Dr. Keryn Vickers

EB 111 

Director, WCE Office of Student Advising

Dr. Keryn Vickers joined the Watson College of Education (WCE) Office of Student Advising in 2021 as the Inaugural Director. He began his academic career over 20 years ago at DePauw University, advising, coaching, and mentoring students and leading a community non-profit organization. Dr. Vickers has served students at UNCW since 2006, as Assistant Director of Admissions, an Academic Advisor and Interim Coordinator in University College, a First-Year seminar and Africana Studies instructor, and leader and champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Dr. Vickers is a native New Yorker, but he earned a BA in Communication Arts & Sciences from DePauw University in Indiana. He also earned an MA in Recreation & Sports Management from Indiana State University and is a WCE alum after earning an Ed.D. in Education Leadership.

Dr. Vickers is passionate about education and strategically implements diverse, high impact and best practices or services that support all students' holistic development. When Dr. Vickers is not serving in WCE, he can be found spending quality time with family, expressing his faith, playing sports, and being a servant leader in his community.

Grace Burmester

EB 111

Student Engagement Specialist / Academic Advisor

Ms. Grace Burmester joined the WCE in 2022 as the Student Engagement Specialist & Academic Advisor. Previously, Grace worked at the University of Florida for nine years, including in Academic Advising, early undergraduate research, dual enrollment, and the UF Outreach Pre-collegiate programs for high school students and teachers. She also served on her unit’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee and as a Multicultural Mentor. Grace has a BA in Technical Theatre and Environmental Science from Goshen College, IN, and an MS from the University of Florida focusing on communication and collaboration in natural resources. She is from Minnesota but grew up with visits to extended family in NC.

Grace is passionate about academic pipelines, including increasing access and success for a more inclusive future. For fun, you can find her outside hiking, kayaking, or reading in a hammock, or inside playing board games or watching movies.

Jenna Cayton

EB 111

Academic Advisor

Jenna Cayton joined WCE in February 2022 as a Temporary Academic Advisor. As a former student and advisee of Watson, she has first-hand knowledge about the process of admission, academic requirements, and programs of study. She is excited to be able to utilize her background in education and experience in the school system to provide guidance and direction for students pursuing a similar path.

Through her experience working with students, she has discovered a passion for building relationships, connecting with students, and encouraging them to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Jenna believes all students have unique capabilities and strengths that connect to their purpose. She is looking forward to getting to know each student and assisting them in recognizing these strengths and aligning them with a compatible course and career selection in order to reach their goals.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring local spots around Wilmington.

Sara Fowler

EB 111 

Academic Advisor

Sara Fowler joined the WCE in August 2021 as a graduate assistant and after completing her Masters has continued with the office as a Temporary Academic Advisor. A graduate of Watson herself, she completed her Master's in Education with a Higher Education specialization. She is excited to continue to work with the Student Success Center to focus on students progressing through their academic goals. She is passionate about supporting students through the advising process and using an appreciative, strengths-based approach to focus on students’ individual strengths to develop academically and holistically.

Sarah Mininni

EB 111

Academic Advisor

I am a UNCW Alumni, graduating with my BA in English with a secondary education license in 2015. I returned to UNCW for graduate school and completed my master's in December 2020. While much of my career thus far has been as a classroom teacher, I am very excited to step out of the classroom and into the background and work individually with students as a mentor and advisor. As an alumni of Watson, I understand first-hand how important having someone with a passion for guiding students towards success can positively influence a student’s college career.

A profession in education has never been in question for me. It was during my seven-plus years teaching in the public school system, specifically AP courses, that I realized I had a love for teaching college-level curriculum. In Fall 2021 I was given the opportunity to teach my first university-level course. While I have always had a passion for students, it was this course and these students that solidified my desire to advise, mentor, and assist college-level students with decisions to help them be successful.

Tonnia Rodriguez

EB 111 

Academic Advisor

Tonnia Rodriguez joined the WCE as an advisor in June of 2022. She received both her Bachelors' degree in Psychology and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from UNCW. Tonnia spent time in the classroom teaching middle school learners before she transitioned to a role in higher education as a Success Coach at Cape Fear Community College. There she discovered her love for supporting diverse students through cultivating meaningful relationships with them and helping them navigate college life.

Tonnia brings her talent, skills, experience, and passion for learning and helping others to this position. She is a native Wilmingtonian and is a proud product of New Hanover County's school system. In her free time, she enjoys trying new foods, binging her favorite shows, spending time with her family, and watching her baby girl grow! She is excited to be back at home at Watson to help be a guide to our students!

Graduate Assistants

Miriam Cone

Miriam Cone earned a BA in English from Trinity University and is a fiction candidate in the Creative Writing MFA program at UNCW. She is originally from the Tampa Bay area in Florida and is happy to now call Wilmington her home. She joined the SAIL Office as a Graduate Assistant in 2020 out of her desire to help future educators grow and develop throughout their time in Watson.

When she’s not working or writing, Miriam enjoys hanging out with her two cats, reading, baking, crafting, playing video games, and going to the beach.