Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

Watson College Recognitions

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Candace Blanke and Chancellor Zito

Special Recognitions

Candace Blanke was honored for her exemplary service to the university at a ceremony at the Burney Center on Sept. 14. Blanke is in the WCE’s Office of Outreach and Teacher Education. She was one of 14 outstanding staff members recognized by Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli and Provost Marilyn Sheerer at the event and featured in a UNCW home page story. For additional information about the award and photos from the ceremony please visit the Our College Community section of the newsletter.

Hoggard High School Athletics recognized William Sterrett and Somer Lewis for their support of educators in North Carolina on September 9. Sterrett, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and coordinator of WCE’s Master of School Administration program, and Lewis, director of WCE’s Professional Development System, were presented with signed footballs during a home game at the school. pic.twitter.com/4FnwujXUj…

Lewis was also featured in a “We are UNCW” profile on June 28.

Faculty News

Donna DeGennaro presented at the Smithsonian Sept. 10 and 11 as part of Hispanic Heritage month. The event highlighted the work of young people participating in Unlocking Silent Histories, the nonprofit DeGennaro founded in 2013 that, among other things, helps indigenous youth express their worlds through documentary films. DeGennaro is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. Her work was featured in a story on the UNCW home page on Sept. 2.

An article by Amy Garrett Dikkers and Somer Lewis titled “Professional Development Supports for the Blended, Co-taught Classroom” was published in the Journal of Online Learning Research in August. Garrett Dikkers is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership.


Kevin McClure’s research was referenced in the August 16 issue of Inside Higher Education. McClure is an assistant professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership.

McClure was also featured in a story on the UNCW homepage on Aug. 4.

Amelia Moody was invited to serve on an expert panel of presenters at the Center on Technology and Disability’s webinar, Innovations in STEM Education Technology to Support Students with Autism on Sept. 15. Moody is an associate professor of early childhood and special education at the Watson College. The event was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Offices of Special Education Programs and STEM Initiatives.

Salena Rabidoux is leading UNCW’s Applied Learning and Teaching Community this semester in a full faculty fellow ranking, along with Kristin Bolton (social work, UNCW).  Rabidoux and Bolton will facilitate regular ALTC meeting, support campus-wide events, mentor faculty and staff involved in applied learning, and coordinate efforts to support and encourage the development of applied learning-related projects and products. Rabidoux is a faculty member, instructional designer and secondary MAT program coordinator at the Watson College. ALTC falls under the ETEAL umbrella.

Staff News

Joy Childs is the new business officer for the Watson College. She joined WCE in 2007 as an administrative associate in the PDS office before moving to the Assessment Office, where she managed the UNCW Integrated Data Management System. Since 2013, she has served as WCE’s business services coordinator. She succeeds Nancy Jones, who retired in January after more than 20 years of service to UNCW.

Nicole Geczi is the executive assistant in the Office of Teacher Education and Outreach. Nicole joined UNCW’s Watson College in 2014 as administrative associate in the dean’s office. She succeeds Glenda Bowen, who retired in March after more than 30 years of service to UNCW.

WCE’s Advising Center is Now the Office of SAIL!

WCE’s Advising Center has restructured to meet the growing and changing needs of the College. Advisors will now be engaged in efforts to recruit, retain and graduate our students through the new Office of Student Advising and Integrated Leadership (SAIL).

Brenna Johnson will continue to serve our extension students. Her office is located at CCCC in Onslow County.

La’Mon Johnson, a new GA, is a student in the M.Ed. Higher Ed program. He brings considerable experience and enthusiasm to the position, particularly in working with first-generation college students.

Tanya Malacinski will lead transfer and freshmen orientation events and play a key role in program recruitment efforts.

Melissa Newcity, administrative associate, will continue to serve the Advising Office and the Educational Technology Unit.

Allison Rankin will coordinate marketing needs. She has also developed modules and outreach materials for transfer students.

LeAnne Smith, office director and liaison to the new UNCW Academic Advising Council, will work with the Watson Student Leaders and the freshmen Education Learning Community.

Leigh Smith, a master’s student from NCSU, will continue her internship with WCE in fall and spring.  She will coordinate all undergraduate recruitment events.


Alumni Recognitions

Sueanne McKinney ’82 and Frances Boney Bessellieu ’82, ’99M were featured in a “We are UNCW” profile on July 1. 

Stephanie Titzel '13M and a 2016 Kenan Fellow in Teacher Leadership was featured in "We are UNCW" profile on July 11.

Amanda Bullard '15 Ed.D. has been named director of elementary education for Lenoir County Schools.

Julie Hunter ‘13M has been named 2016-17 Principal of the Year for Sampson County Schools. Hunter is principal of Union High School.

Allison Johnson ’15, a first year teacher at Micro Elementary in Johnston County, was featured in The News & Observer on August 25.

Margaret Page, a math teacher at Buford High School in Lancaster, South Carolina, is now in her 50th year of teaching! She was featured in a story in The Lancaster News in August.

Leah Sherrill ’16 and her nonprofit Special Pedals Inc. were featured in a July 15 article in WilmingtonBiz.com highlighting organizations that work to employ people who are often marginalized in the workforce.