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2019 SECU Public Fellowship

The Office of Community Engagement, in partnership with QENO and the Career Center, is excited to enter our third year of the SECU Public Fellow Rural Internship Program.

Applications for students will be accepted beginning on February 18, 2019 through March 8, 2019. Interns selected to participate in the Certified Internship Program (CIP) will have structured work experiences to maximize learning and equip students with the ability to express to future employers how their internship helped prepare them for the career opportunities they seek. Each student and the Non-profit where they will perform their Internship will be announced in late-April to Early May when the selection process is completed.

If you are interested in completing the internship application, or would like more information, please visit the Handshake job posting.

2019 SECU Student Fellows

Ashley-Merklinger.jpg Ashley Merklinger
Internship Site: New Hope Clinic - Brunswick

Ashley Merklinger is a senior English, Professional Writing major and Studio Art minor at UNCW. She studies editing, writing and design techniques, rhetoric, and pottery.  She is a first-generation college student from Varnamtown, a small town in rural Brunswick County, North Carolina. She enjoys studying in other countries to learn about different cultures and to find new writing material, as well as reading and practicing her calligraphy. She aims to have a career that enables her to help others and give back to her community.

Autumn.jpg Autumn Skoog
Internship Site: Town of Leland - Brusnwick Project 1

My name is Autumn, and I am originally from McHenry, Illinois. I went to an Early College where I received both my Associates of Arts and my Associates of Science before transferring to UNCW in August 2017. I am a senior graduating in December 2018. I am a Computer Science major with a concentration in digital arts. I am fascinated with the idea of one day working in either database management or web app development.

Bethany-Barbee.jpg Bethany Barbee
Internship Site: City of Jacksonville - Onslow (Youth Summer Program)

My name is Bethany Barbee. I am a rising senior working on a double major in Public Sociology and Public Criminology, with a minor in Forensic Science at UNCW. My favorite project at UNCW was doing research on how authority affects a community through partnering with the Brigade Boys and Girls Club. Witnessing what programs can do for a community is what sparked my interest in the SECU Public Fellows Internship. After graduation, I hope to work with an agency or nonprofit that brings forth positive change for communities. I am from Mebane, NC but love spending summer weekends on Wrightsville Beach. A fun hobby I have recently learned is cruising Wilmington, NC roads using a fixed gear bike which is ridden with cadence and absence of freewheel.  

Carter-Paylor.jpg Carter Paylor
Internship Site: Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity - Pender (Business Analytics)

I am a current senior in the Cameron School of Business pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Analytics with a minor in French language and culture. During the spring semester of 2018, I studied abroad in Marseille, France, which helped to develop my passion for travel and experiencing new things. I love to surf, hike, and generally do anything related to being outdoors. I will be graduating in December of this year, after which I hope to find a job in the analytics field. If the opportunity presents itself, my dream is to get a job in another country in order to combine my career aspirations with my love of travel and being outdoors.

Deja-Mobley.jpg DeJa Mobley
Internship Site: PEERS Family Development Center - Onslow (Office Assistant)

Hello, name is DeJa Mobley. I am a prospective senior in the psychology program here at UNCW. After graduation I will continue my degree in psychology and hopefully be on my way to becoming a clinical therapist. I have a passion for helping people and gaining new experiences. I am looking forward to participating in the SECU internship program this summer! 

Francheska-Pugh-Cuadra.jpg Francheska Pugh-Cuadra
Internship Site: PEERS Family Development Center - Onslow (Marketing/Social Media)

Francheska Pugh-Cuadra is a 22 year old Creative Writing major with a special interest in publication. She has been at UNCW for two years now and enjoys volunteering and spending time in the community. When she is not busy working on her novel, she can be found with her cat, Jeli Bene. 

Kacie-Bagley.jpg Kacie Bagley
Internship Site: Brunswick Senior Resource - Brunswick (Case Mngmt)

Kacie Bagley is a senior at UNCW from Clayton, NC majoring in psychology and minoring in theater. She is currently interning at a recovery residence and has worked in a research lab for three semesters in the psychology department. She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, and Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. After graduation, Kacie hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in counseling.

Kristen-Laney.jpg Kristen Laney
Internship Site: City of Jacksonville - Onslow (Youth Summer Program)

I am a rising senior in the Clinical Research bachelor’s degree program with an anticipated graduation in May 2020. Throughout my time at UNCW, I have been heavily involved in campus activities pertaining to the Clinical Research program. I was awarded a Student Ambassador scholarship and a Fellow scholarship through FuseCR: Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development Center. I was also inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in March 2019. I am looking forward to my internship with the City of Jacksonville and hope to expand my knowledge of business and help my community. I live in the city of Jacksonville with my husband of 12 years and my adult son. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, going to the beach, and spending time with my family.

Lela-Best.jpg Lela Best
Internship Site: Salvation Army of Jacksonville - Onslow

Lela Best is a junior at UNCW. She is majoring in social work and minoring in journalism. She hopes to work within communities once she graduates and become an advocate for human rights. She also hopes to incorporate her love of writing into her career. She enjoys visiting her family in Newton Grove, North Carolina and going to the beach during her free time. She is looking forward to a summer of learning at the Salvation Army through her internship.

Lillie-Camp.jpg Lillie Camp
Internship Site: Brunswick Senior Resource – Brunswick (Volunteer coordination, marketing, communication)

Lillie Camp is a rising senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities. She is part of the Behavioral Pharmacology lab in the Psych department where they study drugs and impulsivity. She hopes to one day gain her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and become a child therapist.  She will be working with Brunswick Senior Resources this summer and is excited for the opportunity.

Matthew-Green.jpg Matthew Green
Internship Site: Philippians Place – Onslow (Marketing)

Matthew Green is a junior transfer student at UNCW majoring in Marketing strategy. He will intern with Philippians Place over the summer. He hopes to be able to use the skills learned in the internship towards a meaningful career in Public relations and Advertising. 

Mercedes-Adams.jpg Mercedes Adams
Internship Site: Exceptional Children's Assistance Center (ECAC) - Pender

Mercedes Adams was raised in Sanford, North Carolina. She is a Senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and will be receiving her Bachelors in Communication Studies with a minor in Business. She is a member of the Communications Studies Society and Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honors Society. This summer she will be interning with a non-profit organization called Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center. Prior to UNC-Wilmington Mercedes attended Fayetteville Technical Community College and received her Honors Associates Degree in Applied Science Business Administration Marketing & Retailing. After college she plans on applying her creative skills to pursue a career in Marketing.

Miles-Barefoot.jpg Miles Barefoot
Internship Site: Town of Leland - Brunswick Project 2

I am from Pleasant Garden, a small rural town right outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. I attended Pleasant Garden Elementary School and Southeast Guilford Middle School/High School where I played varsity tennis for all four years and participated in several clubs. I then enrolled in University of North Carolina Wilmington and majored in Political Science with a minor in History in preparation to enter the field of Politics and/or other career opportunities.  

Natalie-Best.jpg Natalie Best
Internship Site: Sturgeon City - Onslow (Program Development)

I was raised in Camden County, North Carolina, a small but blossoming rural community. I attended East Carolina University for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. At ECU, I was the Vice President of a club called Eco-Pirates. I am a Political Science major, and am fascinated in the intriguing, complex, and sometimes convoluted structure of government. I believe in a government by the people and for the people, and furthermore that those of us who can successfully navigate the chaos of government must do so at the will of the people. My love for nature, passion for protecting the environment, and acknowledgement of the necessity for humans to improve their relationship with and impact on the environment has led me to UNCW to pursue, in addition to Political Science, Environmental Science as a minor. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that the SECU Public Fellows Program has granted me, and thrilled to spend the summer working for and learning from Sturgeon City of Jacksonville, NC.


Ryan Davies
Internship Site: Onslow Parks and Recreation – Onslow (Marketing)

Hello, my name is Ryan Davies. I am a double major in the Film Studies and Marketing Strategy programs at UNCW. In my free time, I like to create stories which I can express through short films. I am always interested in meeting lots of different people who can broaden my horizons and share interesting stories of their own.

kristian-perez.jpg Kristian Perez
Internship Site: Onslow Parks and Recreation – Onslow (Summer Camp Coordinator)

My name is Kristian Perez and I am a rising senior at UNCW. I am a biology major and chemistry minor looking to either work in a research laboratory or continue my education in graduate school. For my internship, I will be working with Onslow County Parks and Rec as  the summer camp coordinator.

Ty-Talbott.jpg Ty Talbott
Internship Site: City of Jacksonville – Onslow (Onslow Sports Commission)

Born in Wilmington, N.C., but grew up in Lisbon, Ohio. Graduated from Lisbon David Anderson in 2011 with Honors. Continued education through Kent State-Salem, Community College of the Air Force, and the American Military University completing an A.A. in Criminal Justice in 2017 and a B.A. in Homeland Security in 2018. Currently, enrolled at the University of North Carolina Wilmington to complete a B.S. in Management/Leadership Studies.

Check below for past internship sites and student intern placements!

2017 SECU Student Internship Placements
2018 SECU Student Internship Placements