Wilmington Fellows Class of 2021


Kelly Arnold

Kelly Arnold currently lives in the town of Lewisville, NC and has been thrilled to get to know the coastal region of North Carolina while at UNCW. She plans to double major in Anthropology and History with a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, hoping to pursue a career in archaeology and museum work after graduating. While at UNCW she has come to hold leadership positions in Student Ambassadors and the Anthropology Club, as well as maintaining a strong involvement with the Honors College through the Honors Scholars Association and serving as an Honors Mentor. During the rest of her time at UNCW, Kelly looks forward to advancing her academic career through research and internships while still making time for some amazing memories with her friends.


Noah Baker

Noah Baker is from Concord, North Carolina pursuing a degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. His passion for UNCW extends through his various involvements which include being a Student Ambassador, Honors office worker, Honors student mentor, and undergraduate researcher. He plans to pursue a PhD in particle physics after his undergraduate studies with the hopes of becoming a professor someday. One of his previous professors, Dr. Grove, stated regarding his decision to be a professor that he “loved the university experience so much that [he] just never left,” a sentiment Noah has adopted as he continues his studies. He hopes to continue to be as involved as he can in the Honors College, and to take advantage of the many opportunities provided by that involvement.


Ryan Besemer

Ryan was born and raised in Lansing, New York, which lies just outside of Ithaca. Growing up, Ryan developed a sense of wonder and intrigue for the ocean. As a result of his close proximity to Cornell University, Ryan was able to explore his interests through a program called New Visions, where he was able to assist a graduate student with her research during his senior year of high school. As a result of his hard work on the project, Ryan eventually became a co-author on the paper concerning CRESS-DNA viruses in intertidal marine isopods. Ryan’s decision to attend UNCW came as a result of the wonderful Marine Biology program and warmer winters. Ryan is pursuing a degree in Marine Biology at UNCW, with minors in Chemistry and Statistics. After his undergrad, Ryan hopes to continue his love for learning in graduate school for his doctorate. Aside from academics, Ryan has pursued several other passions on campus as a Student Ambassador and as the goalie for the Club Ice Hockey team.

Daniella Berry

Daniela Berry

Daniela Berry is from Hudson, North Carolina and is excited to transition from the mountain lifestyle to a beach one. She plans on double majoring in Recreation Management and Business Administration. Daniela plans to become involved with the Wilmington YMCA as well as other organizations on campus. You may see Daniela running around campus or learning to surf at Wrightsville; regardless, she can’t wait to begin her time at UNCW.

Grace Carter

Grace Carter

Grace Carter is from Hudson, New Hampshire. She looks forward to pursuing a major in Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She is excited to get involved in on campus organizations, including the scuba and beekeeping clubs. Grace has a passion for traveling and is interested in studying abroad in South Africa. She has always had the goal of becoming a veterinarian, so she plans on a pre-vet track. She worked at an animal hospital throughout high school and hopes at find similar work during her time at UNCW.


Nicki D'Alessio

Nicki D'Alessio is from Raleigh, North Carolina and is planning to major in Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish. Since arriving at UNCW, Nicki has become extremely involved in the campus community, holding positions as a Student Ambassador, Resident Assistant, Spirit and Homecoming Marketing Coordinator for the Association for Campus Entertainment, and Secretary of the Honors Scholars Association. Nicki plans to become involved in undergraduate research and internships as well as find time to study abroad during her remaining time at UNCW.

Allison Garrell

Allison Garrell

Allison is from Raleigh, NC. Her major is undecided because she has many fields of interest, but she cannot wait to find something that she loves and wants to do for the rest of her life. One of her main passions is visual arts, and she is ready to learn and grow in that field. She hopes to study abroad so that she can get a better understanding of the different views and cultures around the world.  She plans to play club sports and join other activities around the Seahawk community.

Zach Hyta

Zachary Hyta

Zach Hyta was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. He is excited to double major in Business and Marine Biology, as well as gaining a minor in Chemistry, having a passion for science. He hopes to study abroad in places such as Australia, to see the world in general, and to conduct field research. He also looks forward to joining many of the clubs and organizations at UNCW.

Madison King

Madison King

Madison was born in Raleigh, NC and grew up in Wake Forest, NC. In high school she was on the cheer team and participated in SGA, DECA, and NHS, and she plans to join similar organizations at UNCW. She has always had a passion for biology and medicine and found a love for business in high school, so she plans to double major in Biology and Business in order to become a medical sales representative. She plans to join a sorority and get involved in other organizations at UNCW. She is excited to study abroad during college since she has never left the country and business is so universal.


Lynda Matheny

Lynda is originally from Rutherfordton, NC. She has always had a love for science and medicine, but she didn't find her passion for Biology until she attended UNCW. She is currently majoring in Biology with a minor in Neuroscience. She plans to attend medical school after she graduates. In fall 2018, Lynda began a DIS with Dr. Kohman exploring the functional consequences of neuroinflammation. She also began working as a Seahawk Link. Lynda loves to travel and hopes to study abroad in Europe or South America.

Sarah Nicholson

Sarah Nicholson

Coming from the small town of Whispering Pines, NC, Sarah has found a second home at UNCW. She is currently planning to double major in Spanish and Biology with a concentration in Freshwater and Terrestrial Conservation. Her love of nature has prompted her to pursue a career as a wildlife biologist, with hopes to perform field research and advance conservation efforts. Outside of class, Sarah is involved in clubs such as the Seahawk Wildlife Society, Marine Mammal Stranding Program, Plastic Ocean Project, and Student Ambassadors. She also volunteers at the Good Shepherd Center and NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. During the summer of 2018, Sarah worked as an animal husbandry intern at The Creature Conservancy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In her remaining years at UNCW, she is looking forward to working as a Sustainability Peer Educator, studying abroad, and becoming involved in undergraduate research.

Recent Accomplishments: SGA Scholarship recipient, Margaret Walthour Lippitt Scholarship recipient

Connor Simmons

Connor Simons

Connor is from Charlotte, North Carolina. He plans to major in Business Administration with a minor in Spanish. During his time at UNCW, he also hopes to study abroad and travel to different countries in order to achieve his goal of owning an international business.

Lauren Whitehouse

Lauren Whitehouse

Lauren, from Essex Junction, Vermont, is excited to begin her work towards a double major in Marine Biology and Environmental Science with a minor in Spanish.  In addition to her academic rigor, she plans to get an early start in the professional world as well as study abroad, join the equestrian club, and become involved in the Wilmington community through volunteer service.