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Hawk's Eye View: Shelby Kennedy '24

Shelby Kennedy '24 leading student orientation

May 21, 2024

Shelby Kennedy '24 (above, right) capped her UNCW career by receiving the Pat Leonard Senior Medallion Award. As a public health major with a pre-clinical concentration, she excelled across campus, serving as an Orientation Leader and Seahawk Link with Transition Programs, an information specialist with Campus Life, a Student Government Association (SGA) member, and a UNCW student ambassador.

She reflects on her Seahawk experience in this latest Hawk's Eye View.

Upon my entrance at UNCW, we were amidst a global pandemic. Where I felt loss in experiences like senior prom, high school graduation, and a conclusion to my ten years in all-star cheer – UNCW provided me with experiences to fill those gaps of missing milestones.

My most pertinent fear my freshman year was being unable to find the same community that I did in all-star cheer, and that college would be a repeat of high school. However, I quickly learned that wasn't the case at all, and there were so many people here who wanted to build connections and support me in my endeavors.

When I applied to be an Orientation Leader in Spring of 2021, I had no clue that it would ignite a passion for student leadership and involvement, driven by providing experiences for students that I could not have due to COVID. That role has and always will hold such a special place in my heart, along with every single one of my sharks.

From that point on, I decided that I would leave every role better than I found it. With the help of amazing peers, colleagues, professors, supervisors, and mentors – I believe I have done just that in each of my positions. From experiences such as Orientation Leader, Seahawk Link, Information Specialist with Campus Life, Student Government Association (SGA), and UNCW Student Ambassadors; I have served our Seahawks of past, present, and future to the best of my ability.

Shelby Kennedy '24 graduating at Spring 2024 Commencement

Now that I’m a graduating senior, I am satisfied with the path I’ve followed during my time at UNCW. Through hardships and fun times – this community has provided me with something I never could have imagined for myself. The personal and professional growth I have obtained is insurmountable, and I do everything I can to pass that on to others.

My experiences at UNCW are indispensable. I couldn't be more thankful for everything I have accomplished here. The time in college really does fly by in the blink of an eye, and I’ve found how important it is to take a step back and reflect on the experiences and fully take in the moment.

I want everything I’ve done to make an impact on someone else, because my greatest accomplishments have come from providing others with an unforgettable experience like my own. I believe in giving back to those who have been kind and supportive of you, which is exactly why I give my best effort towards UNCW. I give back to this university that has provided me with more than I ever dreamed of because more people deserve to experience this community that truly is like no other.