Military Affairs

large brick building

About Us

The Office of Military Affairs is an advocacy office that was established in March 2016 to develop and coordinate resources to help military-affiliated students--service members, veterans, and their family members--achieve their academic and career goals. Military Affairs staff members help students and their families learn how to navigate the university. 

Our Team:

Bill Kawczynski, Director of Military Affairs

As an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Marine Corps, Bill Kawczynski monitored military and geopolitical situations for more than 50 countries and served as a liaison to numerous foreign military organizations, services and staff sessions. Today, he helps military-affiliated students navigate the challenges of transitioning from the military to college. By working with campus partners, he has expanded the level of support services UNCW provides to military-affiliated students. 

Melanie Nelson, Military Student Services Specialist

Melanie began her professional career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. She holds a Master’s of Education in lifelong learning and adult education, as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate in adult basic education. An AmeriCorps alum, she has worked in the nonprofit sector as a program manager and curriculum designer, including working to end chronic homelessness for veterans. In her role at UNCW, she coordinates support services for military-affiliated students and facilitates Green Zone workshops for faculty and staff. She also teaches the Transfer Student Seminar course at UNCW and has facilitated webinars for PaperClip Communications on the topic of support for military-affiliated students. Melanie was raised as a military brat and hails from Jacksonville, NC.

Joanna DeMott, Military Liaison and Program Coordinator

Joanna DeMott has numerous personal connections to the military community. Her grandfather served in WWI and received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. Her aunt and uncle served honorably in the U.S. Navy in WWII and beyond. Joanna’s father served in the Air Force in the Korean War, and her sisters served in the Army, Air Force and Air National Guard. Her husband is a Marine Corps veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Joanna holds a Master's of Human Resources and a Project Management Professional certification. Her career spans more than 20 years of serving Marines, sailors and their families in both paid and volunteer capacities. She has a passion for serving the military community and is honored to have the ability to continue to serve our nation's heroes in the Office of Military Affairs. In her role at UNCW, she connects military members and their families to community resources and coordinates the Veteran Employee Support Team at UNCW. She has also facilitated webinars for PaperClip Communications on the topic of support for military-affiliated students.