North Carolina Campus Compact’s Prestigious Award Given to UNCW Student

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

UNCW senior Regina Elise Wilson ’17 has been awarded the Community Impact Award from the North Carolina Campus Compact as one of the Compact’s 2016 Election Engagement Fellows. A lifelong humanitarian, Wilson worked toward bettering her community long before entering college, traveling all over the world for the nonprofit Operation Smile to provide operations for children with cleft lips and palates. Now Wilson is changing the face of civic commitment on the UNCW campus.

Already an engagement guide for the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, a Boys & Girls Club volunteer and an elementary and middle school tutor, Wilson joined the NC Campus Compact to get more involved in voter registration. Her efforts across the UNCW campus have reached past OSLE to student government, the political science honor society, the Black Student Union and beyond. She reached roughly 2,000 students with her message, leading a team that registered approximately 700 people to vote before the recent election.

Elise Wilson

“NC Campus Compact and OSLE have given me everything and have really helped me with my UNCW experience,” said Wilson. “I feel like I should be giving them an award.”

A network of 36 North Carolina universities and colleges, the NC Campus Compact works to enhance civic engagement across higher education. They do this in part by recognizing students like Wilson. This year, she was among 25 students highlighted, joining the ranks of the 200 students the Compact has recognized since 2006. Wilson attended their annual CSNAP conference on Nov. 12 with other Election Engagement Fellows to present on their efforts and receive the award.

“At the core of Elise’s involvement with our office is positive community impact,” said Erin Williamson, assistant director for OSLE. “Perhaps more meaningful than her contributions, however, is the important side effect of her work. Elise has developed her passion for a more just society. The contributions of students like Elise combined with their own personal development is what our work at UNCW is all about.”

In the future, Wilson wants to focus on continuing to help her community, and part of that help means turning toward education. After graduation, Wilson will start a two-year appointment with Teach for America where she will serve in an underprivileged and low-income community. Wilson’s long-term goal is to attend law school, where she hopes to focus on education reform.

“Education is the most important thing you can do to help a generation grow up and lead a nation,” Wilson said. “It’s critical to teach children equality, equity and everything that’s happened in our world.”

-- Caitlin Taylor ’18M