorship, education and scholarships for the students of North Carolina. Last year her program raised over $3,500 in scholarship money to award high school seniors as the first Commit. Don't Quit! Scholars. Through her story of hope she motivates individuals with the message that success is attainable, excuses are unacceptable, and higher education should be a requirement. Rachel has been recognized by the North Carolina Department of Instruction- Dropout Prevention program and the National Dropout Prevention Program for her advocacy for at-risk students. As part of the BBWC team, she serves as the Marketing Director to publicize and bring awareness within the community and University about the Building a Better Wilmington Campaign's mission. After graduating, Rachel hopes to pursue a career in Public Management and continue her advocacy for the success of at-risk students.

Angela Headshot

Angela M. Pollock - Building a Better Wilmington Campaign, External Relations Director 

M.P.A Candidate 

Nonprofit Management and Public Policy Analysis 

Angela earned her Bachelor's Degree from the Watson College of Education at UNCW in Adapted Special Education.  After graduating, she taught an elementary Special Education class in New Hanover County Schools for 2 years.  She noticed a gap of services for adults with disabilities after aging out of the school system, which brought her to the Public Administration Program at UNCW.  She is the founder of the "I Am Beautiful Fashion Show" (est. 2013), a fundraiser featuring individuals with disabilities that raises money for local non profits, awareness for advocating for people with disabilities, and ending the use of the 'R' word.  She is also a founding board member of the Cape Fear Enrichment Program (CFEP), which provides real life opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.  


Jillian Carney

B.A. Candidate

Film Studies with a Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

When Jillian was seven years old, Santa Claus brought her a Barbie video camera, and it changed her life forever. A West Virginia native and current film student at UNCW, Jillian has continued to create films and seek to learn everything she can with work featured in numerous national contests and film festivals since 2007. Jillian is also passionate about non-profits with past work for, an anti-bullying movement encouraging teens to love others and love themselves. Jillian created the first-ever WeStopHate Club pilot in her high school in 2012-2013, leading her to be featured on Good Morning America, and she found her calling of impacting troubled teens. Jillian is always looking to challenge herself and grow her knowledge, with her latest experience being the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. As a West Virginia Hugh O'Brian Youth (HOBY) 2011 Alumna and WV HOBY Alumni Association President, altruism and leadership is her passion with hopes and dreams of making the world a better place. You can find out more about at


Elizabeth Bankowski 

B.A Candidate

Film Studies and B.F.A in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Lizzie is an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina Wilmington who was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and has been a water-bug all her life. Growing up, her parents made a game out of picking up trash on the beach, and she's been an avid environmentalist ever since. As such, the Atlantic Ocean has appeared in all of her nonfiction writing in some form or another. Her work has been published in Runestone Literary Journal. She has been fortunate enough to partake in internships with Cape Fear River Watch and Working Films here in Wilmington where she got to use the invaluable skills from both her Film Studies and Creative Nonfiction Writing majors to make important environmental information available to the public. Both of these internships taught her that environmentalism and nonprofits are truly where her passion lies. After graduating from UNCW in May 2018, she hopes to return home to Virginia Beach and use her media skills to help in the fight to preserve the Chesapeake Bay. Until then, she is hard at work writing and making films with BBWC to help strengthen Wilmington's nonprofit sector. 

Genevieve Wirth

Genevieve Wirth 

B.A Candidate 

Political Science with a Minor in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Public Administration, and Criminology 

Genevieve is an undergraduate at UNCW pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with minors in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Public Administration, and Criminology. Genevieve plans to graduate in the Spring of 2017 and continue her education through UNCW in the Fall of 2017 with the MPA program. Genevieve is a SURCA/ETEAL grant recipient and will be conducting research alongside Dr. Brudney over the Spring 2017 semester to study the different methods of collaboration between government agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations for service delivery. In addition to engaging in research and finishing her undergraduate studies, Genevieve will be shadowing and assisting Joseph Harris and Dr. Brudney in teaching the Introduction to Public Administration class in Spring 2017.