Alumni Faculty Matching Game


Our coastal location or stellar programs may be what originally attracts people to UNCW, but it’s our Seahawk family that most point to as the glue that keeps us together and coming back. Alumni help shape the university in countless ways, including a few who are making a difference in the classroom as faculty.

Find a matching pair to reveal fun facts about some of our beloved alumni faculty — click on a card below to get started!

Since 2012, Carolina Priester '01, '03M, '12Ph.D. has been a full-time faculty member, teaching human anatomy and physiology, histology (tissue structure) and a senior seminar in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. The 2019 UNCW Lecturer of the Year, Priester was also a recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Innovation in Teaching Award for full-time faculty in 2021-22. She arrived on campus in August of 1998 from Brazil as an international transfer student. She felt through all phases of her UNCW experience that the school was focused on its students. Now, she wants to make her students inquisitive – encouraging them to think beyond the classroom.

Carolina Priester in classroom with students

Daniel Soques '10 joined the Department of Economics and Finance as a faculty member in 2016. His research primarily focuses on the timing and determinants of recessions while his teaching is centered on experiential learning techniques and how they change students’ learning outcomes. He is a coach of the UNCW Fed Challenge team, a group in which he competed with as a student. Outside the office, he enjoys watching NBA basketball and going to the beach with his family.

Daniel Soques congratulating student at awards ceremony

Lolita Bryant '04, '11M joined the UNCW School of Nursing in 2013, bringing with her more than 35 years of nursing experience from New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Continuing to pursue excellence in her field, she completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Gardner-Webb University in May 2020. Her areas of expertise are in maternity nursing and adult health. She previously received the “Make a Difference Day” award and presented at the NC Conference of Graduate Schools in Raleigh. The 2010 UNCW Outstanding Alumni of the Year is the heir of Abram Bishop, the original landowner of where Track Coliseum sits today. She recently established the Dr. Lolita B. Bryant, Abram Bishop and Family Endowed Scholarship for Diversity in Nursing.

Lolita Bryant in simulation lab with students

A native of Costa Rica, Marianella Jara '04M, '14M completed her undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University as a Fulbright scholar. Two years later, she graduated with her master’s degree from UNCW. Today, she is a senior lecturer of Spanish for the Seahawks. In 2014, she was recognized with UNCW’s Lecturer of the Year Award. She has also earned Excellence in Teaching awards on various occasions. She is passionate about studying abroad and plays a vital role in the implementation and promotion of study abroad programs at UNCW.

Marianella Jara (second from left) at Homecoming TEALgate

The first time Myke Holmes '04 made national television, no one knew it was him, fully clothed as Sammy C. Hawk during the 2003 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. When he returned to the screen a year later, it was as the raven mascot on The CW’s One Tree Hill. Since then, he’s appeared in numerous films and television shows. After graduating from UNCW, he spent a stint studying at the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. As a professional actor, he has worked in Russia, Romania, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and all over the southeast US. The father of three and 14-year UNCW teacher is “Bill” in the current Harris Teeter ad campaign “Fill Like Bill.”

Myke Holmes in theater class with students

The Yousry Sayed Distinguished Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Thomas Williamson '94, '96M is back on campus to build UNCW’s Pharmaceutical Chemistry Ph.D. program from the ground up. With 20 years of experience in the pharma industry, including a long tenure as a director at Merck managing more than $150 million in projects annually, Williamson was ready for the task. Upon his return, he wanted to work with students to usher them through the pharma business process, preparing them for success in academia or industry. His goal is that when students graduate, they have the proper business training and can translate their scientific expertise into real-world deliverables.

R. Thomas Williamson in classroom with students

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