UNCW’s Dasgupta, Robles, Stachowiak and Tucker on WILMA’s “Women to Watch” List

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Four UNCW Seahawks are finalists in WILMA Magazine’s 2022 Women to Watch Awards, an annual list of females that WILMA editors describe as “movers and shakers in our region” who are making an impact in the following categories: arts, business, education, health, nonprofit/volunteer, public service and rising stars.
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Sayantani Dasgupta (arts), Centro Hispano Program Coordinator Mayra Robles (rising star), Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies and Director of UNCW Gender Studies and Research Center Dana Stachowiak (education) and Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator Tiffany Tucker (education) and are among the 35 finalists.

Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, Sayantani Dasgupta is an accomplished author, editor and researcher who has also taught in India, Italy and Mexico. Her most recent book is the short story collection “Women Who Misbehave.” Her essay collection “Fire Girl” was a finalist for the Foreword Indies Awards for Creative Nonfiction. Dasgupta’s essays and stories have appeared in “The Rumpus,” “Hunger Mountain,” “The Bellingham Review,” “The Southern Humanities Review,” “The Hindu” and others. She serves as a contributing editor for “Assay: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction” and is the founder of Write Wilmington, a supportive online community for local writers.

The first in her family to attend a four-year university, Mayra Robles is a UNCW alumna and holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a K-12 licensure and focus on English as a Second Language. Following graduation, she was a Spanish-speaking admissions counselor for the Office of Admissions. Robles began her ongoing work with Centro Hispano and the MI CASA mentoring project during her undergraduate years. Her other activities and memberships included a study abroad experience in Oaxaca, Mexico; Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Honor Society; Watson Student Leaders; Ritmo Latino and the Education Living Learning Community and MI CASA Youth Mentoring Program. Robles also participated in the Lenoir Migrant Education Program where she taught English to 80 farmworkers and advocated on their behalf.

With more than two decades of teaching experience, Stachowiak has extensive expertise in the areas of women’s and gender studies and social and cultural issues and trends in education. In the classroom, she strives to prepare her students to be equity-minded, inclusion-seeking and transformational leaders in education. As director of UNCW’s Gender Studies and Research Center, she works closely with department chairs, faculty, students and community members to support research, programming and services related to intersectional women’s, gender and sexuality studies. She has recently published articles in “Advocate,” “Journal of Gender Studies,” “Thought and Action” and “Lessons from the Field: Culturally Affirming Literacy Practices for Urban Elementary Students.”  Prior to coming to UNCW in 2016, she was an assistant professor of diversity and multicultural education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 

Tiffany Tucker, a former basketball standout at UNC-Chapel Hill, has extensive experience in college athletics as a student-athlete, coach and administrator. Most recently, she is the recipient of the Nell Jackson Nike Executive of the Year by Women Leaders in College Sports for her many contributions to the profession. Tucker has played a key role in the overall operations of UNCW Athletics, while also participating in numerous local, state and national athletics efforts. Beyond campus, Tucker is a participant in the UNC System Executive Leadership Institute and serves on the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee and the Colonial Athletic Association Family: United for Change Committee (chair). In 2021, she organized the National Girls & Women in Sports Day Leadership Summit to celebrate the successes and achievements of female athletes.

All the finalists will be featured in the October issue of WILMA and will be recognized at an evening celebration event on October 21. Seven category winners will also be announced.

-- Krissy Vick


Creative Writing professor Sayantani Dasgupta

Sayantani Dasgupta, Creative Writing Assistant Professor

Centro Hispano Program Coordinator Mayra Robles

Mayra Robles, Centro Hispano Program Coordinator


Dana Stachowiak, Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies
and Director of UNCW Gender Studies and Research Center 

Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator Tiffany Tucker

Tiffany Tucker, Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator