Esther G. Maynor Honors College

Senior Profiles

Jerica Janney
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
December 2017 Graduate
Major: Biology with a Biomedical Concentration and Psychology

Jerica Janney, from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, graduated in December of 2017 with a BS in biology with a biomedical concentration and a BS in psychology. Throughout her time at Pembroke Jerica tutored introductory level psychology students and was proud to help them. She loved making connections with students and helping them to succeed academically. One student told Jerica, “I wouldn’t have gotten through the course without your help.” Being in the honors college gave Jerica the confidence to mentor and tutor these students along with the ability to push herself academically. 

For her senior project, Jerica worked with Dr. Regan, a psychology professor at UNCP, to study the difference gender makes in coping with clinical depression. She conducted a survey that asked participants various questions in order to gauge how they cope with depression, then compared male to female results.

After graduation Jerica plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology in pursuit of a Ph.D. She encourages honors students to take honors classes that interest them and to make friends within the honors college because it really helps students get through college. The friends Jerica made through the honors college gave her some of her greatest memories at UNCP. She loved staying in the Oak Hall living-learning community because her friends were always around. 



Brandon Tester
Portland, Oregon
December 2017 Graduate
Major: Mass Communication- Journalism 

Brandon Tester is originally from Portland, Oregon, and graduated in December of 2017 with a degree in mass communication with a concentration in journalism. One of his biggest accomplishments was being accepted into the honors college during the spring semester of his freshman year. Brandon was the editor of the campus newspaper The Pine Needle which took a lot of hard work and dedication. [TD2] Along with his academic success, he is proud of the relationships he made with friends and mentors through the honors college over the years. Brandon enjoyed the small-knit community that the honors college gave him. He said, “the honors college gave me a great opportunity to set myself apart. The most valuable tool the honors college gave me was my faculty mentor to help me along the way and push me academically.” 

Brandon stuck to his mass communication roots for his senior project, focusing on social media and how it ties into politics. He used the most recent presidential election and compared how the candidates utilized social media to communicate their platforms with their followers. He studied how their followers responded and how much this engagement helped their campaigns. Brandon also included the topic of fake news into his thesis and how it cycled through social media.

After graduation Brandon started working as a reporter for The Robesonian. He encourages honors students to take advantage of the opportunities they are given. Brandon said, “from conferences to building relationships with honors faculty, each opportunity is unique so never pass up a chance to grow as a student.” His greatest memory at UNCP was going to a conference in Washington, D.C. in 2017 with The Pine Needle staff. Brandon enjoyed the opportunity to travel but also getting to network with professionals from around the country.



Berri Locklear
Dallas, North Carolina
December 2017 graduate
Major: Mathematics and American Indian Studies 

Berri Locklear, from Dallas, North Carolina, graduated in December of 2017 with a degree in mathematics and American Indian studies. She enjoyed being chair of the Student Honors Council and a Chancellor's Ambassador. She was awarded the Undergraduate Mathematics Award during 2016 and 2017 for her academic success. Berri met two of her best friends through the honors college and has made countless relationships with students and staff over the years. She said, “having connections with people in multiple academic disciplines is very helpful and I am glad the honors college gave me the opportunity to do so.”

For her senior project, she focused on the correlation between Native American boarding schools and the laws passed by the government. The government passed a law that required American Indian children to go to boarding schools instead of being educated the traditional way they had practiced hundreds of years prior to the law being passed. She researched to see how the students responded to the big shift and if they were successful after the move. 

After graduation, Berri attended graduate school to obtain her master’s in education. She advises honors students to take advantage of the endless opportunities the honors college gives to students. The honors college gave Berri the opportunity to study abroad in Berlin in May of 2016 which was one of her greatest memories at UNCP. 


Jessica Markey
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania 
December 2017 graduate
Majors: History and American Indian Studies 

Jessica Markey, from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, graduated in December of 2017 with a degree in history and American Indian studies. Since her freshman year, Jessica was the hawk assistant for the American Indian Studies program and a member of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc. She is also a member of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Jessica also worked for the Office of Community and Civic Engagement, where she helped coordinate service-learning opportunities on campus.  Jessica presented her work on service-learning at the National Impact Conference and also at the Southeast American Indian Studies Conference. 

Jessica said the most rewarding aspect of being an honors student was having the opportunity to take challenging courses, and having access to the resources only honors students have access to.  Outside of school, Jessica recently interned at Pennsbury Manor State Park and conducted historical research on the relationship between the Lenape, or Delaware, Indians and William Penn in order to improve interpretation at the site.  For her honors thesis, Jessica researched a man named Moses Tatamy, an influential Lenape diplomat and early advocate for Indigenous rights in Pennsylvania. 

After graduation, Jessica plans to attend graduate school in public history.  She wants to pursue a career where she can give a voice to those underrepresented in history. She advises honors students to take advantage of the opportunities given to them and to get involved on campus and in the community.  Jessica’s greatest memory at UNCP is having the opportunity to meet new people and travel to a number of places including Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lawrence, Kansas; St. Louis, Missouri, Havana, Cuba; and Anchorage Alaska.



Brittany Worley
Whiteville, North Carolina
December 2017 graduate
Major: Biology 

Brittany Worley is from Whiteville, North Carolina, and graduated in December of 2017 with a degree in biology. She was a proud member of the honors college, Lambda Sigma Honors Society, and Tri Beta Biology Honors Society. She was proud to serve on the Student Honors Council as the member at large, historian, and treasurer. Brittany said, “getting recognition at graduation for all my hard work over the past four years and graduating as a Maynor Honors College student was very rewarding to me.”

For Brittany’s senior project she wrote a narrative of how she progressed academically throughout high school and college. She explains her experience tutoring students and how it led to her decision of becoming a teacher. 

After graduation, she attended graduate school for high school education. She advises honors students to take advantage of all the opportunities the honors college gives its students. Brittany had the opportunity to study abroad to Berlin in May of 2016 with the political science department. She was awarded a scholarship from the honors college that made it possible for her to go on the trip. Studying abroad was her greatest memory at UNCP because she got to immerse herself in a country's culture for the first time in her life.










Amanda Bowman
Rockingham, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Biology with a Biomedical Emphasis

Amanda Bowman, from Rockingham, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Biomedical Concentration. Amanda was proud of her involvement on campus and within the community as a Relay for Life team captain, Community and Civic Engagement site leader for the days of service, Chancellor’s Ambassador, Outstanding Senior of the Year finalist for 2017, member of the Health Careers Club, Service Chair of the Lambda Sigma Honors Society, member of the Tri Beta Biology Honors Society, Sergeant-at-Arms for the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honors Society, officer in the Alpha Chi Honor Society, and Vice Chair of the Student Honors Council. She was thankful for the all the opportunities UNCP gave her. She participated in the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) at UNC Chapel Hill and Summer Biomedical Research Program at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Being in the Honors College gave Amanda a small community feel in and out of the classroom. She said, “I was thankful for the resources the honors college gave me. I never had to stress about getting into a specific class because of preregistration.”

Amanda tutored tenth-grade students at Purnell Swett High School in biology for her senior project. She helped students prepare for the EOC exam and for semester exams. She also brought several students to UNCP’s campus to gain experience in laboratories. Amanda designed a chemistry acid-base abbreviated experiment for the students to perform on campus and to experience what it is like to be a science major and have a head start before they take chemistry in the eleventh grade.

After graduation Amanda planned to attend medical school in her pursuit to become a physician in rural North Carolina. Her greatest memory at UNCP was making life-long friendships, interacting with the best faculty and staff, and going to watch the play Beauty and the Beast in the Givens Preforming Arts Center during her freshman year. She advises honors students to plan head because initial plans may change, and it’s best to be always prepared. She said, “Get involved in an organization or club as a freshman and within the community. Also, remember you always can start a new organization or club.”


Christopher Chapman
Fayetteville, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Athletic Training 

Christopher Chapman is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in athletic training. He is proud of graduating with honors as an athletic training major, serving on the student honors council and traveling to Southern Regional Honors Council Conference in the spring of 2017. Christopher was also president of the Athletic Training Student Association and a youth coordinator for Cumberland United Methodist Church. Through the honors college Christopher expanded his social and professional network, which was the most rewarding opportunity to him. He enjoyed seeing Gordon Byrd, Honors College Executive Assistant, every day for advice and good jokes.

Christopher’s senior project was a literature review about oxygen. His thesis was focused on the effects of oxygen deprivation and how someone deprived of oxygen reacts. He researched several articles and scholarly journals to compile the various authors' ideas into one thesis. He was interested to see how a person presents symptomatically when they are deprived of oxygen.

After graduation Christopher worked part-time in health care while attending school to complete his prerequisites for physician’s assistant school. He advises honors students to enjoy their time at UNC Pembroke but also go above and beyond what is required to find their passion.


Elizabeth Crawford
Fayetteville, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Nursing 

Elizabeth Crawford is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and graduated in the spring of 2017 with a degree in nursing. Staying focused on her academics and doing her best after being in a tough accident was hard, but she accomplished it. Elizabeth said that getting through her accident and having a challenging major didn’t make it easy but she kept her grades up and graduated on time. When Elizabeth graduated she was the second nursing student in the history of UNCP to graduate from the Honors College, which made all the hard work rewarding. She said that being in the Honors College sets students apart and makes students' names known.

For Elizabeth’s senior project she focused on consumer aspects of patient advocacy, which was very important to her while recovering from her accident. When Elizabeth started looking for research on this topic she noticed that none had been done in the past, so she did her own. In her primary research she conducted focus groups, which included nurses, doctors and nurse assistants.  She wanted to know what consumers think patient advocacy is, what it should be and what drives the nurse/health care provider to do their job. Elizabeth’s manuscript was selected to be published in Alpha Chi’s undergraduate research journal Aletheia.

After graduation Elizabeth got a job as a RN. She advises honors students to focus on their attitude because it is “everything.” She said that her situation could have easily broken her but she decided to persevere, and she made it. Elizabeth believes that staying happy and positive has a huge impact on grades--and on life. When Elizabeth applied for schools she said UNCP was not her first choice but she quickly came to love it. The school and her time here became a part of her that will have a lifelong impact. UNCP is a great school that has so many opportunities; make sure to take advantage of them.


Mary Grace Curiale
Fair Bluff, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Psychology, Minor in American Indian Studies

Mary Grace Curiale is from Fair Bluff, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in psychology and a minor in American Indian studies. Mary Grace was proud to serve on the student honors council as secretary for three years, member-at-large for one year and also to work as a research assistant in the psychology department. She also really enjoyed being involved in productions for the theatre department. Mary Grace said that the most rewarding aspect of the honors college was being part of a community. She said, “I could always rely on someone in the Maynor Honors College throughout my time at UNC Pembroke.”

For Mary Grace’s senior project she took an interdisciplinary look at how people are connected or attached to certain places and why. She worked with Dr. Haladay from the Department of American Indian Studies to conduct her research. She focused on the surrounding counties of the university to research how hurricane Matthew affected the people and their relationship with the environment around them, how this changed the hometown community and how people responded to it.

After graduation Mary Grace taught as a substitute teacher while preparing for graduate school to study clinical psychology. Her greatest memory at UNCP was traveling to Orlando, Florida to attend the Southern Regional Honors Conference and North Carolina Honors Association Conference. She advises students to not be afraid to work for the goals that they want and not to let anyone decide what to do with their life and education.


Kristine Gooch
Monroe, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Elementary Education

Kristine Gooch is from Monroe, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in elementary education. During her time at UNCP she was treasurer of Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honors Society, a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society, and was a Tutoring Program Assistant for the university. Along with being a member of the Honors College and various honors societies, Kristine was proud to travel to Belize to educate children. For Kristine the Honors College was rewarding because it gave her community that supported her, encouraged her, and introduced her to her best friends.

For Kristine’s senior project she focused on classroom management and the effect it has on student behavior. She conducted research by studying the effects of assertive and cooperative discipline with three sample students. She studied the data to see if students reacted better to assertive or cooperative techniques and how this directly affected the student.

After graduation she secured a teaching position in North Carolina. After three years of teaching she hopes to attend graduate school to receive her master’s degree in education administration. Her greatest memory at UNC Pembroke was traveling abroad to Belize to teach students. Kristine said, “the work may seem hard at times but it is worth it!” She advises honors students to work hard and stick to it.


Mena Issa
Raleigh, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Biology and Chemistry with a Pre-Med Emphasis

Mena is originally from Egypt but currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. He graduated in May of 2017 double majoring in biology and chemistry on the pre-medical track. Mena was proud of his academic and extra curricular achievements such as receiving the silver GPA award from the Center for Student Success and being one of the first Lead Fellows and Residence Hall Association members on campus. Mena also enjoyed attending the Alpha Chi convention in the spring semester of 2017 to present his environmental literature research. For Mena, the most rewarding aspect of being in the honors college was having multiple academic and extra curricular opportunities, such as being nominated to serve on the Student Conduct Hearing Board and CAIT committee. He said, “having the prestigious title of being an honors student beside your name helps to create even more opportunities.”

Mena’s senior project was focused on finding ways to produce lab equipment in a way to make it more affordable for high school teachers to purchase. Physics lab equipment can be very expensive, so he worked along side of Dr. William Brandon to recreate lab equipment using different parts, some being recycled parts.

After graduation Mena attended Trinity School of Medicine in Saint Vincent to obtain his MD and become a surgeon. His greatest memory at UNC Pembroke was meeting Dr. Jimmie Williamson, President of the NC Community College system, through being a Chancellor’s Ambassador. Mena advises honors students to enjoy the time they have here and really experience college life but to also stay focused on school and prepare for the future.


K’Yana McLean
Goldsboro, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Chemistry 

K’Yana is from Goldsboro, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in chemistry. During her time at UNCP she was most proud of research that she started with Dr. Connor Sandefur. When K’Yana came to UNCP the honors college gave her the small community relationships she had been looking for, which was rewarding to her.

K’Yana’s senior project was about Lumbee Native American traditional herbal plants that are used to treat diabetes. She collected the plants from Sampson’s Landing in Pembroke and dried out the leaves to make tea. After making the teas she placed them on bacteria to see how the herbs would affect the bacteria.

After graduation K’Yana worked to help pay off college loans while applying to pharmaceutical school. Her freshman year semester kick-off block party was her greatest memory because she remembers having so much fun and making memories with new friends. K’Yana advises honors students to not limit the possibilities when coming in as a freshman. She said, “Explore and find something different and new--opportunities may come out of it!”


Asia Passmore
Buford, Georgia
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Music, Minor in American Indian Studies 

Asia Passmore, from Buford, Georgia, graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in music. She was proud to graduate with honors and obtain a minor in American Indian studies while also juggling all the responsibilities of being a music major and an involved student. She was also proud to compete in the 2016/2017 Concerto Competition here at UNC Pembroke. The opportunities that the Honors College gave Asia and the close-knit group of like-minded students were very rewarding to her.

For Asia’s senior project she took the theme song to Winnie the Pooh and transcribed it by ear into three different variations. Each variation keeps the same foundation but changes the style. The first variation uses the same historical period of music but used more traditional jazz chords. Variation two attempts to follow a more Baroque music style, an older style of Western art music. The third and final variation is in an impressionist music style where she extended the chords in the theme song.   

After graduation Asia continued her music education by attending graduate school for piano performance at the University of New Mexico.  She cherishes the many memories made with friends at UNC Pembroke. From hanging out in the living room to going on adventures together, she is so thankful for all the fun times spent with her friends she made here at Pembroke. She advises honors students to make the most of their collegiate career and to get involved and build a resume and a future.


Mireida Perez Cortez
Asheboro, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Secondary Mathematics

Mireida is from Asheboro, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in secondary mathematics. She was proud to successfully complete the honors college requirements while maintaining a high GPA and studying abroad twice. Mireida was thankful for the support from the honors college faculty and staff who were always there to help her.

Mireida’s senior project was a comparative analysis of international teacher preparation programs. She compared the top five performing countries around the world to find what about their teacher preparation makes them successful. She said, “My research has helped me make a decision of where I want to go teach and why I would want to go there.”

After graduation Mireida traveled to Mexico to visit friends from her study abroad trip to Chile. She then returned home to teach while continuing her education to obtain a master’s in mathematics. Her greatest memory at UNCP was studying abroad in Chile, which was facilitated through the honors college. She said, “I will forever be thankful that I decided to become part of a learning community because the honors college has provided me with support throughout my university experience.” Mireida advises honors students to make the most of what the honors college provides which is friendship and support both academically and financially.


Tyler Scoville
Clayton, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Biology

Tyler Scoville, from Clayton, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in biology. Tyler was proud to attend the Southern Regional Honors Conference and present his environmental research. He was also proud to play football for two years at UNCP. Being in the honors college gave Tyler the opportunity to make personal relationships with professors and gave him the community he was looking for.

Tyler’s senior project was about bats on a farm in rural North Carolina. He studied the effects that different diseases, environmental factors and deforestation have had on the bat population. He spent time planning ways to improve their habitat and facilitate their presence on the farm. He constructed bat boxes that give the bats a place to nest and recover from habitat loss.

After graduation he attended Purdue University to obtain a master’s in biology. During his time there he studied reptile interaction and population in ecosystems. His greatest memory at UNCP was traveling to Orlando, Florida to attend the Southern Regional Honors Conference and going to Universal Studios. Tyler advises students to stay strong during freshman year and work hard to make good grades.


Caleb Smith
Fayetteville, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Biology with a Bio Medical Emphasis

Caleb Smith, from Fayetteville, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in biology on the bio-medical track. Caleb was proud of the opportunities he had through service-learning classes where he worked with children in Robeson County public schools, encouraging students to take education seriously and to have confidence in their intelligence. He was also proud to be a founding father of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity here at UNCP. Caleb said the Honors College faculty and staff always encouraged him to preform at a high academic level and achieve the goals he set for himself.

Caleb stayed on track with service-learning during his senior year and volunteered four hours a week with 10th grade students at Purnell Swett High School. He spent time helping students to become more familiar with biology to help prepare them for their EOC testing. He brought the group of students on campus to tour the biology department and help conduct an experiment.

During Caleb’s time at UNCP he developed strong academic relationships with fellow students and professors. He advises honors students to recognize that being a student in the honors college is hard work but gives students a prestigious title. Caleb said, “Honors College students are the top students at UNC Pembroke, and should not be ashamed of the hard work they do.” Students can achieve whatever goal they set for themselves.


Hannah Stockton
Marion, North Carolina
May 2017 Graduate
Major: Social Work

Hannah Stockton is from Marion, North Carolina, and graduated in the spring of 2017 with a degree in social work. Hannah was the president of the Kappa Chapter of Alpha Chi Honor Society during her last two semesters at UNCP, and qualified for the Dean’s List from spring 2014 to spring 2017 due to her outstanding academics. Hannah was very proud of these accomplishments but was most satisfied with her personal development and growth during her time at UNCP. She took advantage of many Honors College opportunities, from scholarships to trips and events. Hannah said, “being in the Honors College challenged me by making me think more critically and helped me to broaden my perspective on life and the people around me.”

Hannah’s senior project involved her internship at Guardian ad Litem, an agency where trained volunteers speak for abused and neglected children involved in court. Her project focused on understanding why Robeson County residents are unaware of the program by analyzing information from surveys that were distributed in various locations throughout the county.  Another project component was bringing awareness to Robeson County residents about the program and what it has to offer. She hopes her senior project will help the program gain more paid positions and volunteers so that more children are helped.

After graduation, Hannah returned home where she began working. After work experience, she hopes to attend graduate school to receive her master’s of social work. Her greatest accomplishment at UNCP was becoming the person she is today. She was proud to see how much she positively changed through all of the opportunities that UNCP gave her. She advises honors students to learn time-management skills and to embrace every moment and experience during their time at UNCP, letting it shape them into the person they want to become.


Hannah Anderson
Tar Heel, North Carolina
December 2016 Graduate
Major: English, Minor in Creative Writing

Hannah Anderson, originally from Tar Heel, North Carolina, graduated in the fall of 2016 with a BA in English and a minor in creative writing. Hannah was very involved during her time here at UNCP and had many great accomplishments, some of which include founding the Write Club, serving as 2016 President of the Write Club, earning the Chancellors Distinguished Scholarship, being involved in PURC, working as a Hawk Assistant and tutor, and presenting her work at multiple conferences. Hannah worked hard to be an honors student but she explained that what the honors college gave in return for her work was even greater. She stated that, “every honors class I’ve been in has gone above and beyond the course requirements to immerse students in the subject matter.” She said that everyone is friendly and helpful and that they all take time to ensure that each student has a great experience.

Hannah’s senior project focused on mutations in nuclear fiction from the 1950s to the 21st Century. With this project, she examined how nuclear fiction influenced popular culture during the 1950-1970s, the height of U.S.-Soviet tensions during the Cold War and the peak of what will be hereafter referred to as the Atomic Age. Nuclear fiction is loosely defined as fiction centered on nuclear war, nuclear apocalypse, or other nuclear-related events. Hannah analyzed popular culture sentiments during the Atomic Age, extracted the themes from four prominent fiction novels written between 1950 and 1970, and determined the influence nuclear fiction had on everyday American life. She then compared the themes unpacked from Atomic Age nuclear fiction to those found in nuclear fiction during the 2000s and 2010s through the new medium of video games. Hannah said that comparing nuclear fiction from the Atomic Age to examples of nuclear fiction in the 21st Century will further an understanding of the ways in which current popular culture has been influenced by the depiction of nuclear warfare or nuclear apocalypse in various media. The link between past and present American societies is in part based in each period’s cultural anxieties, as explored through comparing and contrasting themes in the art and writing produced within those eras.

After graduation Hannahapplied to several Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing degree programs, among them being Vanderbilt, NC State, and UNCW. She will be concentrating in fiction when she begins her education in August 2017. Hannah advises honors students to do their honors work, saying, “It’s an incredibly fulfilling program, and even though it may seem like a lot of work, it really does help students learn about the courses they take and the subjects they’re interested in with a more in-depth focus.” Hannah said that the honors faculty is always willing to go the extra mile to help students achieve their goals and serve as excellent mentors. Her greatest moment was when the Write Club was first officially founded as a student organization after a year and a half. One of her greatest memories was working in the Writing Center. She said it was amazing to have the opportunity to assist so many students in so many different disciplines.


Laura Spillman
Davie County, North Carolina
December 2016 Graduate
Middle Grade Social Studies Education

Laura Spillman, originally from Davie County, North Carolina, graduated in the fall of 2016 with a degree in middle grade education with a concentration in social studies. Laura said that getting into the Maynor Honors College at UNCP was a great accomplishment. Laura doesn’t deny that the high standards of the MHC are not easy to achieve, but goes on to say that keeping these high standards are very rewarding as a student. Laura is also proud that she received the Sons of the Revolution Scholarship given to her by the History Department.

Laura’s senior project focused on women during the American Revolution. She researched how historians have studied women in the Revolution, and how adolescent, especially middle school, textbooks and literature are portraying women in the Revolution. She collected research from primary and secondary sources such as monographs, novels, transcriptions, and historical documents.

After graduation Laura will be applying for jobs as a teacher and hopes to stay in North Carolina, specifically in Robeson County. Laura advises honors students to make the best of the time that is spent at UNCP. She encourages students to communicate with professors and says, “They’re more than willing to help out and are very enthusiastic about learning.”

Haley Bean
Seagrove, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Majors: Social Work and Sociology

Haley is from Seagrove, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in social work and a minor in sociology. Being involved in the UNCP Social Work Honors Society, Phi Alpha Iota Iota; being a tutor in the University Writing Center; and her internship at the Robeson County Veterans Service Office were all very rewarding experiences for Haley. Working in the University Writing Center helped her to improve her social work skills and made her last three years at UNCP very enjoyable. Taking honors classes was very rewarding to her because she got to mix with individuals of different majors and backgrounds, which really enriched her educational experience at Pembroke.  Haley met her roommate and best friend through the Honors College when they were freshman: “We have lived together for four years, and are absolute best friends, and that is what I am most grateful for from the honors college.” Haley was very thankful for all of the resources that were given to her through the Maynor Honors College. 

Haley’s senior project focused on rape culture. She surveyed UNCP students on how they viewed victims of rape, to see if they tended to blame the attack on the victim. Haley’s survey presented eight different scenarios where the participants were to assume that the individuals described were raped, and then the participants reported on a scale from 1-4 how much they felt that the victim contributed to the attack. Haley later concluded that when given a score, participants did not have a high likelihood to blame the victim; however, when looking at individual cases she concluded that people did tend use stereotypes and stigmas to assign more blame to certain victims.

After graduation Haley attended North Carolina State University to obtain her Master’s in Social Work. Her best memory as a UNCP student was when she attended a conference with the University Writing Center at Eastern Carolina University.

Stephanie Brown
Statesville, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Mathematics

Stephanie Brown, from Statesville, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in mathematics. She said her proud accomplishment was her involvement on campus: Honors College Council member, Kappa Delta chapter member and chapter officer, math tutor, and leader in the Literacy Commons. The extra help given by professors that comes along with being an honors student was very rewarding for Stephanie.  She also enjoyed the student bonding that she experienced on trips through the honors college. 

Stephanie did her senior project on how students perceive mathematics, based on the environment of the classroom. She found that most students tend to have a negative mindset about mathematics, which is instilled at an early age. Stephanie went to Pembroke Housing Authority and worked with middle-grade children to see if she could alter this negativity. She held mathematics activities for the children in an attempt take a more lighthearted approach. Stephanie made the math classroom a calming and fun environment, hoping to change the children’s outlook on mathematics. 

After graduation Stephanie started her career in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Officer Program. Once she completes her six-year enlistment she hopes to go onto naval postgraduate school during her shore duty to further her education in mathematics. Stephanie advises honors students to not procrastinate when it comes to schoolwork and to not be scared to seek help from advisers and professors from all departments. She also suggests trying to get involved on campus because it will enrich a student’s college experience. Stephanie’s greatest memory at UNC Pembroke was receiving her bid into Kappa Delta Sorority in the spring of 2014.

Linda Council
White Oak, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Biology-Bio Med, Hispanic Studies Minor

Linda is from White Oak, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in biology on the bio-medical track, with a minor in Hispanic studies. Linda is thankful for the leadership roles that she had in Health Careers Club, where she was an active leader and participant. She was proud of her internship during the summer of 2015 at a medical clinic, which helped her to become more educated in the health field. She also had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad trip to Spain, and said that she really enjoyed her time there. Being in the Maynor Honors College was very rewarding because it gave Linda a more challenging classroom experience, which helped her to improve her academic skills. She was thankful to be surrounded by a community of individuals who shared the same values.

Linda’s senior project was studying the low numbers of minority physicians in the health care setting of Robeson County. She looked for ways to increase the disproportionately low number, and also looked for ways to encourage local youth that are interested in health careers. She wants to work with youth to guide them down the correct path so that one day they will be able to have a career in health care.

After graduation Linda took a year off to study for the MCAT and received her EMT certification. She continued volunteering at Southeastern Health, all while applying to medical school. Linda’s greatest memory at UNCP was her study abroad trip to Spain. She enjoyed submersing herself in the Spanish culture and being able to make a lot of new friendships.

Kody Heubach
Lumberton, North Carolina

May 2016 Graduate
Majors: Chemistry and Biology

Kody, from Lumberton, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2016 with a double major in chemistry and biology. Two of Kody’s most proud accomplishments were maintaining his GPA and being inducted into both the chemistry and biology honors societies at UNCP. Being in the Honors College gave Kody the opportunity to take challenging classes: “The Honors College courses pushed me academically and made me rise to a new level which shaped me as a person inside and outside of the classroom.”

Kody’s senior research project was working to create a bead that would purify water. He hoped to make it affordable and easy to assemble so that it could easily adapt to different environments and in case of natural disaster be easily accessed. Kody conducted research by diluting water samples with metal and other contaminants, and then proceeded to run those samples through the bead column. After this was processed he tested the water again to see if the contaminants had been removed.

After graduation Kody planed to attend medical school in the fall of 2016. He advises honor students to study hard and work outside the normal comfort zone, and that working hard will come in handy when having to work in the real world: “It is best to start working on adapting to a diverse group of people and new environments now!” 

Janelle Horton
New Rochelle, New York

May 2016 Graduate
Major: Information Technology
Minor: Business Administration

Janelle Horton, originally from New Rochelle, New York, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in information technology and a minor in business administration. Because she worked hard to earn high grades, and was ahead of her class, Janelle was awarded the Student Information Technology Award. It was very rewarding to Janelle to have her academic skills and hard work recognized: “I was pushed to excel beyond my normal college-level expectations.”

For her senior project Janelle researched the evolution of Ford cars from the very first model up until today’s newest model. She was most interested in the technological aspects of the car: from the evolution of technical equipment within the automobiles to how the exteriors have changed. She researched how much technology has advanced, and how quickly it has changed throughout the years of car building.

After graduating from UNCP, Janelle attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's graduate school for industrial and systems engineering, and hopes to one day have a job working with automotive technology. Janelle has dreamed of working in this field: “ever since I was little I have been obsessed with cars.” Janelle advises honors students to push themselves beyond what they think they can do, because “once a challenging task is accomplished, it’s worth all the hard work.” Janelle’s greatest memory at UNCP was her first week of school as a freshman when she realized that she was on her own and in the real world. Realizing that it was up to her to become involved was a turning point, and once she did so UNCP became her home. 

Sonya Hunt
Pembroke, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Psychology
Minor: Sociology

Sonya is from Pembroke, North Carolina but currently resides in Lumberton, North Carolina. She graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. Since being a student at UNC Pembroke, she had the opportunity and pleasure of being a research assistant for Dr. Shilpa Regan. Sonya took a sociology of poverty service-learning class where she conducted research on food insecurity on UNC Pembroke’s campus. Along with two other students, she shared her findings at the Southern Sociological Society Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014. She said that this was a wonderful opportunity and a proud accomplishment. Being in the Esther G. Maynor Honors College has been a very rewarding experience for Sonya: “This has been one of the best decisions that I have made at the university. This program has challenged me and has made me the best possible student I could be.” For Sonya, being in the honors college gave her unique friendships, and gave her great opportunities: “This program made me believe in myself that I could excel in my academics as a nontraditional student. I can’t thank the faculty enough for all their support and expertise in their fields, and for helping me achieve my goals.”

For Sonya’s senior project she followed up on her initial research with Dr. Brooke Kelly about the high rates of food insecurity and poverty in Robeson County. She conducted her research on summer feeding sites in Robeson County by interviewing people throughout the county, including NC officials, about current feeding sites and potential feeding sites. These interviews investigate whether Robeson County has enough feeding sites in the county to meet the needs of the children, and to see what measures can be taken to meet their needs. She was excited to share her findings at the PURC Symposium, the Southern Sociological Society Conference in Atlanta, GA, and the Honors Senior Project Symposium.

After graduation Sonya started graduate school in the fall of 2016 at Francis Marion University in South Carolina in the Specialist School Psychologist (SSP) Program. Sonya advises any student that if they have the opportunity to join the honors college, to take it, and to enjoy every experience that comes with it. Her most memorable experiences at UNC Pembroke was when she was inducted into the Alpha Chi honors society, and being a student of the Esther G. Maynor’s Honors College.

Melanie LaBeau   
Hampton, Virginia
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Psychology
Minor: Criminal Justice

Melanie LaBeau, originally from Hampton, Virginia, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in psychology and a minor in criminal justice. During her four years at Pembroke, Melanie worked along side of Dr. Kelly Charlton to research criminal background checks and interaction within the work place. Having her work published in the American Psychological Symposium in 2014 and 2015 was a very proud accomplishment of hers, as well as being able to attend the symposium in 2015 that took place in New York. Being in the Honors College was very rewarding to Melanie because she had more access to resources on campus and early registration.

Melanie’s senior project was an extension of the research she did with Dr. Charlton. She focused on how women behave in the work place and how women judge each other based on looks, level of attractiveness, and level of sexuality. Melanie also researched about how women can instantly hate each other due to being competitive in the work place.

Prior to graduation in May of 2016 Melanie attended graduate school to further her studies. She advises honors students to stick with it and keep their grades up, because “it is truly worth it to put in the extra effort to be able to graduate with the Honors College credentials.” Melanie’s greatest memory at UNCP was having her own research displayed in New York, especially at the age of 21. It was amazing for Melanie to be that young and already have her own research out, and displayed, at a national symposium.

Zachary Lunn
Las Vegas, Nevada
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Biology

Zachary Lunn, all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in biology. While at UNCP Zachary was the editorial assistant for Pembroke Magazine, and is very proud of this position. He is proud of his work on the magazine and was excited to see it printed. For Zachary the most rewarding aspect of being in the Honors College is having close relationships with the professors, which really helped him to grow as a writer, scientist, and a well developed intellectual. He enjoyed the uniqueness of the school as well the opportunities of the Honors College.

Zachary did a creative project for his senior project, writing a short collection of short stories. “It was practice for what I want to do for a living,” because he hopes to have a career in writing and publishing fiction. This project gave Zachary the great opportunity to work with Dr. Jessica Pitchford, and he really enjoyed working and learning from her.

After graduation Zachary attended North Carolina State’s Master’s of Fine Arts program in creative writing. He hopes to write his first book while studying for his master’s. Zachary advises honors students to look for opportunities to work one-on-one with faculty because this will help students to have a more unique education, and to stand out. Working directly along side of faculty helped Zachary’s intellect and development as a student. His greatest moment at UNCP is when he won the Poetry Prose Contest through the Mary Livermore Library, which made him realize his talent of writing fiction and where he wanted to go with his life.

Cassidy Miles
Marshville, North Carolina

May 2016 Graduate
Major: Psychology

Cassidy Miles, from Marshville, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in psychology. She is most proud of the research she conducted as an undergraduate and considers it a major accomplishment. Being able to manage her extra curricular activities, student honors council duties, educational obligations, and work is something that she is very proud of. Having the community feeling that comes along with being in the Honors College was very rewarding for Cassidy. Having the opportunity to take classes with other honors students, and having faculty members involved in the community positively contributed to her college experience.

For Cassidy’s senior project she focused on the effect that social media has on body image, especially among African-American/Black and White women. Following an experimental design, she created four mock Facebook profiles of African-American/Black and White women of different body sizes. UNCP female students viewed the profiles and responded to questionnaires about their perceptions of the Facebook profile, their own social media use, body esteem, contingencies of self-worth, and demographic information. 

After graduation Cassidy started graduate school at Appalachian State University to further her education in clinical psychology. She advises honors students to get involved in something that will be beneficial in the future, outside of classroom studies. Cassidy’s greatest memory at UNCP was an honors college event where they all went canoeing on the Lumber River. She enjoyed being able to spend time with other honors students while learning more about the local area.

Nicholos Palmer
Charlotte, North Carolina

Senior May 2016
Major: Political Science

Nicholos is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in political science. His most proud accomplishment was being able to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities at UNCP. Through UNCP he traveled to Thailand and Berlin. Being in the honors college gave him the resources to have a social relationship with professors, and have one-on-one time with them, and this was very rewarding to him.

For Nicholos’ senior project he wrote a research paper dealing with economic inequality in the Latin American Caribbean and how it affects democracy. His research mentor was Dr. Bumin.

After graduation Nicholos started working so that he could gain the experience that was required to go on to graduate school. He advises honors students to take advantage of scholarship opportunities that are within the honors college. His greatest memory at UNCP was serving in the student government during his freshman year and then later being elected to serve as a senator. During his time in student government the group won awards for the 2015 Model UN Team at the South Regional United Nations Conference in Charlotte.

Kenley Patanella
Raleigh, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Biology with Environmental concentration

Kenley, raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in biology with an environmental concentration. One of her proud accomplishments was working at the University Writing Center from her sophomore to senior year. Kenley loved working at the writing center because she got to meet new people and participate in research that was later presented at conferences. A lot of her college life was spent at the writing center and she was very proud of being able to help students through the writing center’s programs. While being an honors college student, she always felt comfortable speaking up because she knew she would be heard: “They genuinely care about what students have to say, and really encourage students to speak up so that they can have an influence on the honors college.”

For Kenley’s senior project, she studied the different species of birds on UNCP’s campus. She focused on the main areas of campus and sectioned them into potential habitat areas. She recorded the different species and observed their behaviors such as singing, foraging, and nesting. After she conducted her research she wrote about what areas are most conducive to birds living in urban environments.

After graduation Kenley attended Western Carolina University to further her education and to partner with a professor to research song sparrows. Kenley was also offered a teaching assistantship that she started in the fall of 2016. She advises honors students to not be afraid to speak up, because by doing so, people will reach out to help. Her greatest memory at Pembroke is the writing center’s secret Santa party during her junior year: “Everyone was so close, and it was such a happy time of the year!” Kenley was grateful to have such close friends in her work place.

Dana Reijerkerk
Raleigh, North Carolina

May 2016 Graduate
Major: American Indian Studies

Dana Reijerkerk, raised in Buffalo, New York, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in American Indian studies. Some of her proudest accomplishments at UNC Pembroke include winning awards for her student organization, receiving a PURC grant, and being involved in consistent community service. Being in the Honors College gave Dana more networking opportunities with faculty and staff, which was very rewarding for her.

Dana’s senior project was a research paper about rape rates of American Indians in Robeson and its surrounding counties. Interviews were conducted with the local rape crisis centers and incorporated into the paper. Rape among tribal communities is often under the radar of the American public and thus this prominent endemic is overlooked.

After graduation Dana started her job search, so that in 2017 she will be able to further her education. Dana advises honors students that in order to excel one must go beyond class work and push oneself. Her greatest memory at UNCP was taking the Chinese Club to a traditional Chinese festival in Raleigh because the students loved it and it was fun for everyone to immerse himself or herself in the culture. 

Briana Roberts
Saint Pauls, North Carolina
Senior May 2016
Majors: Chemistry & Mathematics

Briana is from Saint Pauls, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. The opportunities that the Honors College gave Briana to work and learn with other highly motivated peers was very rewarding for her.

Briana’s senior project was focused on chemistry. She really enjoyed her senior project because she learned how to set-up and work with an optical bench. She built a crossed-beam spectropolarimeter and used it to measure the optical rotatory dispersion (ORD) of sucrose at various wavelengths.

Briana advises honors students to pick quality friends, because if a “friend” is not constantly giving challenging or encouraging advice then he/she is not a true friend. Embrace humility, and be okay with humbling experiences. Embrace all experiences during college because they can build character. While Briana was at UNCP her most memorable moment was participating in the 2014 Relay for Life. She loved how people came together over a similar experience and made magical things happen. 

Christian Ryckeley
Dublin, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Majors: Biology and Chemistry

Christian is originally from Dublin, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in biology, on the zoology track, and chemistry pre-health. He loved being involved on campus as Relay for Life captain, campus community service project volunteer, chancellor’s ambassador, SI instructor, and tutor for three years. Christian’s most proud accomplishment was being involved, which he really enjoyed. Being in the Honors College gave Christian a small community feel that helped him to connect with the rest of campus. The extra resources that come along with being an honors college student made it an enjoyable environment for Christian.

Christian’s senior project was about cardiology and medical terminology. He made Heart Health Literacy Tables, which explain medical terminology to cardiology patients. Christian volunteered his time at hospitals where he held his Heart Health Literacy Tables. He sat down with cardiology patients to help them understand their diagnosis by explaining the medical terminology to them. This helped the patients to learn and understand more about their disease.

After graduation Christian took a gap year to go to Peru for a medical Spanish internship. He learned Spanish four hours of the day, and the rest of the time was spent volunteering in hospitals to work with children. After returning from Peru, Christian hopes to attend medical school and study to become a neurosurgeon. He advises honors students to be open-minded: “The honors college is a mesh of different beliefs; don’t try to stick to one track, or else a lot of opportunities will be out of reach.” His greatest memory while being at UNCP was his trip to Germany his freshman year. Christian was given the opportunity to study abroad through the political science program, which made him step out of his comfort zone. This was the highlight of Christian’s freshman year, and really made a positive impact on him, which helped him throughout his years at UNC Pembroke.  

Bobbi Sampson
Pembroke, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Psychology

Bobbi is a local of Pembroke, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in psychology. Her proudest accomplishment was graduating an entire year early at the age of 21. Being an honors college student was rewarding for her because it gave her the opportunity to be a senior thesis research assistant, where she learned a lot of new information that had a major impact on her education.

For Bobbi’s senior project she studied self-compassion and perceptions of judgment with Dr. Ashley Allen in order to see if people with low self-compassion perceived others to have higher self-compassion, and also to see whether high self-compassionate people perceive others as judging them less than low self-compassionate people. They hypothesized this effect would be even stronger in a condition when the participants were at fault.  They conducted their research through an online study that was taken by UNCP students. The study was made available through the SONA, which is a program designed for students to earn credit for participating in online research.

After graduation Bobbi plans to start the Master’s of Social Work program at UNCP in the fall of 2016. She advises honors college students to go for every opportunity that is available. She encourages students to not get overwhelmed by challenging tasks and to not turn down opportunities just because they seem too challenging. Her greatest memory at UNCP was attending the scholarship dinner and being able to see so many people working hard to further their education.

Ethan Sanford
Hamlet, North Carolina

May 2016 Graduate
Major: Biology
Minor: English

Ethan Sanford, native of North Carolina, graduated in May 2016 with a degree in biology and a minor in English. During the fall semester of 2014 Ethan spent three-and-a-half months studying abroad at Bangor University in Gwynedd, Wales. During his time at UNCP Ethan also participated in two faculty-led trips to Bermuda and Costa Rica. The mentoring he received from the faculty and staff was one of the most rewarding aspects that Ethan gained from being in the honors college: “The personalized treatment and recognition from faculty was by far the most rewarding part of my experience with the Honors College.”

For Ethan’s senior project he wanted to get creative, so he worked with Dr. Scott Hicks to transform the journal that he kept as a bilateral exchange student at Bangor University into a work of creative nonfiction. With the goal of eventually publishing this work, he hopes that There and Back Again: The Importance of a Study Abroad Experience "will be both humorous and informative to students intending to study abroad, and that seasoned travelers might find my experiences relatable.”

After graduation Ethan moved to Ithaca, New York to attend Cornell University where he pursed a Ph.D. in the field of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology (BMCB). Ethan advises honors students that above all else, it is important to seek out learning opportunities and to always cultivate a desire to better understand the world in which we live. Maintaining a positive demeanor and committing oneself to the pursuit of future goals is also critical. 

Jack Slavin
Durham, North Carolina
May 2016 Graduate
Major: Business Administration with concentration in Marketing and Management

Jack “Bull” Slavin, from Durham, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in business administration with a double concentration in marketing and management. He is very proud of the program he developed his freshman year at UNCP called Athletic Connections. Another proud accomplishment of Jack’s is his 1.000 batting average as a member of the baseball team before retiring due to injury. Being an honors college student gave Jack the opportunity to work with the best professors, faculty, and staff, which was very rewarding for him: “Being able to make a lot of connections on the administration level, because of having my title of an honors student, is very rewarding.”

For Jack’s senior project he built on his Athletic Connections program. The program was created to bring local youth onto campus to work with top student athletes as well as honors college students. This is an all-day, high-intensity field day where children are taught how to build stronger leadership, communication, and teamwork skills through the combination of athletics and academics. Jack wants children to use these skills to build a positive, well-balanced life. He loves seeing how Athletic Connections impacts the kids and helps them to better themselves and the surrounding Pembroke Community.

After graduation Jack plans to continue his studies at UNCP to obtain his Master’s in Business Administration. Jack couldn’t give up his love for baseball, so he hopes to one day work as a front-office staff member in minor league baseball. He advises honors students to build positive relationships because there are a lot of people at UNCP who can help to make a college student’s experience more successful. Jack’s greatest memory was when his program, Athletic Connections, won the PBC SunTrust Connection Communities award and was a finalist in the UNC Kenan Flager School of Business Sport Court. Having his first collegiate hit was also “pretty exciting,” and is something Jack will never forget.  

Madison Wilcox
Fairmont, North Carolina

Senior May 2016
Major: Exercise and Sport Science/ Exercise Physiology
Minor: Spanish

Madison Wilcox, from Fairmont, North Carolina, graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in exercise and sport science, concentrating in exercise physiology and minoring in Spanish. Madison is a Student Ambassador. While a student, she co-created and coordinated the Sports Empowerment Program for children with disabilities. Madison had this idea as a freshman, and made her dream become reality during her junior year. This event brings students from the community and UNCP campus, as well as faculty and staff, together to participate in an inclusive and unifying softball team. Madison said that being in the Honors College really made her think on a higher level. She says, “Most of my classes were introspective, especially The Individual in Society course I took with Dr. King. I still think about what I learned in that class, and the way it challenged me to look at society.”

For Madison’s senior project she researched sensory modulation. She studied different techniques that occupational therapists use to help children who have developmental delays and sensory processing complications. Madison hopes to show how these certain techniques affect sensory modulation over time.

Madison attended East Carolina University in the fall following her graduation to obtain a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She hopes to become a successful pediatric occupational therapist. After her graduate studies are completed, Madison hopes to return to the Robeson County community to practice so she can impact the community that has shaped her. She encourages honors students to utilize the abundance of resources UNCP offers to its students, and says, “Here, you can always find someone excited to help you pursue your interests and help your ideas come to life.”


Jeremy Deck
Eastern Pennsylvania

Senior December 2015 graduation
Major: Business Administration and Management

Jeremy Deck, originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, graduated in December 2015 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in management. While at UNCP he completed two years of college in a year and a half while serving as active duty military warrant officer with 19 years of service. He came to UNCP with a desire to complete a bachelor’s degree and graduate from the honors college, but he accomplished much more.

Jeremy’s senior project researched the business of marijuana and the effects of legalization. He applied business and social science principals to explore this topic. One of Jeremy’s proudest accomplishments is winning first place in the business education and social sciences category at the Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity (PURC) Symposium for an early version of the project. In addition, he submitted a working paper of the project at the regional chapter of the Institute for Operation Research and Management Sciences (IORMS), also winning first place. As Jeremy says, “validation of my research by the PURC Symposium was really awesome and to have my research further validated at another conference at Myrtle Beach was an amazing accomplishment.” Based on his experience, Jeremy advises honors students to start their projects early and choose a topic that is fascinating to them: “It’s a great feeling to uncover something that supports your research.”

Prior to graduation from UNCP in 2015, Jeremy was accepted into the University of South Carolina’s graduate program. He is completing his first full semester as a grad student, and he says, “I owe my acceptance and success in USC’s MBA program to what I learned as a Maynor Honors College student researching for my project.”

Michael Mollohan
Houston, Texas
Senior December 2015
Major: Business Administration/ Management

Michael Mollohan, originally from Houston, Texas, graduated in December 2015 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in management. Michael said that being accepted into the Honors College was an accomplishment, but graduating with honors with a 3.7 GPA was an even larger accomplishment. He is very proud of himself for these two accomplishments and would have never thought this of himself. Michael says that it is challenging to keep pushing yourself but also very rewarding. He says, “I like to push myself to the limit and see what I am made of,” which relates to Michael being in the military for over 20 years. He says that opportunities he has been given here at UNCP, from small class sizes to developing friendships within the honors college, have really helped him.

Michael went back to his military roots for his senior research project. He explained how soldiers have valuable skills but don’t earn much credit: “I spent 20 years with the military, and learned a lot of skills; once I got here only four credits translated into college credit.” Michael wants soldiers to have more opportunities to earn more than just physical education credits. He is focusing on leadership and management to be able to reach his goals.

Michael was accepted into the MBA program here at UNCP, and is applying for an IT position in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Michael was a part of the initative to develop the entrepreneurship incubator in the town of Pembroke. He hopes to continue working with the incubator because he loves to see the growth and opportunity that is happening between the university and the community. Michael advises students to be involved on campus, to stay involved, and to keep pushing. His greatest memory as a student at UNCP is attending school and graduating on the same day as his son. Michael says, “That’s an amazing experience and I am so proud.” His experience interacting with all of the professors and staff means a lot to him, along with working with both Chancellor Carter and Chancellor Cummings.