UNCW Ranked 92nd among Top Public Universities, 8th among Best Online Bachelor’s Programs

Monthly Chancellor's Message
Left to Right: Dr. Yousry Sayed, N.C. House Majority Leader John Bell IV '01 and Chancellor Sartarelli, in suits and hard hats, stand in one of the labs inside Veterans Hall, which will open later this year.

January 2020

Message from Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli

Dear Seahawk Community

Now that 2020 is underway, UNCW is embarking on a special time in our history as enrollment climbs and new programs continue to expand the opportunities we can offer students. The new year is off to a strong start, with an estimated 848 more students on campus in spring 2020 compared to spring 2019. A $400 million investment in capital improvements on our campus is taking shape, with construction of Veterans Hall, two new residence halls, a parking deck and the renovation of Dobo Hall, severely damaged by Hurricane Florence.

Once again, UNCW ranks 8th in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report list of “2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” The university also ranks 6th on the publication’s list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans for the second year in a row. Overall, the university ranks 92nd among Top Public National Universities, according to U.S. News.

These rankings reflect the quality of our programs as well as the commitment our faculty and staff have made to inspiring and supporting our students. These Seahawk superstars include 15 recipients of the university’s Discere Aude Award for outstanding mentoring and WILMA’s 2020 Leadership Institute participants Ashley Wells, an assistant dean for community engagement, and Jennie Jackson ’19M, business service coordinator for UNCW’s Research and Innovation Center. For the second year in a row, the Office of International Programs' Jennifer Fernandez-Villa and the Watson College of Education’s Donyell Roseboro welcomed 22 teachers from 20 countries to UNCW as part of the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement program.

UNCW’s literary magazine Ecotone and in-house imprint Lookout Books continue to shine, receiving a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the fifth straight year. In 2020, the Doctoral Transition Task Force looks forward to hosting campus workshops and other activities to focus on resource adjustments to support UNCW’s elevated designation to “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity.”

A new semester means new opportunities for you to engage with UNCW during sports events, arts and humanities presentations, and Homecoming, one of our biggest events of the year! Make plans now to join other Seahawks for these and other great activities.

Go Seahawks!

Jose V. Sartarelli


PS: I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of this newsletter. We have streamlined the content; increased the emphasis on great photos of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends; and refreshed the design to make the user experience more mobile-friendly.


Top photo: Chancellor Sartarelli toured labs in Veterans Hall along with UNCW Trustee and Quality Chemical Laboratories founder Dr. Yousry Sayed (left) and state House Majority Leader John Bell IV '01 (center). Dr. Sayed, his wife, Linda '78, '85M, and his company made a five-year, $5 million gift commitment to UNCW in 2017 to develop programs in pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry.


Photo of cupola on top of Hoggard Hall with Seahawk weather vane, overlayed with banners showing UNCW's rankings. Text: EXCELLENCE, in your own backyard.

UNCW is proud to be included among the nation's top universities in several 2020 rankings by U.S. News & World Report, including Best Online Bachelor's Programs, Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans and 92nd on a list of the Top 100 Public National Universities. Other examples of excellence at UNCW can be found here.

Chancellor Satarelli, center, sideways from the camera and wearing a vest and hard hat, points to a drawing showing new green space and the location of a future dining hall. Male and female members of the BOT, also in vests and hard hats look on while inside one of the new residence halls under construction.

Chancellor Sartarelli led the UNCW Board of Trustees on a tour to witness progress on multiple campus construction projects. Standing in one of the new residence halls that will open this fall, he showed the board plans for new green space and the location of the future dining hall for the new Student Housing Village.

Logo, Chairs in Chairs: Episode2: Dr. Steve Elliott

In this episode of "Chairs in Chairs," Steve Elliott '96, director of the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, discusses specialized equipment in the Human Performance Lab, as well as plans for the upcoming move to Veterans Hall, which will open later this year.

UNCW Magazine: Image is a gondola passing under an archlike structure on a canal in Venice.

Research and academic scholarship are thriving at UNCW. The innovative reach of our faculty, students and programs transcends our campus, supported by frequent collaboration with the greater community through engagement activities, volunteer experiences, applied learning opportunities and numerous partnerships. Seahawks are forging collaborations around the world in locations like the Bahamas and Costa Rica, and reaping the benefits of studying abroad in France, New Zealand, Africa and beyond. A special feature on a three-time alumna illustrates just how special the Seahawk experience is.



Lisa Sprod, in yoga wear, sits cross-legged in a wooded area at UNCW.
Sam Nevarez outside the Fisher University Union, holding up five postal boxes.
Charlotte Linighan portrait
Maxwell Moody, in coat, hat and sunglasses, holds up a UNCW Seahawks blanket in front of the sign at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
Susan Wilder sitting atop a set piece in the theatre in the Cultural Arts Building
Joel Finsel in front of a wall full of books.


Left to right: Jaime Russell, Sister Rosemary McNamara and Julianna Tresca hold fresh fruit while standing next to a table full of donated food.

Hawk's Harvest, UNCW's food pantry, observed its first anniversary in January. Pictured left to right are Jaime Russell, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement; Sister Rosemary McNamara of the Newman Center, where the pantry is located; and UNCW student volunteer Julianna Tresca. The pantry gave out more than 350 full bags of groceries in its first year.

Susan L. Taylor, eyes closed, holding microphone in her right hand and gesturing with her left hand. Her outfit is colorfuland her expression soulful.

Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief emerita of Essence magazine and founder and CEO of National CARES Mentoring Movement, was the featured speaker for the university's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, presented by the Upperman African American Cultural Center.

A group of construction workers stand in front of a crane and the new parking deck.

Construction crews and the UNCW community came together to mark the "topping out" of the new central parking deck.

A group of international students stand on the steps inside the Education Building holding paper and their home country flags.

UNCW is one of five U.S. universities hosting secondary school teachers from around the world as part of the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement program.


CHHS Dean Charlie Hardy (right) talks to Janet Burkholder (left), a member of the Nurse Advocate Board. Her back is turned and she wears a large, green-and-gold scarf with black fringe.

CHHS Dean Charles Hardy (right) and Chancellor Sartarelli attended a meeting of the Nurse Advocate Board, which included a tribute to late board member Dr. J. Richard Corbett, who generously supported UNCW and the School of Nursing. Also pictured (left): board member Janet Burkholder.

Kolbein Bjugan raises his arms as he prepares for a dive. Blue water is behind him.

UNCW freshman divers Kolbein Bjugan (pictured) and Courtney Klausen were named Colonial Athletic Association Divers of the Month. (Photo courtesy of UNCW Athletics)

Students on Chancellor's Walk. In the foreground are a man carrying a skateboard, one carrying an umbrella and a student with a backback whose back is turned to the camera.

After a lull during winter break, Chancellor's Walk was buzzing with activity as classes began for spring semester 2020.

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OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 910.962.3000