Sponsored Programs & Research Compliance

James F. Merritt Million Dollar Clubs

Congratulations to recent Million Dollar Club members!

Celebrating researchers awarded $1,000,000 or more

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC) honors eight faculty members for their 2021 induction into the James F. Merritt Million Dollar Club!  Ronald Vetter reached the exclusive $5M club. Patrick Carroll, Patrick Erwin, Mariel Mayo, Heather McWhorter, Jeremy Morgan, Blake Ushijima and Sridhar Varadarajan join an exclusive club of more than 100 scholars and researchers who, due to their commitment to excellence, are on the cutting edge of research, teaching, and service, reaching $1M in total external funding during the 2021 fiscal year. Their efforts, although measurable in dollars, are immeasurable in terms of the positive impact their work has had on the university’s ability to achieve its mission.

Congratulations on your achievement!

Ron Vetter Image


2021 Inductee Images
Club member images


Dr. James F. Merritt started at UNCW in 1973 as an assistant professor of biology and marine biology, serving as chair of the Biology and Marine Biology Department from 1978 to 1988 and Director of CMS from 1986 to 1999. In his 34-year tenure at UNCW, the Million Dollar Club namesake, Dr. Merritt, procured over $14,000,000 in grant and contracts.

Dr. Merritt is Director Emeritus of the Center for Marine Science and coordinates the Lower Cape Fear River Research and Education Program. Dr. Dan Baden, former Executive Principle MARBIONC, calls Merritt a "grand collaborator, seeing ways in which people can work together to gain leverage on difficult marine science issues." Dr. Robert Roer, former Dean of UNCW's Graduate School says about Merritt, "he has dedicated over thirty years at UNCW to conducting and facilitating research in the coastal environment." 

The UNCW Million Dollar Club honors Dr. James F. Merritt and the researchers following in his footsteps.

NOTE: Accounting for grant/contract productivity over a career is sometimes difficult, so please reach out if there are any questions or concerns about how the funding totals have been determined. 

10 Million Dollar Club Graphic   5 Million Dollar Club Graphic    1 Million Dollar Club Graphic

Million Dollar Club Inductees

  • 10 Million Dollar Club Inductees
    • David Andrews, Watson College of Education
    • Daniel G. Baden, Center for Marine Science
    • Chris Finelli, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Alan Hulbert, Center for Marine Science
    • Lynn A. Leonard, Geography and Geology
    • William McLellan, Biology and Marine Biology
    • James Merritt, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Steven Miller, Center for Marine Science
    • Ann Pabst, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Joseph Pawlik, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Martin H. Posey, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Thomas Potts, Center for Marine Science
    • Paul Reinmann, Center for Marine Science
    • Steve Ross, Center for Marine Science
    • Andrew N. Shepard, Center for Marine Science
  • 5 Million Dollar Club Inductees
    • Troy Alphin, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Gene Brooks Avery, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Cathy Barlow, Watson College of Education
    • Lawrence B. Cahoon, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Richard Dillaman, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Jennifor Dorton, Center for Marine Science
    • Michael J. Durako, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Robert Kieber, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Leslie S. Langer, Small Business Technology Development Center
    • Michael Mallin, Center for Marine Science
    • John Morrison, Physics and Physical Oceanography
    • Marvin K. Moss, Center for Marine Sciences
    • Karl Ricanek, Computer Science
    • Karen Shafer, WCE Center for Ed in STEM
    • Robert Tyndall, Education Leadership
    • Wade O. Watanabe, Center for Marine Science
    • Robert I. Wicklund, Academic Affairs
    • Jeffrey Wright, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 1 Million Dollar Club Inductees
    • Md Shah Alam, Center for Marine Science
    • Midori Albert, Anthropology
    • Paulo Almeida, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Antje Almeida, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Catharina Alves de Souza, Center for Marine Science
    • Diana Ashe, Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership
    • Jeffery Bailey, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Michael Baker, Center for Marine Science
    • John Bennett, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences
    • Frederick Bingham, Physics and Physical Oceanography
    • James Blum, Mathematics and Statistics
    • Jess Boersma, World Languages & Cultures
    • Perri Bomar, School of Nursing
    • Andrea Bourdelais, Center for Marine Science
    • Rebecca Caldwell, Division of Student Affairs
    • Caroline Clements, Psychology
    • Dale Cohen, Psychology
    • Edna Collins, Education
    • William Cooper, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Natacha Davis, QENO Trust
    • Steve Demski, Public Service and Continuing Studies
    • Darwin Dennison, Health and Applied Human Services
    • Kristen DeVall, Sociology and Criminology
    • James DeVita, Watson College of Education, Education Leadership
    • Chris Dumas, Economics and Finance
    • Steve Emslie, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Martha Everette, Watson College of Education
    • Arthur Frampton, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Wilson Freshwater, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Joseph Galizio, Psychology
    • Liping Gan, Physics and Physical Oceanography
    • Courtney Hackney, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Stephen Hall, Center for Marine Science
    • William Harris, Geography and Geology
    • Andrew Hayes, Watson College of Education
    • Hathia Hayes, Watson College of Education
    • Russel L. Herman, Mathematics and Statistics
    • Lance Horn, Center for Marine Science
    • Paul Hosier, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Leslie Hossfeld, Sociology and Criminology
    • Michelle Howard-Vital, Public Service and Extended Education
    • Richard Huber, Watson College of Education
    • Julian Keith, Psychology
    • Steve Kinsey, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Rachel Kohman, Psychology
    • Heather Koopman, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Christopher LaClair, Center for Marine Science
    • Christina Lanier, Sociology and Criminology
    • Tom Lankford, Biology and Marine Biology
    • David Lindquist, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Susan Lovelace, Center for Marine Science
    • Gabriel G. Lugo, Mathematics and Statistics
    • Sally MacKain, Psychology
    • Daniel Masters, Public and International Affairs
    • Jennifer McCall, School of Nursing
    • Michael McCartney, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Dylan McNamara, Physics and Physical Oceanography
    • Ralph Mead, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Stephen Meinhold, Public and International Affairs
    • Mahnaz Moallem, Instruction Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education
    • Jerome P. Naar, Center for Marine Science
    • Sridhar Narayan, Computer Science
    • Nora E. Noel, Psychology
    • William Overman, Psychology
    • Laurie Paarlberg, Public and International Affairs
    • Eleni Pappamihiel, Instruction Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education
    • Eric Patterson, Computer Science
    • Toni Pence, Computer Science
    • Mike Perko, Health and Applied Human Sciences
    • Jeanne Persuit, Communication Studies
    • James H. Reeves, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Robert Roer, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Spencer M. Rogers, Jr., Center for Marine Science
    • Saul Rosser, Center for Marine Science
    • David Roye, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Fran Scarlett, Small Business Technology Development Center
    • Fred Scharf, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Lee Schweninger, English
    • Pamela Seaton, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Thomas Shafer, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Ron Sizemore, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Stephen Skrabal, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Bongkuen Song, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Ann Stapleton, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Alina Szmant, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Gene Tagliarini, Computer Science
    • Allison Taylor, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Carol Chase Thomas, Watson College of Education
    • Craig Tobias, Geography and Geology
    • Ronald Vetter, Computer Science
    • Aswani Volety, College of Arts and Sciences
    • Charles Ward, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • David Webster, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Andrew Westgate, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Karen Wetherill, Watson School of Education
    • Jason White, Center for Marine Science
    • James White, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Robert Whitehead, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Ami Wilbur, Biology and Marine Biology
    • Joan Wiley, Chemistry and Biochemistry