Thanks for the memories

Unlike many graduating seniors, I do not have a countdown to graduation.  The realization that I am leaving Wilmington, and UNCW, has become all too real to me these past few weeks.  Where have the past two and a half years gone!?

My first two years of college I spent in the tiny town of Bridgewater, Virginia attending Bridgewater College.  While I had a great time on the equestrian team there, and a couple of my professors helped guide me to become a Communication Studies major, I knew that I needed something different out of my educational experience.635838983244815899-1532719637_1536_front

When I found UNCW while researching colleges outside of Virginia (something I had failed to do while I was in high school) I thought it sounded too good to be true.  It took some convincing to get my parents to support my decision to apply, but they finally agreed it was a perfect fit for me and  were ecstatic when I got my acceptance letter.

My time at UNCW has been even better than I had imagined.  I have met some of the most driven,bright, inspiring people I have ever encountered in my life.  The COM Studies Department has truly helped me more than I ever could have expected, giving me invaluable experiences and teaching me skills that will help me far beyond the classroom.


Although I am sad my time at UNCW, and most likely my time in Wilmington, is coming to an end, I am so thankful for all of the growth (both academic and personal) I have encountered during my time here.  I am excited to see what the next phase of my life holds, but part of my heart will always be in my favorite little beach town.

-June Wilkinson


Four (and-a-half) years later…. *Spongebob voice*

I always knew I would come to UNCW. Heck, the only application I completed was to UNCW (looking back, that was not a good idea). And to be honest, I didn’t have a strong reason to come here. However, four-and-a-half years later, I know I was supposed to be here.


That feeling was reassured when I entered the Communication Studies Major. The major facilitated opportunities for me to grow and learn. I tried to make the most of these opportunities because I know the experience I gained from them will pay-off later. Being able to apply my knowledge in classes is something I will not take for granted.

It hasn’t really hit me yet that I will be leaving friends, classmates and professors that I’ve built strong relationships with. And that will be the hardest part. But the things I’ve learned from them will stay with me forever.

DSC_0135 copy

Looking forward, I know the skills I’ve obtained at UNCW and the COM major will propel me to where I want to be. For this, I am forever grateful.

Go do great things, class of 2015!

Oh, and happy birthday to me!

– Patrick

If You’re Reading This…. I Graduated

Okay, I didn’t graduate yet… but I cannot believe I am getting ready to graduate in a few weeks. College, where have you gone? The thought of leaving Wilmington had not really hit me until this morning, when I was packing up my car with most of my stuff to go back home for Thanksgiving.

I spent my freshman year in New Orleans studying at Loyola University. Bourbon Street was fun but I wanted something else, something more. I spent the summer after my freshman year and first semester of sophomore year off finding myself in New York. While in New York, my parents decided they were going to move from Michigan to North Carolina by the summer. I knew I didn’t want to go back to NOLA and decided I would just apply to schools in North Carolina. I never actually visited UNCW; I saw some videos on YouTube, researched the university, and I knew that this is where I wanted to go. I am a firm believer in what you put out in the universe, you will attract. So, I would spend hours out of my day imaging myself at UNCW (this is absolutely weird, I know) but hey, it worked! I was so excited when I received my acceptance letter.

My two and a half years at UNCW have been different than I imagined. I came here with the idea that I would be a double major in Marketing and Management Information Systems. After two semesters I knew that, once again, I was looking for something more, in particular with my major. Also, side note, it was going to take me 3 more years until I could have graduated with a business degree. And I did not have the time for that. So after doing some research, I thought Communication Studies sounded interesting but I was not exactly sold on being a COM major. After being in business, switching to COM seemed like the easier major and would be less rewarding than business.

So, now that I am about to graduate what do I really think about COM? It is the opposite of what I originally thought; it is not just an easy major and it is more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. COM was the perfect major for me—I was able to take classes that I was interested in, got the opportunity to develop great friendships, was able get to know professors and bond with them, all while discovering my true potential.

Since the beginning of my college career, I knew that before I graduated I wanted to have a job with a company that had opportunity for advancement, a great salary and benefits. For the past four years in the back of my mind, this is what I have been picturing for myself (refer back to what you put out in the universe, you attract). It was not until this past semester in Ms. Chin’s COM 400 (by the way take her class, it’s worth it, I promise) I knew that I had a shot at my goal.

I applied for a position with one of the top companies in the world and got an email for an interview! After that interview, I made it to the second round and finally to the third and final round. I was in a real treat for the final round; I had a 30-minute interview, take a 15-minute test, give a 10-minute presentation and conduct a 20-minute role-play. I spent about 40+ hours preparing for all of this over the course of two weeks. I do not believe that I would have made it this far if I had not switched to COM or if I was not in Ms. Chin’s capstone class.

I have spent all of college preparing for this moment, interviewing for a job, and I knew that I was ready to shine. I was able to use what I learned throughout my COM degree to help differentiate myself from the other 35 candidates at the final interview. Most of which were business majors. My hard work has paid off and I am happy to say that I have reached my end goal. I have accepted a Sales Representative position at a technology firm in Research Triangle Park.

Coming to UNCW has been the most rewarding experience and I am so appreciative for the opportunities it has presented to me during my time here. I want to thank my mom and dad for their love and support throughout these years. I also want to give a shout-out to Dr. Bolduc, Dr. Olsen, Meghan and Debbie in the COM Department for hiring me as their work-study student for the past year and a half. I am going to miss the candy, laughs and especially seeing you all everyday. It has really been a pleasure and an enriching experience to work in the department.

So long UNCW, thanks for the memories!

-Carey Shetterley

An Extra Semester Never Hurt…

It is hard to believe that in just 18 short days, I will walk across the stage in Trask and become a college graduate. Though my journey did not start off at UNCW, I am very thankful my collegiate career ended here. Most transfers come with a unique story regarding their arrival to a new college, I am happy to say I was one of those transfers. The past two years have made a significant mark on my life and have prepared me for my future endeavors; I am pleased to say that I will be a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

If you had asked me four (and a half, #5thyear) years ago if I would be a UNCW graduate, chances are I probably would have told you no. Growing up in a small town, I thought I wanted to live the glamorous city life. However, after two years in Charlotte, NC, those city lights stopped being so inspiring, and I was ready for a change. Moving to Wilmington, NC has been by far one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. UNCW could not have been a better fit for me. I have made lifelong friendships, created lasting memories and found a field that brings excitement and joy to my life as I embark into this next chapter.


As a transfer you have the distinct opportunity to be able to compare one experience to another, this is something that not all students are capable of doing. This ability enabled me to fully appreciate my time here at UNCW and just how exceptional the Communication Studies department is and the numerous doors this major has opened for me; more specifically, a great internship opportunity in the heart of downtown Wilmington at Bon’s Eye Marketing Firm. I have focused much of my coursework in Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communication studies. As I go forth into the “real” world, I hope to pursue a job in one of those fields.

While the idea of graduating is exciting, it is sad to see this chapter of my life come to an end. It has been by far, some of the best years and I never knew that four years could fly by so quickly. Though, I am nervous to see what the next chapter holds, I feel confident that my time here at UNCW has fully prepared me for my future and what lies ahead for my professional career.


-Mary Carney



Modern Twist on Italian Cuisine

Wilmington, North Carolina – home to dozens of locally acclaimed restaurants, all with unique flares. One of the most popular tastes in town is authentic Italian, and one of the most popular Italian restaurants is Nicola’s. Located on Oleander Drive, Nicola’s is nothing special upon first glance; however, the establishment envelopes customers in fragmatic waves of garlic and spices, while the modern interior displays playful colors and organic designs. Their menu offers a modern twist on italian cuisine, such as homemade pastas and wood oven pizzas – pair one of these signature entrees with a house wine an customers are guaranteed to leave happy.


Founded by Nicola (Nick) Pittari, Nicola’s was purchased in 2006. Nick’s family is from Sicily, which is prevalent in every dish on the menu. Nick is still head chef of the restaurant, which is a personal touch that many local establishments lack. Offering a variety of entirely homemade sauces, pastas, and even an extensive gluten-free menu, Italian-with-a-twist has never tasted so good.


Like many business owners, Nick turns to social media to promote his business. Nicola’s can be found on Facebook (Nicola’s Wilmington), Instagram (nicolaswilmington), and Twitter (nicolasitalian). The difference between Nicola’s and many other local businesses, is that every social media site is updated FREQUENTLY. The most recent Facebook post? 2 days ago. The most recent Instagram picture? Yesterday. The most recent Tweet? Same thing. Maybe this is because Mr. Pittari understands the concept of Media Ecology.

Media Ecology states that media environments, and such modes of communication, can actually play a key role in the way humans act and react to situations. With multiple social media accounts supporting a business, said business is likely to get more customers than a competitor with a smaller social media presence. Nicola’s Facebook page, displays a specials menu and a wine selection at least three times a week. To all of the page’s subscribers, this could be a driving force or a decision-maker, regarding where someone wants to eat dinner. Having a personal connection via social media is incredibly important to a business, especially in a town like Wilmington that is full of incredible local food. Nicola’s definitely aims to stand out with such a presence, and Chef and owner Nick Pittari should chalk this business up to a success.


What are some other restaurants you’ve seen that make a local connection with the community through social media outlets?

-Nick, Melanie, Mary & Patrick

A Twist on Seafood

Do you love trying new and exotic foods? When you hear the words “raw fish” do you run for the hills or scream yum? If your answer was run for the hills… we bet you haven’t tried Wilmington’s only Panamanian restaurant, Ceviche’s.


As college students we don’t often get the chance to try new foods or experience other cultures through their cuisine. Thankfully Ceviche’s allows this experience without weighing too heavily on your wallet. It may not seem like your typical comfort food, but trying new things can add a wonderful new dimension to your life. And who knows, you may fall in love with it!


Ceviche’s is a relatively new restaurant in Wilmington, NC. It is located just before the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge, in a cute little yellow and green shack. The small building creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere- the perfect setting for a beach town. Owned by the Tiblier couple, they wanted to bring the feel of Central American (specifically Panamanian) food to Wrightsville Beach. The owners had the opportunity to live and experience Panama, taking surfing and fishing trips to the Pacific and Atlantic, they stick to the foods they know: Panamanian diet with ceviche, plantains, tropical fruits, and more!

11855660_1654981721384115_8410897693814372787_nCeviche owners, neither of which had prior restaurant experience, took to Facebook once they began the development of the restaurant. In the preliminary stages, their followers got to see behind-the-scenes photos of the construction and formation of the bar. They revealed a “menu preview” and even featured their first customer who ordered a red sangria on their opening night. This social media strategy engaged followers and potential customers, while creating anticipation for the new Panamanian-style restaurant. Their social media page continues to update followers on daily specials and “daily catches”, shares pictures of tasty dishes, and features customers enjoying their meals.

This restaurant incorporates such variety in creating the culture, directly correlating to bricolage. Bricolage is something constructed or created from a diverse range of available things. Bricolage makes this restaurant unique and fun to experience. So… if you want some diversity in your menu and overall restaurant experience, go check out Ceviche’s!

Visit their website here:



-Jonathan Callahan, Erin Fouhy, Julia George, Joseph Hines, and Sarah Suggs

A Thai and Vietnamese Creation

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.31.09 PM.png

Although it’s only in Wilmington, NC, once you step through the doors of Indochine Restaurant you are transformed into a Vietnamese wonderland.  Guarding the front entrance, a 6-foot golden statue of Buddha welcomes the guests that come to dine.  Statues, paintings, and nicknacks line the walls of the interior of the restaurant, all collected by the restaurants owners during their many travels throughout Asia.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.30.03 PM

The true enchantment begins when you pass through the back doors into the garden. With just over an acre, the Bartsch family has created a Vietnamese-inspired garden that will leave you speechless.  From koi ponds to individual tiki-huts for guests to dine in, the garden is a true transformation to a new “far east” destination.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.30.24 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.30.36 PM

After opening its doors in 2001, Indochine quickly became one of Wilmington’s most popular attractions.  Voted Encore’s Best Restaurant Overall for over 15 years, each visit to Indochine is a handcrafted experience.  On top of a beautiful atmosphere, the cuisine only enhances the experience.  Staying local and true to Thai culture, each dish is freshly prepared based on family recipes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.30.57 PM

Indochine has built a brand based on every factor of the dining experience.  Atmosphere, service, and cuisine are just a few examples of where the Indochine staff focuses their attention to ensure every guest is experiencing a true taste of Vietnam.  Staying true to culture is very important to the owners and doing so has allowed them to build a strong brand awareness in the Wilmington community.

Based solely on word of mouth marketing, Indochine relies heavily on their reputation.  Through their success it is clear that staying true to culture and providing the very best experience to the customer is vital in surviving in the restaurant business.  Although the owners choose not to advertise in the community, Indochine is a name we all recognize and has become a staple in Wilmington culture.