UNCW Celebrates Scholarship at Annual Research Reception

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Scholarly work from music and poetry to nursing, marine biology and more took center stage during a “Toast to Scholarship,” UNCW’s annual Research Reception on Feb. 25.
The event celebrated faculty and staff who are leading research, discovery and innovation at UNCW. Faculty and staff were recognized for activities such as submitting funding proposals, receiving external awards and engaging in all forms of scholarly effort.  This year’s event included an exhibit of books written or edited by UNCW scholars.
“Research is more than funding,” said Stuart Borrett, associate provost for research and innovation. “These awards fuel our discoveries, big and small, ignite campus and community innovation, help solve real-world problems, and enable many of our undergraduate and graduate students to engage in high-quality applied learning activities.”
Researchers submitted 292 proposals, requesting a total of $66 million in funding, and were awarded 184 projects and more than $12 million to support research programs. Due in part to researchers’ efforts, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education reclassified UNCW as a “Doctoral University with High Research Activity” in December 2018.  This puts UNCW in an elite group of universities whose research is making an impact and whose teaching is transforming students’ lives, said Chancellor Jose Sartarelli.
“I have no doubt that the faculty and administrators who believed in UNCW’s research mission in the early days would be very impressed with what you have accomplished,” Sartarelli said. “I am also convinced that UNCW can and must continue expanding its research portfolio and the sponsored research that supports it. This is essential to improving the quality of both research and teaching at UNCW.”
The newest members of the James F. Merritt Million Dollar Club were announced during the reception. The Million Dollar Club honors researchers and faculty who have received more than $1 million in research funding. This year’s inductees are:
One Million Dollar Club
  • James Blum, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Christopher LaClair, research specialist, UNCW Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program,
  • Jennifer McCall, assistant professor, School of Nursing
Ten Million Dollar Club
  • Christopher Finelli, professor, Department of Biology and Marine Biology; dean of the Graduate School; and interim executive director of marine sciences
The top faculty from each college with the highest number of journal article publications for fiscal year 2019 were also recognized during the reception.  They are:
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Thomas Cariveau, Joseph Pawlik and Darin Penneys
  • College of Health and Human Services: Tammy Arms, Debra Hrelic and Justine Reel
  • Cameron School of Business: Rebecca Guidice, Guarav Gupta and Peter Schuhmann
  • Watson College of Education: Daisyane Barreto, Lisa Buchanan, Angelia Reid-Griffin, Dennis Kubasko and Wilson Okello

Faculty and staff who represent the top five with respect to most grant submissions for FY19 were James Merritt, Jason White, Narcisa Pricope, Ashley Wells and Wade Watanabe.

- Venita Jenkins