UNCP Home Spotlights Hannah Swartz
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Hannah Swartz


Student Degree


Student Major

Environmental Science

Student Hometown

Ocala, Florida


Born and raised in Florida, I met my husband Carleton in our hometown. At the time, he was enlisting in the US Army and I was moving away for school. I attended state college at the beach, and it was there that my love for biology and environmental science began. I volunteered for about a year at a nonprofit zoo, the Brevard Zoo, where I ran kayak tours through the African wildlife exhibit and taught about conservation. From there, I began gearing my associate's degree towards biology and decided that was the dream I wanted to pursue. After marrying my husband, we moved to Ft. Bragg, and I began my education at UNC Pembroke. We have a hyperactive Australian Shepherd named Loki, and all three of us like to spend our free time outdoors at the beach, hiking, or camping. I’m currently very involved on campus and love every minute of it! If I’m not in class, you can find me in my hammock, or in the campus garden, or working on improving our campus’s sustainability.

Why did you choose to attend UNCP?

Before moving to North Carolina, I researched colleges near and around the Fayetteville area. Coincidentally, one of my friends back home had gone to UNC Pembroke and recommended I look into it. So, there it began.  I read through the UNCP biology and environmental science programs and knew that’s where I wanted to study.

What do you like best about UNCP?

The opportunities available at UNC Pembroke are constantly expanding. Throughout the few years I’ve been here, I’ve been involved in the Biology Club, the Greener Coalition, the Office of Sustainability, the RISE program, and now Kids in the Garden (a lot, I know). Not only are these opportunities great for furthering your career, they are also rewarding experiences. Being involved with these organizations has really helped me to inspire students’ involvement on environmental issues. Working for the Office of Sustainability, I feel like I can make a difference on this campus and better our environmental impact and the experience for my fellow students. So that’s what I like the best about UNCP, the opportunities and student involvement that really make our institution stand out from the rest.

What are your post-graduation plans?

The big question is what will I do after my time at UNCP.  Since working as a Summer RISE Fellow and conducting research alongside Dr. Kelly and Grant Wood, I have a new dream to attend graduate school and to continue research. The combination of field and laboratory research with the potential to answer environmental questions has inspired me to continue my education. I’ve also had the opportunity, with the Kids in the Garden program, to teach high school kids how to develop and implement their own scientific research on the health of honey bees. Being able to inspire younger students to study important environmental questions has truly been a rewarding experience, and I hope to continue this work in the future.  

Hannah Swartz and Kids in the Garden Hannah and Carleton Swartz Loki Photo on the far left: Hannah Swartz and Kids in the Garden make pollen slides

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