Students in the Fall 2017 First-Year Cohort
Students in the Fall 2018 First-Year Cohort
Fall 2017 First-Year Cohort Fall 1 to Fall 2 Retention Rate
Fall 2018 First-Year Cohort Fall 1 to Fall 2 Retention Rate
Kim Sousa-Peoples, Ph.D.

Kim Sousa-Peoples

Senior Director

Emily Wiersma

Associate Director

Darian Rader

Graduate Assistant

First-year retention initiatives are guided by the following first-year student outcomes:

At UNCG each first-year student will...

  • Explore and connect with UNC Greensboro’s many people, programs, and resources.

  • Develop a strong foundational support system to aid in their academic and personal success.

  • Cultivate a sense of Spartan Pride and affinity for UNCG.

The First-Year Retention Network is a campus-wide partnership made up of individuals who are committed to and have an impact on first-year retention.

This committee is charged with:

  1. Assessing current and recommending new first-year retention initiatives.
  2. Overseeing and coordinating first-year retention initiatives within specific academic or support areas. All units of the university will be expected to work with the committee in the development and implementation of first-year retention initiatives.
  3. Monitoring progress toward first-year retention goals and participation of academic units/departments across campus.
  4. Considering ways to create a seamless hand-off to sophomore year retention efforts to improve overall persistence.
  5. Developing baseline measures and a timeline for future first-year retention initiatives, within an assessment framework.


2019-2020 Members:

Chair: Dr. Kim Sousa Peoples, Senior Director of First Year Experience & Engagement

Robert Barker, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Students Rights & Responsiblities

Denisha Bland, Assistant Director of Frontier Set Initiatives

Dr. Joi Bulls,  Associate Professor and Director of HDFS Internship Program Human Development and Family Studies

Dr. Brett Carter, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students

Jeffrey Collis, Data Manager for Institutional Research

Sarah Colonna, Associate Program Chair for Residential Colleges

Megan Delph, Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring

Rachel Dodd Blakely, Assistant Director of Your First Year

Devonne Gaddy, Early Alert & Intervention Coordinator

Maria Hayden, Coordinator of Data and Student Records for the Lloyd International Honors College

Jennifer Kelley, International Student and Scholar Services Lead

Johnny Lail, IT Business Intelligence / Data Analysts II

Austin McKim, Associate Director of New Student Transisitons

Lasse Palomaki, Professional Development Specialist

Erin Parrish, College Student Development Coordinator for Programs

Darian Rader, Graduate Assistant for First Year Retention

Jennifer Reich, Director of Undergraduate Advising and Student Success for the College of Visual and Performing Arts

Melody Rood, Student Success Librarian and Assistant Professor

Kristin Rusboldt, Assistant Athletic Director for Spartan Academic Support Service

Sarah Shearer, Associate Director of Financial Aid

Jody Smith, Director Space Utilization and Planning

George Still, Director of Assessment for Student Affairs

Shelley Wald, Assistant Director for Residence Life

Jennifer Whitney, Director of Student Health Services Counseling Center

Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of First Year Experience

Tyler Wiersma, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Professional Development for the Bryan School of Business & Economics

Mackenzie Radford, Cordinator of First Year Experience

Kelly Young, Assistant Director for Academic Skills

Sean Zawodny, Coordinator of New Student Transitions

The First Year Connect Team, made up of staff in Student Success, assist with:

  1. Monitoring Starfish flags for all first-year students
  2. Notifying faculty and/or staff in direct contact with students who receive multiple Starfish Flags in order to provide targeted outreach and support
  3. Collaborating with Institutional Research to develop and distribute exit surveys to students who do not return to UNCG