UNCW Staff, Students on WILMA’s “Women to Watch” List

Monday, August 10, 2020

Fidias Reyes ’14M, director of arts engagement, and Jessie Robertson, environmental activist, artist and UNCW student, have been nominated in the arts category. Tiffany Erichsen ’17M, coordinator of the Center for Workforce Development in UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services; and Sabrina Hill-Black, principal at UNCW's lab school, D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, were nominated in the education category. Jessica Aguilar ’20, Juntos 4-H Pender County coordinator and program assistant for UNCW’s Centro Hispano, is nominated as a “Rising Star.”

Reyes was recently named UNCW’s director of arts engagement. In her previous role as the artist services and residency coordinator, Reyes demonstrated her wealth of experience and expertise in the arts and cultural arts programming. She is a firm believer in the power of the arts to address complex societal issues like social justice, explaining that, “the arts have the ability to heal and to create a space for uncomfortable but necessary conversations.”

Robertson, an honors senior double majoring in studio art and digital arts, has chosen a unique way to combine her two greatest passions – artwork and frogs – to educate the general population on the various species of frogs and the threats that they face. She believes her nomination is a great chance to continue to share her work. “It gives me the opportunity to spread my artwork and frog conservation message with others,” she said.

Erichsen specializes in identifying and leveraging strengths of individuals and organizations to build mutually beneficial collaborations. In her current role at UNCW, she develops and implements continuing education programs, customized trainings, and professional development opportunities for health and human service professionals. A lifelong learner, Erichsen holds master’s degrees in public administration and social work, as well a certificate in nonprofit management. She is also currently enrolled as a student in the post-baccalaureate certificate program in evaluation at UNCW. She sees the nomination as an opportunity to learn from and engage with the other nominees.

Hill-Black is principal of D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, a K-8 school, opened in partnership with UNCW in July 2018. D.C. Virgo currently serves more than 200 students in downtown Wilmington. Before her role as principal, Hill-Black served as a teacher and administrator in New Hanover County Schools. She is appreciates this nomination, and sees it as a testament to her dedication to living and working "a charge of truth and service."

Aguilar just recently obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work from UNCW and sees the nomination as validation not only for the hard work she does for the community, but for the Juntos 4-H Program. “This nomination means representation for the families and students that I serve in Pender County, and it is a reminder of the value that the Juntos 4-H Program holds. It is humbling to have others learn about the program and see how transformative it is for our community.”

Finalists will be recognized and the winner for each category announced at an event on Oct. 17.

-- Christina Schechtman