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Kenley Patanella

Kenley Patanella

Kenley Patanella

Biology with Environmental concentration

Raleigh, North Carolina


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.

Senior Project
Thesis: Bird Habitation and Species Diversity on UNCP’s Campus
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leon Jernigan