Kim Sousa-Peoples, Ph.D.Senior Director
Kim has worked in higher education for 25 years. She earned her Ph.D. from UNCG’s School of Education Curriculum and Instruction department, studying higher education administration. She also holds a Master’s degree in higher education and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, both from The University of South Carolina. Prior to serving as the Director of New Student Transitions & First Year Experience, she was the Assistant Director of Orientation for Parent and Family Programs at UNCG and the Assistant Dean of Students at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. Kim is also a certified fitness instructor and teaches several group exercise classes weekly. Kim has a daughter in college and a daughter in high school, both keeping her busy and entertained!
Austin McKimAssociate Director
Austin earned his M.Ed in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education here at UNCG and his B.A in Communication Studies from Christopher Newport University. Prior to serving as the Associate Director, he worked as an Assistant Director, Coordinator, and Graduate Assistant in the NST & FYE office as well worked for a year at CNU as a University Fellow. In his current role, Austin oversees the Spartan Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) program, SOAR sponsorship program, Families of Future Spartans, and various first-year student and family initiatives. In his free time, Austin enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, playing golf, and watching his favorite TV shows.
Emily WiersmaAssociate Director
Emily earned her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Ohio University and B.S. in Psychology with a focus in Education and English from the University of Mount Union. Prior to joining the team, Emily served the Dean of Students Office, while developing transition and support programs for foster youth students in higher education. Additionally, Emily has served as an Admission Representative and Instructor and Academic Advisor for first-year students. In her role as Associate Director, Emily oversees the FYE 101: Succeed at the G program, Keker Common Experience program, and other first year experience initiatives. Emily also enjoys visiting family at the beach and spending time with her partner and their two cats, who keep them thoroughly entertained!
Rachel Dodd BlakelyAssistant Director
Rachel earned her M.S. in Higher Education at Florida State University and B.A. in Psychology at Christopher Newport University. Prior to joining the team, Rachel worked as Coordinator for Student Involvement at NC State University, Assistant Director of First Year Experience & Family Programs at Longwood University, and University Fellow for Student Engagement at Christopher Newport University. In her current role, Rachel oversees the Your First Year program designed to support new Spartans in their academic and social transition to UNCG. When she’s not at work, Rachel enjoys hanging out and exploring new places with her husband, dog, and friends.
Mackenzie earned her MBA and B.S. in Business Administration from UNCG. In her role as coordinator, Mackenzie oversees the Peer Academic Leader (PAL) and Keker Success Series program, provides support to the FYE 101: Succeed at the G program, and advises Alpha Lambda Delta. During her free time, she enjoys investing in her local church and spending time with her husband, family, and friends. Mackenzie is a former UNCG softball student-athlete and loves to attend Spartan athletic events every chance she gets!
Sean earned his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University and B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida. In his role as coordinator, Sean oversees the Spartan Orientation Staff (SOS) and Rawkin’ Welcome Weeks, and assists with the SOAR program. In his free time, he enjoys being outside with his dog, drinking coffee, and trying new places to eat around town!
Courtney PiggBusiness Manager
Courtney earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Professional Writing from Western Carolina University (WCU) and an A.A. in General Studies from GTCC. Prior to joining the team, Courtney worked as a Pro Writing Tutor at GTCC and an Admin Support Specialist in the Office of the Provost at WCU. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, watching tv shows and movies, and spending time with her husband and chihuahua.
Jesse HallTechnology Manager
Jesse is the technology manager for the office of New Student Transitions & First Year Experience. He is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In his free time, he enjoys watching television and movies and building costumes and props.
Darian RaderFirst Year Retention Graduate Assistant
Darian completed her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Community-Based Leadership at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She started her M.Ed. at the University of South Carolina, but transferred into the M.Ed. Student Affairs Administration and Higher Education program at UNCG. Darian’s position in the Office of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience focuses primarily on first-year retention and persistence initiatives at UNCG. Some of her favorite things to do are attending festivals, playing sports or board games, listening to music, and visiting with friends and family.
Jessica HubertYour First Year Graduate Assistant
Jessica earned her B.A in English Literature and minored in Women, Gender, Sexuality studies from Gettysburg College, PA. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed in the Student Affairs Administration and Higher Education program at UNC Greensboro. In her current role, she works as the Graduate Assistant for the Your First Year program which is designed to support students with their transition to UNCG. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her friends and exploring downtown Greensboro!
Kara GoodsonGraduate Assistant - NST
Kara received her B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed in the Student Affairs Administration and Higher Education program at UNC Greensboro. Kara currently serves as the New Student Transitions Graduate Assistant which primarily assists with planning and facilitating the SOAR program. In her free time, Kara enjoys going to the beach, exercising and watching movies.
Maggie ChervenyGraduate Assistant - FYE
Maggie completed her B.A. in Business Administration and minored in Psychology at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed in Student Affairs Administration and Higher Education at UNCG. In her current role she works as the Graduate Assistant for First Year Experience which supports the FYE 101: Succeed at the G program, the Keker common Experience program, and other first year experience initiatives. Outside of work, Maggie enjoys spending time with friends and family, finding new coffee shops, and loves animals!
Emma BrockFirst Year Assistant
Emma is a senior majoring in Music Education from Waxhaw, North Carolina. She served on the Spartan Orientation Staff for two years and was a Peer Academic Leader for the Fall semester of 2018. She plays clarinet which she loves to do in her free time along with painting, running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Haley McInnisFirst Year Assistant
Haley is a senior majoring in marketing and minoring in American Sign Language from Asheville, North Carolina. She is currently President of the American Marketing Association, a Peer Academic Leader, and a member of the Lloyd International Honors College. She was a part of the 2018 Spartan orientation Staff and served 2 years in the Student Government Association. in her free time, she likes cooking, drinking coffee, and petting every single dog she sees.
Kelly SharplessFirst Year Assistant - YFY
Kelly is a Sophomore majoring in Psychology and double minoring in Chemistry and Technical Theater with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. She was also born and raised in Charlotte, NC. Kelly is currently a member of the Executive Board for MAPS (The Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students). In her free time, she likes to listen to music, exercise, and hang with friends.
Sydnee PrayorFirst Year Assistant - FYE
Andrew CarpenterContent Creator - Graphics
Andrew is a junior majoring in Business Administration from Roxboro, North Carolina. He is currently a graphic designer in the NST & FYE office and has his own business in freelance graphic design and social media management. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing video games, and playing sports.
Jarrett StricklandContent Creator - Photography
Jarrett is a junior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Pembroke, North Carolina. He currently holds the position as Treasurer for the Mu Triton Charge of Theta Delta Chi International Fraternity. He is also a Spartan Guide and a member of the Native American Student Association. He served as a Peer Academic Leader for both semesters during his sophomore year. In his free time, he enjoys hanging with friends and family, playing video games, and practicing his photography skills in any way possible.
Shivali VasheeContent Creator - Social Media & Marketing
Shivali is a senior majoring in Marketing with a certificate in Sales from Charlotte, NC. She spent her Spring 2020 semester studying abroad in England. She is currently a Bryan Student Ambassador, Peer Career Ambassador, and is the VP of Marketing for the American Marketing Association. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to Bollywood songs, hanging out with friends, and rooting for the Spartans!
Suzi SapusekContent Creator - Video
Suzi is a senior Media Studies major at UNCG with a minor in Sociology. She has her own business in photography and videography, and her goal is to become a film editor after graduating from UNCG. Suzi spends most of her free time taking and editing photos and videos for friends and clients, as well as watching movies and television shows.
Joshua BurnsPAL Captain
Joshua is a junior majoring in History and Secondary Education and minoring in Political Science. He currently serves as the Peer Academic Leader Captain, Cohort Captain for UNCG Guarantee, and Student Ambassador the UNCG McNair Scholars Program. During his free time, Joshua enjoys spending time with his friends, reading, and serving in the community.