Wilmington Fellows Class of 2021

Kelly Arnold, Wilmington Fellows class of 2021

Kelly Arnold

Kelly Arnold is from the town of Lewisville, NC and has been thrilled to get to know the coastal region of North Carolina while at UNCW. She was a double major in Anthropology and History with a minor in Spanish, hoping to pursue a career in archaeology and museum work after graduating. While at UNCW she held 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. She interned during multiple summers with the Mount Vernon archeological team. After graduating, Kelly moved to Raleigh, NC to pursue a master's degree in Public History at NCSU. 

Noah Baker, Wilmington Fellows class of 2021.

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 have included 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 completed a degree in Marine Biology at UNCW, with minors in Chemistry and Statistics. 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. After graduating with his bachelor's degree, Ryan has stayed at UNCW to complete his master's degree in marine biology. 

Daniella Berry, Wilmington Fellows class of 2021.

Daniela Berry

Daniela Berry is from Hudson, North Carolina, a small town near Boone. Her love for the outdoors and childhood spent hiking and camping with family has fueled her passion for connecting youth to outdoor recreation opportunities. She hopes to have a career with the YMCA in residential camping. Daniela studied Recreation, Sports Leadership and Tourism Management with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Recreation as well as minoring in business. Outside of the classroom, Daniela was an active member of the Student Government Association, where she served as President Pro-Tempore. She also served as an Honors Mentor and worked at the Student Rec Center on campus. Her honors thesis studied how to effectively equip residential summer camp staff to support campers with mental health illnesses and disorders.

Nicki D'Alessio, Wilmington Fellows class of 2021.

Nicki D'Alessio

Nicki D'Alessio is from Raleigh, North Carolina and was a Communication Studies and Spanish double major. Since arriving at UNCW, Nicki became extremely involved in the campus community, serving as an Honors housing Resident Assistant, Secretary and then President of Student Ambassadors, and Vice President of Marketing for the Association for Campus Entertainment. Nicki studied abroad for a summer in Salamanca, Spain, and was also the 2019 recipient of the Martha Duncan Leadership Scholarship through the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Nicki hopes to pursue a career in marketing and public relations, and hopefully do a lot more traveling after graduation. She accepted a position teaching English in Spain following graduation. 

Zach Hyta, Wilmington Fellows class of 2021.

Zachary Hyta

Zach Hyta was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. He majored in Finance with a minor in Biology, having a passion for science. He studied abroad in Australia. 


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 majored in Marketing. She was involved with Greek life and other organizations at UNCW. 


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 majored 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.

Sarah Nicholson, Wilmington Fellows class of 2021.

Sarah Nicholson

Coming from the small town of Whispering Pines, NC, Sarah has found a second home at UNCW. She is majoring in Biology (conservation concentration) with a minor in Spanish. 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 has worked as a Sustainability Peer Educator and a Spanish Tutor at the University Learning Center. She has also been involved in organizations such the Marine Mammal Stranding Program, Plastic Ocean Project, and Student Ambassadors. 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 studying abroad and becoming involved in undergraduate research.