wilmfellowsMeet the 2013 Wilmington Fellows Class


Ashley DeMey, Stephens City, Virginia

Having a lifelong love of learning and marine animals, Ashley plans to attain both a Bachelors degree and Masters degree in Marine Biology before applying to veterinary school. Her ultimate career goal is to become a veterinarian for marine animals. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, and scuba diving, but her real passion is animals. She chose UNCW for the proximity of the beach, of course, but also because of the size and strength of the marine biology program and the abundance of related opportunities in the Wilmington area. There's nowhere else she'd rather be for the next chapter of her life.


Tiffany Ernst, Flanders, New Jersey

Tiffany Ernst is an out-of-state student from NJ who chose UNCW because of its exceptional programs for her planned major in Marine Biology and its concentration on undergraduate research and involvement. She plans on studying Marine Biology for the next four years at Wilmington and then going to graduate school to get a doctoral degree to do research in coral reef ecology or work as a professor. Tiffany has always loved the sciences but avidly enjoys reading novels, writing, and making videos in her spare time when she’s not outdoors camping or swimming. She is always excited to take on new challenges and hopes to take advantage of UNCW’s proximity to the beach throughout her four years, as well to study abroad.


Katie Hoffman, Mechanicsville, Maryland

My academic passions include environmental sciences, biology, and mathematics. My dream job would be to work with the public educating them about why it is so important to protect and conserve coastal ecosystems. Mathematics, especially calculus, was one of my favorite courses in high school. I have a passion for problem solving, and once I get involved in a problem, I can’t stop until I figure it out. Music is one of my passions. I enjoyed playing the flute in my high school band and hope to continue playing throughout college. I also enjoy running and playing sports such as soccer, lacrosse, and football. I chose UNCW because of my campus visit. When I arrived on campus, I just had a feeling that this was the right college for me. UNCW is a prestigious school and offers a great marine biology program, another important reason I chose to attend. After graduating from UNCW, I hope to earn a master’s degree and find a job at a coastal research laboratory. I would like to research how sea turtles respond to changes in the climate and educate the public on why we need to protect these creatures.


Mary Jaskowiak, Sleepy Hollow, Indiana

Mary Jaskowiak is a developing young scientist from the Chicago land area. Her love of the environment, and especially the ocean, drew her to University of North Carolina Wilmington to study Environmental Science and Marine Biology. She hopes to work with her professors on their research, as well as starting projects of her own. With her combination of majors, Mary plans to help lower ocean acidification and nutrification by creating and encouraging environmentally friendly methods of life. In her free time, Mary enjoys watching and playing sports. She also believes it is important to help the less fortunate and devotes her time to various service projects.


Matt Maffey, Baskingridge, New Jersey

I have always had an academic passion for the field of biology. It is one science that directly connects us to nature. When I’m not in class, I like to spend my time surfing, playing basketball, listening to music, or looking for new places to travel. Surfing is a hobby that goes hand in hand with traveling because most of the places I wish to visit are near water. I chose UNCW as my college because I know that it will provide me with the tools and the opportunities that I need to get into medical school after college. More than that, the college environment at UNCW will allow me to continue developing into a mature, confident, and intelligent person. Somewhere in the near future I hope to pursue a career in medicine. Right now I hope to become an anesthesiologist with my own practice or to study oncology. Through research and development in the field of oncology I would hope to contribute to the huge effort of finding ways to prevent the development of cancer.


Rachel McCauley, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

My academic passions lie in the sciences;  I’ll dissect anything that does not move.  In addition to the sciences, I have a passion for modern history. I believe that the best predictor of the future is the past.  Likewise, I believe that if we study our history, we’ll be sure to never repeat the same mistakes.  Besides my academic interests, I love working with children and animals.  I enjoyed assistant teaching at my temple’s sunday school for 5 years.  When I have the chance, I also love working with my favorite veterinarian (who happens to be my dad).   One reason I chose UNCW was my excitement about the state-of-the-art marine biology program.  For a veterinary school hopeful, marine biology makes perfect sense.  UNCW also exudes a feeling of comfort.  There is a clear sense of community within the campus.  And of course, I know I will enjoy studying in a well-lit library one moment and traveling to the beach with friends another.   But above all, I know UNCW is the right choice for me because it’s already obvious that UNCW faculty care about their students.  They want each student to accomplish as much, or even more, than the student ever thought she could.


Gloria Meiers, Charlotte, North Carolina

Gloria Meiers is interested in many areas of academics but especially those of Math and Psychology. She ran Cross Country all four years of high school and has held a love of running and other sports from a young age. She has played soccer since the age of four and has also participated in multiple triathlon/ biathlon events. She enjoys participating in service activities, which she has done in the past largely through Key Club, National Honor Society and National English Honor Society. She holds a passion for photography and all types of music, and plays the piano and oboe. Gloria chose UNCW because of the opportunity of the Honors Fellows Program and the strong Psychology department. She is currently undecided in her major but hopes for a career involving Psychology, possibly working with children.


Jordan Ormond Foster, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

My academic passions include marine biology, zoology, biology, chemistry, ecological conservation, and English. Some activities I enjoy are photography, skateboarding, playing the saxophone, swimming, singing, listening to music, riding horses, and reading. I enjoy learning just for the sake of learning. I chose UNCW because of the excellent marine biology program here and the location is perfect for who I am and the career I hope to pursue. My career goals include successfully maturing a giant squid in a laboratory setting, discovering new aquatic species, advancing the worldwide knowledge base on jellyfish, and discovering a method of preserving the dying coral reefs of the world.


Danielle Siegert, Clayton, North Carolina

For Danielle Siegert, attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington was a clear choice. The campus, downtown Wilmington, the beach, and especially the Center for Marine Sciences were all huge draws for her as someone who has been passionate about marine biology her whole life. The location is ideal for studying marine sciences, and there are ample opportunities for students to participate in these studies. She ultimately hopes to become a researcher in the field of marine biology. Her interests include running cross country, SCUBA diving, playing keyboard and piano, and reading.


Nick Sterling, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Nick Sterling is from San Jose, California, and moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, during high school.  He enjoys running, playing ice hockey and playing music on various instruments.  Nick chose to go to UNCW because he found the greatest breadth of opportunity there, both on campus and in the Wilmington area.  Some of his main academic interests include literature, philosophy, psychology, ethics, politics and social justice.  Although Nick is uncertain of what his exact career goals are, he knows that he wants to incorporate his interests of law and ethics into a career path where he can directly help those who are most in need.


Juliet Taylor, Lavellette, New Jersey

I have chosen environmental science as my major because I have always lived by the ocean and had a close connection with nature. Ever since my 8th grade science class, where we raised oysters and learned about beach profiling, I have wanted to pursue a career in the natural sciences. My goals after graduating UNCW include attending graduate school and someday working for the Environmental Protection Agency or an environmental consulting company. Outside of school, I am a competitive sailor. I also sing and play the piano; I am very passionate about music. I chose to attend UNCW because between all the opportunities for my major, the location, the beautiful campus, and the friendly staff and students – I couldn’t say no!

Back to Wilmington Fellows info