News & Areas of Excellence Archive



CHHS Faculty Receive COVID-19 Response and Adaptation Mini Grants

8/20 - The faculty who received grants were (SHAHS) Dr. Jordan Weber, Elisabeth Baynard and Dr. Hannah Catalano and (SON) Dr. Jeeyae Choi.

CHHS Staff, Alumni WILMA Women to Watch Finalists

8/20 - Tiffany Erichsen ’17M, coordinator of the Center for Workforce Development in UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services is nominated in the education category, and Jessica Aguilar ’20, Juntos 4-H Pender County coordinator and program assistant for UNCW’s Centro Hispano, is nominated as a “Rising Star.”

DNP Accepts 120 Students into Newly Expanded DNP Program

8/20 - “We are very excited about the expansion of the DNP program, DNP Program Coordinator Dr. Kelly Laham said. “The faculty and administration are passionate about improving health care across the state and beyond by preparing clinicians and nurse leaders at the doctoral level.”

Chancellor Sartarelli Creates Renewal and Change Accountability Committee to Advance Diversity and Inclusion

7/30/20 - UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli has created an accountability committee to advance efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive campus.

The Chancellor’s Renewal and Change Accountability Committee will work with the university’s administration to develop strategies and propose solutions to address issues of diversity, equity, equality and inclusion. The committee held its first meeting on July 28.

CHHS Creates Public Health Outreach Support Fund

8/20 – The College of Health and Human Services has created a Public Health Outreach Support fund. Supported by donations, the purpose of the fund is to provide students and/or faculty the opportunity to explore and respond to every day public health outreach opportunities and to respond to challenges facing communities of need in Southeastern North Carolina, particularly in the area of health disparities and rural health initiatives. Funds will cover expenses related to activities such as public health assessments, travel to support outreach activities, supporting a newly-formed student service corps and health promotion programming to address the health needs of the region.

Dr. Kent Guion to join faculty in College of Health and Human Services

07/14/20 - UNCW's Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Kent Guion has decided to step down from that role and join the faculty in our College of Health and Human Services. "We’re excited Kent Guion is joining the College of Health and Human Services team. His background in health sciences and public health will be a great asset for the College as we enter our next decade as a College, move into Veterans Hall and expand our programs and initiatives," says CHHS Dean Charlie Hardy.

CHHS Welcomes New Research Grant Administrator

6/20 – Richard Huse has joined the CHHS as the research grant administrator for the college.

SHAHS Lecturer Appointed to the ATRA Board

7/20 – Miller was elected as a Member at Large to serve a three-year term. In this role, she will participate in deliberation on ATRA matters, contribute to developing decisions, assist in carrying out recommended actions, monitor committee functions and make reports as required.

Exercise Science Program Approved as NSCA ERP

6/20 - The Exercise Science program within the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences was approved a National Strength Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP).

UNCW Featured in the 2021 Fiske Guide to Colleges

7/20/20 - The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s engaging academic programs and research opportunities are among the aspects highlighted in the 2021 Fiske Guide to Colleges. The annual guide is a long-time authoritative resource of information for college-bound students. UNCW has been routinely featured in the guide, including the 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017 editions.

UNCW’s “extensive undergraduate research opportunities, a slate of solid sciences, and a close-knit community” are among its selling points, the Fiske Guide notes. The publication also highlights several specialized programming and opportunities available to students including unique hands-on experiences afforded through applied learning opportunities, the advanced coursework of the Honors College, and first-year learning communities.

A Fond Farewell to Pre-Award Grant Specialist

6/20 - Pre-Award Grant Specialist Althea Lewis has accepted a new position as the senior grants administrator for the entire Wake County Public School System. 

Recreation Therapy Program Partners with Aquarium

The Recreation Therapy program in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences has partnered with the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher to create Valuable Ventures. Each week, new activities will be posted online and on social media to encourage you and your family/friends to spend more time in nature.


A Statement from the CHHS Leadership Team

6/1/20 - Issues ​which our society has grappled​ with for years are again in the spotlight with the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and ​too many more before them.

We are living in ​a pandemic of racism. This social pandemic is taking a heavy toll on our ​Black communities. As health and human services professionals, we must strengthen our efforts to confront and combat this public health emergency.

We cannot achieve health equity until all people are valued equally.

Social Work Student Named Toby Brown Award Recipient

5/20 – The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) has named Douglas (Doug) Kim Bai as the recipient of the 2020 NASW-NC Toby Brown Award for Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) undergraduate students for the 2019-2020 academic year. Doug is an outstanding student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and within his community.

We are UNCW: Jordan Weber, 18

5/20 - An uncle born with intellectual and developmental disabilities taught Jordan Weber ‘18 Ed.D. a great deal about pushing past limitations. Although his uncle needs assistance in many areas of his life, he also learned to drive a car, hold a job and, for the most part, take care of himself and his 92-year-old mother.

We are UNCW: Paula Reid

5/20 - Associate Professor Paula Reid (School of Nursing) recognized that a few of her graduate students, including nurses on the front lines of the pandemic, were struggling due to stress and concerns about COVID-19. She picked up the phone to check on them and to see how she could offer help.

Students Create Videos to Highlight Importance of Mental Health

5/20 - May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Students in School of Social Work Assistant Professor Dr. Josalin Hunter-Jones' HEA 300: Mental and Emotional Health course along with students of the Association of Self-Care for Future Health Professionals created inspiring videos for other students amidst a chaotic semester. Their goal is to encourage the UNCW community to do its part to eliminate the stigmas surrounding conditions of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, along with so many others. School of Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Anka Roberto also helped with the project.

We Are the Class of 2020: Megan Bolden, Social Work

5/20 – Finishing her last semester at UNCW while also working as an essential employee at New Hanover Regional Medical Center would be a heavy load for any student, but doing so during a global pandemic certainly adds another layer to the challenge for Megan Bolden ’20. Bolden said learning that “change is constant” during her time at UNCW is helping her navigate this time of uncertainty.

The Wilmington native will miss the College of Health and Human Services when she completes her studies, and particularly the School of Social Work.

Former Seahawks Battling Invisible Opponent

5/20 – They come from different sports and different times, but four former UNCW student-athletes are de facto teammates today on the front lines as health care professionals in the battle against global nemesis COVID-19.

Debbie Warner '76 (physical education and health), Anna Grauel '19 (nursing), Savannah Andrews '18 (public health) and Dr. Alyssa Ritchie '15 (biology) each faced formidable opponents during their time as Seahawks. Today’s current foe – the coronavirus - may be the toughest.

Gerontology Students Pen Pals with Older Adults for Service Learning

4/20 – In the spring semester, gerontology students in the GRN 101 class did pen pal activities with older adults for their service learning.

SSW Training Goes Virtual - with More Attendees

4/20 – Due to the coronavirus, the School of Social Work and the local chapter of National Association of Social Workers held its March 27 “Expanding Knowledge and Skills with Technology and Substance Use Disorders Treatment and Recovery” training seminar online. More than 100 people attended, exceeding the in-person event’s capacity of 75.

CHHS Seeks Quality Matters Certification for Online Programs

4/20 - The School of Health and Applied Human Sciences is seeking Quality Matters (QM) Certification for its online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program.

Quality Matters (QM) is a global name in enabling a quality assurance process for online and blended programs through three critical components-Rubric Standards, Faculty and Staff Professional Development and Course & Program Reviews. QM program certification is a gold standard of quality assurance for online programs with a focus on four critical areas of program design, teaching support, learner support and learner success. Achieving certification in all four critical areas within a three-year period will receive Exemplary Program Status from QM.

UNCW Ranked Among the Best Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report

4/20 - The School of Social Work’s MSW Program, which tied for 77th in the 2020 rankings, remains on the U.S. News & World Report list of “2021 Best Graduate Schools.”

Intergenerational Connections During the COVID-19 Crisis

UNCW researcher Dr. Anne Glass is looking for adults aged 18 and older to participate in a short online research survey about how you’re using technology to connect during this unique time of social distancing. It will help us understand how this period of staying at home is affecting you and your connections.

UNCW Appoints Dr. James J. Winebrake as New Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

4/20 - Dr. James J. Winebrake has been named Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, effective July 1, 2020, the University of North Carolina Wilmington announced today. An award-winning educator and experienced administrator, Winebrake has served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., since 2011.

Students Choose Service over Leisure for Spring Break

3/20 - For most students, spring break is a time for leisure, but for a small group of UNC Wilmington students who volunteered to participate in the UNCW Office of Student Leadership and Engagement’s (OSLE) Alternative Spring Break Trip Program, it was a time of service.

CHHS Welcomes New Assistant Dean for Administration and Resource Management

3/20 – Stefanie Powell joins the CHHS team as the new assistant dean for administration and resource management.

CHHS Welcomes New Executive Assistant to the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement

3/20 – Natalie Lucero is the new executive assistant to the assistant dean for community engagement.

Daily Affirmations

By Tricia Vance (UNCW Magazine | pgs. 33-34)

3/30 - Living with a serious health issue can often wreak havoc on medical outcomes and personal relationships. But with cognitive therapy, a change may be on the horizon.

Social Work Director Publishes Co-Edited Book on Gerontological Social Work

3/20 – In 2019, School of Social Work Director Stacey Kolomer published a co-edited book titled Gerontological Social Work and the Grand Challenges: Focusing on Policy and Practice. The editors (in order) were Sara Sanders, Stacey Kolomer, Cheryl Waites Spellman and Victoria Rizzo.

Governor’s Institute Awards SSW Students with New Governor’s Institute Scholarship

3/20 – In March, three School of Social Work graduate students—Shannon Allen, Jake Burns and Davonna Cohen—within the Substance Use Disorders and Addictions Certificate Program were awarded with a Governor’s Institute Scholarship.

UNCW Expands International Cooperation

3/20 - International experiences help young people to make their own experiences, to become independent, to speak new languages, to get to know people with different cultural backgrounds and to deal with their own cultural identity. For this reason, UNCW maintains partnerships with numerous universities and institutions around the world, enables its students to study abroad and gain new knowledge on excursions or to get in touch with incoming students.

Rec Therapy Alumna Inspires Professor to Grow as a Teacher and Global Citizen

3/20 - Professors are often the ones who inspire, but what happens when the student inspires the professor?

This is exactly what happened to SHAHS Assistant Professor Cara Gray when she met Quendi Laura Cruz Garcia. Garcia, a first-generation student from Wilmington, was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica when she was 15 years old. Neuromyelitis optica is an autoimmune disorder in which immune system cells and antibodies primarily attack the optic nerves and the spinal cord.

Innovative Exercise, Aging & Blue Zones Class Provides Training for Students & Community

3/20 – In February, SHAHS’ Exercise, Aging, and Blue Zone’s class provided a two-day PWR!Moves Training Program for students and community members.

CHHS Seeks Quality Matters Certification for Online Programs

3/20 - The School of Nursing is seeking Quality Matters (QM) Certification for its online Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator (MSN NE) Program.

UNCW Assistant Professor Part of $2.66 Million Research Project

02/27/20 - School of Nursing Assistant Professor of Nursing Hayley Estrem is participating in a $2.66 million research project to identify signs that certain infants and young toddlers may develop chronic feeding disorders. Estrem will receive $123,369 over the five years of the multi-institutional project. The research is funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes of Health. 

A personal experience led the onetime critical-care nurse to pursue her doctorate with a research focus on feeding disorders in children. Her oldest son was born 13 years ago with a rare genetic disorder that has required him to have a feeding tube since he was a toddler.

UNCW Celebrates Scholarship at Annual Research Reception

2/26/20 - Scholarly work from music and poetry to nursing, marine biology and more took center stage during a “Toast to Scholarship,” UNCW’s annual Research Reception on Feb. 25. Researchers submitted 292 proposals, requesting a total of $66 million in funding, and were awarded 184 projects and more than $12 million to support research programs. Jennifer McCall, assistant professor, School of Nursing, was inducted in the James F. Merritt Million Dollar Club. The Million Dollar Club honors researchers and faculty who have received more than $1 million in research funding. Tammy Arms (School of Nursing), Debra Hrelic (School of Nursing) and Justine Reel (Research and Innovation) were each recognized with the highest number of journal article publications for fiscal year 2019.

Associate Dean for Research & Innovation Finalist for Cape Fear CREW Awards

2/20 - Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Dr. Justine Reel has been selected as a finalist for the Cape Fear Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) second annual Awards of Excellence.

Public Health Major Receives NC Public Health Training Center’s Pathways to Practice Scholarship

2/20 – In the spring semester of 2020, Public Health major Stephanie Salas received the North Carolina Public Health Training Center’s Pathways to Practice Scholarship.

SSW Assistant Professor’s Research Collaboration Receives $1,162,145 Funding for Pathways to Impact Project

2/20 - In May of 2019, the international research collaboration that School of Social Work Assistant Professor Athena Kolbe is a part of was awarded $ 1,162,145 to support their inquiry into the long-term impacts of peacekeeping missions on post-conflict societies.

CHHS to Host Child Welfare Simulations

2/18/20 - In an effort to train students and community partners on mandated reporting procedures for suspected child neglect and abuse, UNC Wilmington’s School of Social Work is hosting two interprofessional events this spring. On March 6, the School of Social Work (SSW) and School of Nursing will facilitate the “Child Welfare Response Training and Simulation Experience.” Operating in its sixth year, this simulation works closely with New Hanover County Department of Social Services (DSS) to train social work students on how to conduct child welfare investigations in the home and hospital setting. The SSW uses customized hospital and apartment simulation labs on UNCW’s campus to recreate the setting and situation in which a new mother’s infant tests positive for copious. The simulation demonstrates in real time the roles, responsibilities, and potential reactions from a nurse and investigative social worker working with patient actors.

SON DNP Coordinator Selected as Regional Coordinator of Sigma Theta Tau International

2/20 - School of Nursing DNP Coordinator Tammy Arms was recently selected as a regional coordinator for the North America 13th Region of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) at Sigma’s 45th Biennial Convention in Washington, DC on Nov. 2019.

Assistant Dean for Community Engagement Ashley Wells Selected for WILMA’s 2020 Leadership Institute

2/20 - Ashley Wells, assistant dean for community engagement at UNCW, has been selected to participate in WILMA’s 2020 Leadership Institute.

UNCW Ranked 8th Nationally for Online Bachelor’s Programs

2/20 - For the second consecutive year, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is ranked 8th on U.S. News & World Report’s list of 2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, the university announced today. UNCW tied with Loyola University in Chicago and Pennsylvania State University-World Campus.

Former Dean of Nursing Has Died

1/28/20 - The founding dean of the UNC Wilmington School of Nursing, Dr. Marlene Merifield Rosenkoetter, passed away on December 31, 2019 following a brief illness.

CHHS Faculty Honored for Outstanding Mentoring

1/20 - CHHS faculty Lorie Sigmon (SON) and Wayland Tseh (SHAHS) have been selected as recipients of the 2019-20 Discere Aude Award for outstanding mentoring of students, along with 13 other UNCW faculty and staff.

Public Health Student to Serve in Peace Corps Panama WASH Education Program

1/20 - Throughout her life, Brianna Magee has been deeply passionate about helping others. Growing up, she continually asked herself how she could make a positive difference in somebody else’s life. Later on, that question became how she could make a positive change in the world, and the Peace Corps became the perfect answer to that question.

SHAHS Awarded at Cape Fear Coalition For A Drug-Free Community Agents of Change Breakfast

01/20 – On Dec. 11, the Cape Fear Coalition For A Drug-Free Community held their Agents of Change Breakfast, where the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences (SHAHS) and Center for Healthy Communities Coordinator, Leah Mayo were nominated for awards. SHAHS won an award in the category of Community Organization for playing a key role in organizing and conducting Alcohol Purchase Surveys...

CHHS Welcomes New Project Coordinator for Center for Healthy Communities

01/20 - On Nov. 7, CHHS welcomed Megan Toothman as the new project coordinator for the Center for Healthy Communities.

CHHS Faculty Receive Cahill Grant for Project About Optimizing Wellness & Resilience

01/20 – In December of 2019, CHHS faculty members Anka Roberto (SON) and Josalin Hunter-Jones (SSW) were awarded a Cahill Grant for their project titled, “Optimizing wellness and resilience; a trauma informed program.”

UNCW Calls for Nominations for 2020 Teaching Awards

01/20 - UNCW is calling for nominations for the 2020 Teaching Awards. Please consider nominating a deserving colleague for one of these honors.

Special Delivery

01/20 - If emergency drills collide with actual emergencies, it may be just another day on the job for Nina Williams. According to her, “the baby determines when it’s coming.”

Williams, a nursing lecturer in the College of Health and Human Services and a part-time staff nurse in the labor and delivery unit at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, is familiar with obstetric emergencies.

SON Faculty Receive Applied Learning Pedagogy Initiative Project Award

1/20 - Congratulations to School of Nursing faculty who won the Applied Learning Pedagogy Initiative Project Award!