Staff Senate



Office of International Program


Staff Senate Scholarship Recipients

Spring 2019 Recipients:

Congratulations to all six of our Spring 2019 Staff Senate Scholarship winners!


Melinda Cooper, Philosophy & Religion Dept. (above)



Ashley Grindstaff, Watson College of Education (above)


Scot Kelly, Academic Affairs (above)


Meghan Osborne, University Advancement (above)


Michel Shackelford, Human Resources (above)


Carly Wilson, University College (above)


Spring 2018 Recipients:
Meredith Cole and Danielle Broman

Meredith Cole, University Advancement

Pictured are Meredith Cole, Jordan Calfee, and Angie Edwards.

Danielle Browman

Pictured are Carolyn Gavit, Jordan Calfee, Danielle Broman, and Angie Edwards

The spring 2018 scholarship recipients are Meredith Cole of University Advancement, who is currently enrolled in WCE’s M.Ed. program, and Danielle Broman, daughter of Carolyn Gavit from the Chancellor’s Office, who is a current undergraduate student majoring in Exercise Science. Both recipients were awarded $500.00 toward their education at UNCW.

Fall 2017 Recipients:  Ashlee Jensen and Nate Shue

Fall 2017 Staff Senate Scholarship Recipient - Ashlee Jensen

Fall 2017 Staff Senate Scholarship Recipient - Nate Shue

Pictured above are Fall 2017 Staff Senate Scholarship Recipients Ashlee Jensen (top) and Nate Shue (bottom) with Gina Bowen, Staff Senate Scholarship Committee Chair.

Ashlee Jensen is an Executive Assistant in the College of Health and Human Services.  She will be pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work. 

Nate Shue may be a familiar face to many across campus as he is a plumber with Physical Plant. Nate is currently pursuing a degree in Mathematics.

Spring 2017 Recipients:  Nate Shue and Allison Lawlor

Spring 2017 Staff Senate Scholarship Recipients

Pictured above from left to right are Staff Senate Chair Lauren Auton, Nate Shue, Allison Lawler, and Staff Senate Scholarship Committee Chair Gina Bowen.

Congratulations to Nate Shue and Allison Lawlor, recipients of the Spring 2017 Staff Senate Scholarships. Nate works in Physical Plant's Plumbing Department and is pursuing a degree in Mathematics. Allison is an Executive Assistant in the College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Office, and she is pursuing her Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a Higher Education Specialization.

Fall 2016 Recipient:  Sam West

Sam West Fall 2016 Staff Senate Scholarship Recipient

Sam is a TAC support technician and also a full time student pursuing a master’s degree in psychology and is the first staff member to participate in this intensive research program at UNCW.  We want to congratulate Sam and wish him all the best in fulfilling his purpose here at UNCW.

Fall 2015 Recipient:  Melissa Dionesotes

Melissa Dionesotes receives award

Melissa is an Executive Assistant and has been working in the Center for Marine Science since 2008. She is also a research diver and her dream is to advance to a research position. This year she was also accepted into the Masters in Environmental Studies program. The upcoming spring semester she has an opportunity to advance her diving certification and this will allow her to pursue a graduate research project of her own. We want to congratulate Melissa and wish her the best in fulfilling her dreams here at UNCW.

Fall 2014 Recipient:  Karen Ladley

Karen Ladley

Karen Ladley joined UNCW in 2012, after 6 years with Brunswick Community College. She is currently the Coordinator of Testing Services - located in Depaolo Hall. Karen is passionate about the field of Student Services and is pursuing her M. Ed. in the Higher Education Administration program. She hopes to complete her degree in the fall of 2015.
Karen and her husband Brian have two boys - ages 3 and 8 - which make paying for an advanced degree very challenging. Karen states, "This scholarship is so very appreciated."

Spring 2014 Recipient:  Donna Carlton

Donna Carlton

Donna is an administrative assistant in the English Department and is majoring in Sociology. As stated in her application, she has taken a class each semester for over 19 years and is scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2014. Her tenacity for striving to achieve her goal of graduating with a four year degree is one to be admired. Donna is a true inspiration to her co-workers and students at UNCW. Congratulations Donna!

Fall 2014 Recipient:  Lisa Bertini

Lisa Bertini

Lisa is an office assistant in the Department of Creative Writing for over seven years. She is a part-time graduate student in Conflict Management & Resolution and hopes to graduate in May 2014. She acknowledged that the Staff Senate Scholarship would ease some of the burden of choosing graduate school over working another part-time job. She is happy working at UNCW and loves the warmth and support of her colleagues.

Fall 2013 Recipient:  Kristy Burnette

Kristy is an administrative associate for Printing Services/Print Shop. She is a part-time graduate student in the Masters in Public Administration and hopes to graduate in May 2014. Once completed, her goal is to take on a management role at UNCW and be able to give back to the university from where she has received so much. She states, "as a single mom and sole provider in my household, this has caused some financial duress and this scholarship will help alleviate some of 

Spring 2013 Recipient:  Terrey Hatcher

Terrey Hatcher is an Administrative Associate in the Cameron School of Business. She is pursuing a graduate degree in English.

Spring 2012 Recipient:  Amy Howell

Amy is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Accounting at UNCW. Upon receiving her Accounting degree from UNCW, Amy would like to become more involved with the accounting department and reconciling the university's budget. The best advice Amy would give other staff members considering working full time and trying to take courses is to persevere, even when your goal seems far off in the distance…persevere. When Amy is not working at UNCW she is at church volunteering with the youth or you may find her in the kitchen cooking away at home.

Fall 2011 Recipient:  Chardon Murray

Chardon is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Criminology and Public Sociology at UNCW. Chardon received her baccalaureate degree from UNCW with a major in Creative Writing and Political Science. Chardon currently works in the Sociology and Criminology department at UNCW as an administrative associate. Interests: Political Criminology, Counterterrorism, Sociology of Terrorism, Domestic Violence, State Crime, White-Collar Crime. Upon receiving her graduate degree from UNCW, Chardon would like to become more involved with research opportunities on campus and elsewhere. The best advice Chardon would give other staff members considering working full time and trying to take courses is to take advantage of all the opportunities available to you. It may take more work in the short-term, but knowledge is something that no one can take away from you. When Chardon is not working at UNCW she is volunteering for CUE Center for Missing Persons and spending time with her husband, Harrison and daughter, Stella.

Spring 2011 Recipient:  Carole Wilson

Carole is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Conflict Management and Resolution at UNCW. Carole received her baccalaureate degree from ECU with a major in Child Development and Family Relations and a Psychology minor. Carole also received her M.B.A. degree from ECU. Carole works in Financial Systems at UNCW and leads a variety of projects which encompass several cross-divisional departments. Carole's Interests: Animals, reading, swimming, volunteering Upon receiving her Graduate Certificate from UNCW, Carole would like to become more involved with facilitating collaboration across the campus community and resolving conflicts in the workplace. The best advice she would give other staff members considering working full time and trying to take courses is take advantage of the opportunities. While it is sometimes demanding, it is also an investment in yourself, enabling you to further your personal and professional development. It also enables you to give back to your family, UNCW and your community. When Carole is not working at UNCW she is playing with her dog, Sandy; reading a book at Jungle Rapids or volunteering at a variety of organizations, such as Thalian Hall and local animal shelters.

Fall 2010 Recipient:  Carol Page

Carol is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Public Administration at UNCW and plans to graduate in December of this year. She received her baccalaureate degree from Ithaca College with a major in Business Administration. Carol is the Assistant Director of Purchasing Services at UNCW. Upon receiving her degree from UNCW, Carol would like to become more involved in program evaluation and benchmarking. "Program evaluation presents a special, and stimulating, challenge for the public administrator. Often performance indicators are difficult to define and measure; the process is much like solving a puzzle." The advice Carol would give other staff members considering pursuing a degree while working full time: "Dust off the cobwebs and just do it! Pick a program and get the degree. Time passes so quickly, you'll be done before you know it." "I heartily recommend the Public Administration program to anyone in public service; the professors are excellent and the study is wholly relevant to our work here at UNCW."

Spring 2010 Recipient:  Melinda Miles

Melinda is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts degree in film studies at UNCW and works in the Technology Assistance Center. Melinda's interests include films, travel, theater, board games, theme parks, and spending time with her family doing all five of those activities. Upon receiving her Bachelor's degree from UNCW, she would like to become more involved with film projects that would benefit the UNCW and Wilmington community. The best advice Melinda would give other staff members considering working full time and trying to take courses, is to schedule time for your studies, but also to schedule time for fun and leisure activities as well. She also suggests that one take advantage of the many campus resources available, such as The University Learning Center in Westside Hall. When Melinda is not working at UNCW, she is either spending time on one of the aforementioned interests - especially family - or devoting time to study. She also likes to be involved in as many video projects as possible for knowledge and experience.

Fall 2009 Recipient:  Jennifer Abernathy-Messer

Jennifer is currently pursuing her master's degree in Environmental Science at UNCW.She received her baccalaureate degree from A & T with a major in agriculture and minor in soil science. Jennifer is the greenhouse manager at UNCW and is a naturalist at heart. Her interest in the environment is evident by the plant life and recycled materials that surround her.As the greenhouse manager, she has a duel role. Not only does she maintain the plants in the greenhouse for the biology department's botany labs, she also assists with upper and lower level botany labs. In addition, Jennifer would like all UNCW faculty and staff to know that the greenhouse is available for learning about propagation techniques for local plant life. Upon receiving her master's degree from UNCW, Jennifer would like to become more involved with outreach activities such as sustainable agriculture and water and soil conservation. The best advice Jennifer would give other staff members considering working full time and trying to take courses is not to rush it: don't take too many classes at one time and thoroughly enjoy the benefit we are given When Jennifer is not caring for the UNCW greenhouse, working in the lab or studying, she enjoys reading murder mystery novels from another time period.

Spring 2009 Recipient:  Pamela Thurston

Pamela is not only a Housekeeper for UNCW, she's also proud to say she's a student. Pamela's held the position as Housekeeper at UNCW for three years now and is responsible for keeping campus buildings straight and clean. Along with being a Housekeeper here on campus, she is also a mother and a student currently enrolled at UNCW. Her course curriculum includes English, Calculus and Management Database Systems. One of Pamela's goals,upon graduation, is to have a degree focusing on Database Systems and to obtain a position with the UNCW IT Department. Her advice to anyone who is on the fence about taking courses as a staff member here at UNCW is to remember that you are never too old to learn. Pamela also highly recommends taking advantage of what we are offered.Fall 2008 Recipient: Linda-Jean JayLinda-Jean Jay,is a Program Assistant for University Advancement and is located at the Wise Carriage House location off Market Street. Linda-Jean supports six directors of development in their fund raising efforts on behalf of UNCW, including those responsible for Major Gifts, Leadership Gifts and the Parent Council. Her job details require prospect research, coordinating meetings and events across campus, or preparing detailed presentations geared toward donors' philanthropic interests. Linda-Jean also oversees the operational budget for the development team, which consists of nine Directors and a Proposal Writer. her position involves persons from every facet of life and is always interesting, she states that no two days are ever alike. Linda-Jean says that receiving the Staff Senate scholarship has enabled her to continue her M.P.A. studies and expand her graduate nonprofit management research at a time when her family is facing significant financial challenges. Linda's youngest daughter, a single mother of three children, requires financial assistance from her and her husband even though she is gainfully employed and working full time. Funds that she would ordinarily use to help with the educational resources have been diverted to augment her daughter's income. Over the summer they were able to help her purchase a home that she and her children can more readily afford. Shortly afterwards her husband was laid off of his job. As she heads into her final year in the M.P.A. program, the scholarship has given her the opportunity to obtain much-needed software, books and other supplies she could not otherwise afford. These resources will directly affect the quality of her research and her proposal Capstone project on social entrepreneurship in the Cape Fear Region.

Fall 2008 Recipient:  Mary Jo Giammaria

Mary Jo Giammaria is the Office Manager in the Watson School of Education - Dean's Office. Mary Jo is one of the Watson School team employees responsible for the smooth operation of the Dean's Office. This may include greeting and assisting a visitor find the person he/she is meeting, to working with Physical Plant staff personnel regarding the maintenance of the golf carts. Further, she is the direct administrative support person for the Executive Assistant to the Dean, Director of Assessment Programs, and the Watson School Technology Team. Mary Jo assist and supports the Administrative/Budget Officer in whatever task is needed. Her duties may range from helping in survey design to foreign and domestic travel arrangements. Mary Jo is responsible for the Dean's Suite purchasing from equipment to day-to-day supplies, managing a number of the Dean's databases, producing mailings for various events and a contact for those event responses. As liaison to the WSE Alumni Chapter, she assist with event planning. Since 2003, Mary Jo is an active member of the Toastmasters International Organization. This past summer Mary Jo accomplished the Advanced Toastmaster Bronze (ATM-B) level, and was a judge for the Speech Contests. At present she iis pursuing the Competent Leader Award, while starting the Advanced Toastmasters Silver (ATM-S) level, volunteering at the New Hanover County Senior Center and her church. Mary Jo enjoys these activities and considers them a win-win situation for those in need and herself. The Staff Senate Scholarship has allowed relief to Mary Jo from some of the financial burdens associated with obtaining a higher education so that she can realize her dreams. Mary Jo states " I am a much honored recipient of the Scholarship as it is a recognition of my co-workers and peers at the University of North Carolina Wilmington".

Global Travel Grant Scholarship Recipients

2017 Recipients:  Patty Fox and Melissa Smith

2017 Recipient 

  2017 Recipient

Pictured above are Fall 2017 Global Travel Grant Recipients Melissa Smith (top) and Patty Fox (bottom) with Associate Vice Chancellor for International Programs Michael Wilhelm, Staff Senate Scholarship Committee Chair Gina Bowen, and Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli.

Patty Fox, Grants Officer for Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance, will be travelling to Glasgow, Sotland to visit Clyde Space Ltd.  She will be attending combined meetings for System Acceptance Review (SAR), Operational Readiness Review (TRR), and Flight Readiness Review (FRR) for two UNCW SeaHawk CubeSats with HawkEye Coastal Ocean Color Sensors being assembled at Clyde Space Ltd.  This effort is part of a large international project being led by UNCW to design, build, launch, operate, and carry out scientific operations of the next generation of ocean color satellites.  This will be the last meeting of the group prior to final shipment of the integrated satellite and sensor to the United States for launch from Vandenberg Space Center in California early next year.

Melissa Smith, Scientific Illustrator for the Center for Marine Science, will attend a weeklong artist residency called "Biophilia:  Biology for Artists" in the wilderness near Ottawa, Canada.  This research residency aims to help artists explore ecology, nature, and life sciences through daily excursions into natural habitats, collection activities, and laboratory visits guided by biologists, naturalists, and experts.  Melissa was one of only six applicants selected for this program.  She hopes to bring a broadened perspective to UNCW on how science and art relate to one another. 

2016 Recipient:  Brian Brinkley

Brian Brinkley Global Travel Grant Scholarship Recipient

Brian Brinkley, Director of the Education Lab in Watson College of Education, traveled to the Leo Bradley Library in Belize to provide the educators and library staff with critical professional development that connects information systems and technology with classroom teachers and community resources.  Congratulations Brian!

2015 Recipients:  Olivia Cunningham and Beau Cummings

Olivia Cunningham is the Employee Relations and Staff Development Specialist in Human Resources.  Beau Cummings is the Director of Development for Major Gifts in University Advancement.

2014 Recipients:  Elisabeth Garner and Barbara Snyder

Elisabeth Garner is a Specialist in Government Documents and Information in Randall Library.  Barbara Snyder is a Simulation Library Assistant in the School of Nursing.

2013 Recipient:  Dr. Sonja Ardoin

Dr. Sonja Ardoin is the Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement.

2012 Recipients:  Christopher Gordon and Dan Noonan

Christopher Gordon is the Assistant Director for the Center for Education in STEM.  Dan Noonan is the Manager of Distance Education in ITS.

2011 Recipients:  Jessica Baker and Patty Fox

Jessica Baker is a Firsty-Year Coordinator in the Office of Admissions.  Patty Fox is a Grants Officer in the Office of Research Services.

2010 Recipients:  Robin Bennett and Frank Nye

Robin Bennett is an Administrative Associate in the Marketing Department.  Frank Nye is an Engineering Project Technician in Project Design and Management.