Wilmington Fellows Class of 2017

Headshot of Tiffany Ernst, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Tiffany Ernst

From New Jersey, Tiffany Ernst chose UNCW because of its exceptional program for Marine Biology and its concentration on undergraduate research and involvement. After graduating from UNCW in May 2017 with dual majors in Marine Biology and Chemistry, she accepted a Fulbright Grant to study in the Netherlands at Radboud University. Tiffany was involved in undergraduate research in the MAPLE Lab under the direction of Dr. Heather Koopman. Her honors thesis project was in marine biology on the presence of glucose transporter 4 in the acoustic lipids of bottlenose dolphins; she also completed a DIS project quantifying melting points of complex lipids taken from the acoustic fats and blubbers of deep diving odontocetes. In her final semester, Tiffany completed another DIS in marine biology to explore advanced topics in marine lipid chemistry and analysis. Beyond her passion for science, Tiffany was active in Wilmington’s art community with particular interest in creative writing, and spent every remaining minute outdoors. She served a two-year term as a student board member for the National Collegiate Honors Council and served three years as a committee member for the NCHC Partners in the Parks program.  

Katherine Hoffman, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Katherine Hoffman

Originally from southern Maryland, Katie came to UNCW to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a marine biologist and protector of the ocean. As a Marine Biology major with a minor in Music, Katie was an active campus member in many facets. She performed as principal flutist in UNCW’s Chamber Winds and Symphonic Winds ensembles, served as Vice President of the Women in Science and Engineering organization, completed a DIS in Dr. Will White’s lab, studied abroad in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and finished her thesis in Dr. White’s lab. Her Honors project focused on the ecology of fear and how the fear of predation affects the spatial decision-making of a foraging guppy. She presented her findings at the Benthic Ecology Meeting in April 2017 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Katie spent the majority of her free time in the water, whether it was diving, swimming, or just a relaxing day at the beach. She began her master’s degree at the College of Charleston in the fall of 2017.

Mary Jaskowiak, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Mary Jaskowiak

Mary Jaskowiak was an Environmental Science major from the Chicago area. Her academic career was dedicated to becoming an expert in water resources and improving water quality. Through research with Dr. Larry Cahoon, Mary developed methods of tracking human waste in natural waters with optical brighteners, which are found in laundry detergents. She successfully defended her thesis on the topic and worked to commercialize her methods. In spring 2017, she won the BB&T Leadership Symposium’s social good entrepreneurship contest, providing her with seed money to produce kits that utilize the methods she developed. In addition to academics, Mary was very active in Catholic Campus Ministry. As president of this student organization, she organized a trip to see Pope Francis, organized a public lecture featuring the president of the Vatican Observatory, coordinated the installation of two rain gardens, and served as the CCM liaison for the Student Sustainability Network. She served on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Student Leadership Council her senior year. Over the summers, Mary interned with Friends of the Fox River and the North Carolina Coastal Federation, worked for MarineQuest, and volunteered at Airlie Gardens.


Danielle Siegert, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Danielle Siegert

Danielle earned a double major in Marine Biology and Oceanography with a minor in Chemistry. She finished her honors thesis in Rob Condon’s Biological Oceanography lab, monitoring water quality and the microbial community in the Cape Fear River following Hurricane Matthew. She completed a Directed Independent Study (DIS) in 2014 using the Cape Fear River as a model to investigate the sinks of terrestrial dissolved organic matter. For the NOAA Hollings Program, she focused on quantifying carbon storage in seagrass meadows in Padilla Bay, Washington. Danielle also worked in the Honors Office and as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador. When not working in the lab or completing graduate school applications, she enjoyed backpack camping and traveling. She went on to graduate school.

Gloria Meiers, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Gloria Meiers

Gloria came into UNCW as an undecided major with a love for a variety of subjects. She ended up double majoring in Psychology and French. She participated in an Art and Philosophy Study abroad summer session in Florence and Paris and a French study abroad semester in Paris. She has played soccer since the age of four and has also participated in multiple triathlon/biathlon events. She has a passion for photography and all types of music and plays the piano and oboe. Gloria chose UNCW because of the opportunity of the Wilmington Fellows Program and the strong Psychology department. She became involved on campus through research in a Psychology lab, Psi Chi, the International Student Organization, the Office of International Programs, the English as a Second Language Program, and intramural soccer. She completed her Honors thesis on the subject of child witnesses of intimate partner violence. She went on to UNCW's master’s in Psychological Science.


Nicholas Sterling, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Nick Sterling

Nick completed majors in physics and philosophy. His honors thesis in physics describes the role of symmetries in relativistic quantum theory. He also completed an honors thesis in philosophy that discusses the ontology of space-time in both the classical and modern contexts. Nick spent a summer at Jefferson Laboratory doing Monte Carlo simulations for the GlueX collaboration’s measurement of the lifetime of the eta meson. In his spare time, he enjoys rock climbing and hockey. After graduating from UNCW, he began his PhD in physics at Boston University.
Madeleine Cutrone, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Madeleine Cutrone

Madeleine majored in Biology, hoping to pursue a career as a physician, and she went on to medical school after her time at UNCW. She gave much of her time as a volunteer at a free clinic and envisions herself someday providing healthcare as a primary care physician to underserved communities in rural North Carolina. She worked as an undergraduate researcher for nearly two years in Dr. Kinsey’s biochemistry lab, and in her last semester before graduation, she completed an honors thesis studying the effects of caffeine on skeletal muscle substrate utilization. She enjoyed mentoring and spent time as an Honors Mentor and Undergraduate Teaching Assistant. Madeleine has always found a passion in healing, both through healthcare and music. She enjoyed leading her a cappella group as music director and plays the piano in her free time.

Ashley DeMey, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Ashley DeMey

Originally from Bolivia, NC, Ashley traveled to Brest, France while an undergraduate to learn techniques that helped her to analyze data for her honors thesis, "The effects of ocean acidification on the gonadal development of the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica)," which she successfully defended last year. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Psychology, as well as with University Honors and Honors in Biology. She graduated in December 2016 and was accepted at the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State.

Jin-Si Over, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Jin-Si Over

Jin-Si graduated early in December 2016 with a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Oceanography. Jin-Si was involved in Dr. Andrea Hawkes' Sea-level Lab (honors thesis and DIS) at UNCW and participated in an REU on climate change at Old Dominion University (2015). She was a 2015 NOAA Hollings Scholar, for which she did a project in Hawaii. She worked at the University Learning Center as a tutor, and she was an Undergraduate Research Ambassador and a recipient of the Senior Medallion Cornerstone Award. In her free time, Jin-Si (also known as "Unicycle Girl" on campus) volunteered at the Fort Fisher Aquarium and skated at the Wilmington Ice House. She went on to graduate school in Canada.


Juliet Taylor, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Juliet Taylor

Graduated Summer 2016. Pursued graduate school at Duke University.

Suzanne Zeid, Wilmington Fellows class of 2017.

Suzanne Zeid

Graduated Fall 2016. Pursued graduate school at North Carolina State University.