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Stories of Inspiration

Samantha SantanaSensational Traveler

Even among the enthusiastic students whom UNCW English Professor Paula Kamenish took to Argentina in spring 2016, Samantha Santana ’17 was a standout. Her scholarly curiosity and mature willingness to engage fully in the culture were evident throughout the two-week program, Kamenish said.

The travel abroad experience was Santana’s first, and one that she never thought would be possible: for two years, “home” had been a red Chevy.

“I was homeless during my sophomore and junior years” at UNCW, she said. “Studying or doing homework comfortably was nearly impossible, so instead I used to study at Morton Hall from dawn to dusk.” English professors would stop by to chat. “I didn’t mind too much that I was homeless then, because Morton Hall became my home. The professors and students became my family.”

Their encouragement and her tenacious work ethic paid off. She was awarded the Gerald S. Rosselot Scholarship from the English Department in 2015. “The scholarship really helped me through my struggles,” she noted.

Read more about Samantha on pg. 25 of the UNCW Magazine.

 William B.

Cameron School of Business

As a senior preparing to earn his finance degree, William B. learned his father needed major surgery.

Due to financial constraints, he thought his opportunity to travel to NYC with other students to network with professionals in the financial services industry would never be realized.

Through the generosity of donors, William received a scholarship and was able to pursue his goals.

Inspired by the compassion shown by others, William volunteered in the local community teaching life skills to unemployed individuals. 

William '16 now works as an investment advisor in Chapel Hill, N.C., and is a proud alumni donor.

Inspire others with your support of the Cameron School of Business.


College of Arts and Sciences

Hanna W. grew up in Cambodia, going to school while helping the poor. Her passion for service has always been as deep as her love for the ocean. Hannah always dreamed about joining the movement to defend marine ecosystems. 

Through the generosity of donors, Hannah received a scholarship and has been able to pursue her aspirations.

With financial burdens lifted, Hannah has time to conduct undergraduate research as she works toward earning her degree in marine biology. She also volunteers as an educator and diver at the Fort Fisher Aquarium - establishing a personal connection between guests and marine life.

Inspire others with your support of the College of Arts and Sciences.

 Corporal Wyatt

College of Health and Human Services

After proudly serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Corporal Wyatt is wheelchair bound and needs daily assistance to pick up items, open doors and keep his stability. 

Through the generosity of donors who support the College of Health and Human Services, UNCW students are helping veterans, like Wyatt, overcome these obstacles.

Recreation therapy major, Erica S., is one of many Seahawks who have participated in UNCW's paws4people Assistance Dog Training Program. She's not only helped to improve the quality of life for this celebrated warrior - she's found her true calling. 

Inspire others with your support of the College of Health and Human Services.


Watson College of Education

Cole is a young boy who loves building robots and he is pretty exceptional at it too. But as a young learner with an autism spectrum disorder, his potential is often stifled by traditional learning practices.

Through the generosity of donors, the Watson College of Education was able to host a special event for students just like Cole.

Cole was thrilled to participate in twelve STEM activity stations including engingeering, geology and robotics during a special event hosted by the Watson College of Education where special education students were able to work hands-on with local children impletmenting a coaching and modeling practice. 

Inspire others with your support of the Watson College of Education.

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