UNCW’s DeGennaro, Durance and McCall Winners of WILMA's 2017 Women to Watch Award

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

UNCW’s Donna DeGennaro, Diane Durance and Jennifer McCall are among the women selected as 2017 WILMA Women to Watch Award winners.

UNCW had seven finalists for the annual awards that honor achievements in the areas of business, health care, nonprofit, public service, arts and education. Finalists were recognized and the winner for each category was announced at a reception on Oct. 13.

DeGennaro, assistant professor in the Watson College of Education, began the nonprofit Unlocking Silent Histories in 2012 to give indigenous youth a vehicle to express themselves by making cultural documentaries. She worked with Maya youth in Guatemala to develop a model addressing the digital divide, culturally responsive learning and social justice education.

Durance has directed the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship since 2016. The standalone 501(c)3 nonprofit is owned by the UNCW Research Foundation and provides small business training, mentoring programs and hosts public events. In addition, she serves on the InnovateSENC board, the UNCW Entrepreneurship and Business Development Advisory Board and the Cucalorus Connect advisory board.

McCall, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Services, was honored for her role as CEO of the startup company SeaTox Research, which develops diagnostic kits to detect toxins in seafood. Earlier this year, SeaTox, in collaboration with UNCW, received a Small Business Technology Transfer grant of nearly $1.5 million to continue the company’s research and development efforts.

--Caroline Cropp