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.
Zach TrabonaTechnical Services Manager
Zach earned his B.A. in English at Colorado State University. Prior to joining the team, he worked as a supervisor/Information Services Specialist at a public library. In his free time, Zach enjoys spending time with his wife and family, playing hockey/working out, and reading/writing.
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!
Kara earned her M.Ed in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education here at UNCG and her B.A in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In her current role as Coordinator, Kara oversees the Spartan Orientation Staff (SOS), helps plan and facilitate Rawkin’ Welcome Weeks, and assists in facilitating the SOAR program. In her free time, Kara enjoys going to the beach, exercising and watching movies.
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.
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!
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.
Joshua BurnsPAL Captain
Joshua is a senior 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.