North Carolina Sea Grant
News Releases

News Releases

July 11, 2018 | Marisa Incremona


Contact: Katie Mosher,, 919-515-9069

The National Sea Grant Office today announced 66 finalists for the 2019 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Four of the finalists — Alicia M. Cheripka, Jill Hamilton, Chrissy Hayes and William Thaxton —  are from three North Carolina universities.

The year-long fellowships in executive and legislative offices in and around Washington, D.C., begin in February 2019.

Alicia Cheripka

“One of the most remarkable successes of the Knauss program has been the long-sustaining network of personal and professional relationships that benefits these individuals throughout their careers,” says Susan White, executive director of North Carolina Sea Grant.

“Individuals I’ve been lucky enough to know — including N.C. fellows, as well as others from across the Sea Grant network over the past decade — bring exceptional levels of professionalism and situational awareness to their work.”

This year’s finalists from North Carolina already have accumulated a wealth of experience.

Jill Hamilton

Their collective educational background and service have supported residents and ecosystems from Indonesia to Oahu and from Peru to Sierra Leone.

Here are the North Carolina fellows:

Alicia M. Cheripka graduates in August from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a master’s degree in marine biology.

Jill Hamilton graduated with a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University.

Chrissy Hayes

Chrissy Hayes also is a recent graduate from Duke. She earned a master’s of environmental management with a concentration in coastal environmental management.

William Thaxton will complete his master’s in biology at East Carolina University this fall.

The esteemed fellowship is marking its 40th anniversary. More than 75 graduate students from North Carolina have served as Knauss fellows since 1979.

Overall, more than 1,200 professionals have received hands-on experiences bringing science to policy and management topics.

Read more about the 2019 Knauss finalists: 

To learn more about the N.C. finalists, check out the forthcoming summer issue of Coastwatch.

Read about current Knauss fellows from North Carolina, Elizabeth Clark and Brianna Elliott, at and 


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