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Press Release



North Carolina Aquarium Security Officer lauded for customer service


The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores became an instant favorite for school field trips when it reopened May 19. More than 16,000 children have visited with their classes so far.


Kathy McGovern, an Aquarium Security Officer, considers all the students “her kids” as she guides them safely from their buses to the front door. Her enthusiasm and dedication to the welfare of the students -- and all Aquarium visitors -- earned her a Carteret County Chamber of Commerce Outrageous Customer Service Award for 2006.


McGovern joined the Aquarium just before it reopened in May after a $25 million expansion. Upwards of 420,000 people have since toured the facility – nearly 8,000 in a single day at the peak of summer.


McGovern and her fellow Security Officers are often the first staff members visitors see when they enter the parking lot. She was nominated for the award after several visitors noted her great customer service.


“Kathy has offered outrageous customer since her first day at the Aquarium,” said Cindy Meyers, Visitor and Member Services Coordinator. “Her dedication and commitment, particularly to the safety of visiting school children, were the reasons she was nominated.”

Kathy McGovern

Aquarium Security Officer Kathy McGovern talks with students as she guides them back to their buses.


McGovern feels the award reflects the attitude of the entire Security team, and all Aquarium staff.


“The teamwork at the Aquarium brings out great customer service, because people see that we’re all so happy to be working here,” she said.



North Carolina Aquarium Educator Jenifer Hoskins honored


PINE KNOLL SHORES – Aquarium Educator Jenifer Hoskins may have lost her classroom for more than two years while the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores was closed for expansion, but that didn’t stop her from teaching.


Instead, she took the Aquarium’s educational Outreach programs on the road. The Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA) recently recognized her efforts with the Marine Non-Traditional Educator of the Year Award for 2006.


“ I was fortunate to have the support from the Aquarium to work with many different organizations in the community,” Hoskins said. “As an educator, it is important to stay in practice.  Many local venues had a great place to offer programs, but no one to lead them.  I had the experience and all of the tools, but no building.  It was a perfect fit!” 

With a degree in Marine Biology from UNC-Wilmington, Hoskins conducts live animal presentations, the popular “Live Dive” programs, and other educational activities at the Aquarium.

Jenifer Hoskins

Marine Non-Traditional Educator of the Year Award winner Jenifer Hoskins


“Jenifer has had a life-long love affair with the coastal environment, which has led her to a profession helping others discover and appreciate the special habitats and life forms inhabiting this region,” explained John Chubb, MAMEA Award Chairman. “Working with the general public, and especially groups, she developed new programs and educational materials. All this shows her passion about marine science.”


MAMEA represents marine educators from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, the District of Columbia and North Carolina.