Students First Office > About > Staff

  Regular Business Hours
  Monday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  Tuesday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  Walk-in Assistance Hours
  Monday - Friday: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  Tuesday 4:00 pm -7:00 pm

Meet the Staff

Students First Office Staff

 This image denotes persons having gone through Safe Zone Training.

   Dana Saunders, Director 
   (336) 334-5730,
Dana Saunders, Associate Director

Dana Saunders has been involved in higher education for more than 12 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Roanoke College, and graduated with a master’s degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina (USC). While at USC, Dana worked in the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, which sparked her interest in first-year students and academic success initiatives. At UNCG, Dana was previously the associate director in Undergraduate Student Excellence where she was responsible for the ongoing development of new academic support initiatives, as well as the office’s strategic planning and assessment. She also worked as the coordinator of UNCG's first-year seminar program. Dana’s professional interests include exploratory (undecided) majors, students in academic recovery, social justice initiatives, University policy, program assessment, and strategic planning in higher education. Outside of work, Dana is pursuing her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations in the School of Education at UNCG. When she is away from campus, Dana enjoys local tourism, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her partner and children.

   Kate Jessup, Student Support Advisor 
   (336) 334-5730,
Kate Jessup

Kate Jessup attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English. Prior to joining USE and the Students First Office, Kate worked mainly with nursing research studies at UNCG. She recently received an M.S./Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the Department of Counseling and Educational Development and is excited to continue at the University working directly with students and connecting them with the services they need to be successful. In her free time, Kate enjoys reading, exercising, playing with her dog, and having movie and game nights with friends.

   Beth Ann Hamilton, Student Support Graduate Assistant 
   (336) 334-5730,
Beth Ann Hamilton

Beth Ann Hamilton is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Counseling and Educational Development, pursuing her MSES in Counseling, with plans to become a high school counselor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia. For the past three years, she has been teaching high school math in Gainesville, Georgia. While she enjoyed teaching math, she is excited to learn how to help students address outside factors that inhibit their success in the classroom. Other than working with high school students, Beth Ann enjoys trying a new homemade recipe, road trips/traveling to new places, going to see any kind of live music (especially outdoor concerts!), riding her bike, and hiking with friends.

Academic Advising Team

   Heather Kern, Associate Director for Academic Advising
   (336) 334-5772,
Heather Kern

Heather Kern attended East Carolina University where she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology. It was while working with student athletes at ECU that Heather discovered her interest in pursuing a career in Higher Education. She went on to earn her master's degree in Higher Education Administration at North Carolina State University. Throughout her two years at NC State Heather worked with student athletes, undeclared first-year students, and students on academic warning. She also worked as an intern at Meredith College, assisting with advising and registration, and supporting students facing academic difficulty. Heather served as an Exploratory Majors Advisor in the Students First Office for four years before taking on the Associate Director of Academic Advising role. In her spare time, Heather enjoys cheering on the Pirates and the Wolfpack, tackling DIY and home improvement projects, and spending time with her partner, Mike, and Golden Retriever, Beau.



   Elena Medeiros, Coordinator of Academic Outreach 
   (336) 334-3872,
Elena Medeiros

Elena Medeiros attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in women’s studies. She went on to pursue her Master of Science in Counseling at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Though her academic emphasis was on mental health counseling, she particularly enjoyed working one-on-one with college students at UNCG to address their personal, vocational, and academic concerns. During her graduate schooling, Elena worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Student Employment Office and completed a counseling internship at UNCG’s Nicholas A. Vacc Counseling and Consulting Clinic. Elena now serves as the Coordinator of Academic Outreach in the Students First Office, where she provides academic guidance to Exploratory students and assists students who have been flagged through the Starfish EARLY ALERT technology. In her spare time, Elena enjoys sketching, coffee-shopping, yoga, and spending time with her partner.

   Shannon Barr, Graduate Assistant for Academic Outreach
   (336) 256-1483, scbarr@uncg.eduu
Shannon Barr

Shannon (she/her/hers pronouns) is originally from Southern Maryland but has lived in NC for the last 6 years after moving to the Triad in 2010 to attend High Point University, where she received her B.S. in Exercise Science. She remained after graduation to serve her alma mater and community for two years as a NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA. As a VISTA, she focused her energy and passions on supporting community revitalization, K-8 youth education, and service-leadership in higher education. It was the conversations she had and the relationships she built during that experience that led her to her newest journey: pursuing a M.S./Ed.S. in Counseling (College Counseling and Student Development). Shannon is a self-proclaimed coffee enthusiast and is almost always found at a locally owned coffee shop reading books about social justice. When not curled up with a book and coffee in hand, she is also known to enjoy cooking, kayaking, and kickboxing.

   Allie Fals, Graduate Assistant for Exploratory Majors
   (336) 256-1299,
Allie Fals

Allie Fals is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Counseling and Educational Developing with a concentration in College Counseling and Student Development. She graduated from UNCG with her bachelor’s degree in English then worked as a high school English teacher for a few years in Richmond County. As a teacher, she enjoyed working with students and supporting them in achieving their goals and wanted to do more. This led her to go back to school to get her masters. She is primarily interested in academic advising, service learning, and student leadership. In her spare time, Allie enjoys baking cupcakes, watching Netflix, rollerskating, and cuddling up with her dog Watson.

   Angie Loggains, Exploratory Majors Academic Advisor 
   (336) 256-8562,
Angie Loggains

Angie Loggains is a proud graduate of NC State University. She has a B.S. in Agricultural Education with a minor in Horticulture Science; while at NCSU, she interned with the NC Future Farmers of America Association. After graduation, Angie taught Agricultural Education and served as an FFA advisor in Greensboro, NC, for seven years. She then earned an M. Ed. in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from UNC-Greensboro, where she worked in Student Services and Advising and served as a Leadership Development Coach. Through all these experiences she discovered her passion for working with college students and helping them identify and achieve their goals. In her spare time, Angie enjoys spending time with her partner and son, traveling, drinking coffee, reading, cheering on the Wolfpack, and thrift shopping.

Academic Recovery Team

   Pat Combs, Student Support Specialist 
   (336) 334-4025,
Pat Combs, Student Support Specialist

 Pat Combs earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with a minor in Anthropology from East Carolina University. She has been employed with UNCG since 1994. She worked in Student Academic Services for seventeen years and Undergraduate Studies for three years prior to joinging the Students First Office. Pat advises undergraduate students regarding academic policies and regulations, she coordinates the academic appeals process for undergraduate students, and she serves as a resource for staff and faculty regarding academic policies and procedures . She enjoys working with at-risk students and helping them become successful. Pat also loves spending time with her friends and family, tailgating at football games and cheering on the Pirates, playing golf, reading 'interesting' books with her Book Club, bowling, scrapbooking, playing Fantasy Football, and taking trips with her husband.

   Amanda Phillips, Academic Recovery Specialist
   (336) 256-0340,
Amanda Phillips

Amanda Phillips earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Religious Studies at UNCG. She is pursuing a Master’s in Higher Education Administration. Currently, Amanda coordinates the FFL 115: Reclaim, Regain, and Recover Program for students on Academic Probation. Prior to this she also worked with students returning from Academic Suspension and the UNCG Guarantee Scholarship program for low-income/high-achieving students. Amanda’s professional interests include at-risk students, Strengths Based Learning Education, success planning, and academic equality & inclusion. Her other interests include, reading, meditation, video games, and geocaching.

   Hannah Moore, Graduate Assistant for Academic Recovery
   (336) 334-5749,
Hannah Moore

Hannah Moore graduated from Methodist University in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Counseling. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling with a concentration in Couple and Family Counseling. At Methodist University, Hannah was involved in the Student Solutions Office, and helped with the student transition from high school to college. Hannah enjoys reading, being a part of a choir, hanging out with friends, and shopping.

   Whitney Scott, Academic Recovery Specialist
   (336) 256-8533,
Whitney Scott

Whitney Scott was the first in her family to earn a college degree when she attained her Bachelor of Arts in English from Ferrum College. From there, she went on to earn her Master of Arts in English and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies from UNCG in 2013. While she was in graduate school, Whitney worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Special Support Services program housed within UNCG's Student Success Center. After graduation, Whitney took on multiple roles in the Federal TRiO Student Support Services program that supports first-generation students, low income students, and students with disabilities. Whitney is excited to return to UNCG and currently coordinates the ACE program for students returning from academic suspension. In her spare time, Whitney enjoys reading, editing friends' writing projects, and keeping her two cats from chewing up her origami crafts.

   Gwyn Strickland, Teaching Assistant for Academic Recovery
  (336) 334-3873
Gwyn Strickland

Gwyn Strickland earned her bachelor’s degree in Business at UNCG and went on to work in several business organizations and also started her own equestrian services program. With a desire to work in the field of education, she returned to UNCG and earned a BA degree and Master of Arts degree in English, as well as a Master’s certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. During graduate school, she began working in the Student Success Center as an Academic Skills Specialist and soon discovered a love for helping students reach their academic goals. Gwyn is now delighted to work in the Students First Office as part of the Academic Recovery team. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, kayaking, yoga, and spending time with her husband and four children.

   Annie Wittenberg , Graduate Assistant for Academic Recovery
  (336) 334-4892

Annie Wittenberg is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track of UNCG’sAnnie Wittenberg Counseling and Education Department. A proud Spartan, Annie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in English in the spring of 2016. As an undergraduate student, she loved working as a consultant at the University Writing Center with a special focus of engaging with ESL students. As a graduate student, Annie jumped into the field of mental health by conducting mental health assessments with veterans. When not in class or working, Annie is taking her active puppy on a walk, reading, re-watching Parks & Recreation episodes, or catching up with friends over coffee at Common Grounds.


   Leah Bianco, Program Assistant for Academic Recovery
   (336) 334-3467,
Lean Bianco

Leah Bianco earned her Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, concentrating in Child, Youth, and Family Development at UNCG in 2016. Before attending UNCG she earned her Associates Degree in Pre-Social Work at Guildford Technical Community College. She was previously an Undergraduate Intern in the Students First Office and discovered a new interest in helping students in the higher education setting. Recently she started her job as a Program Assistant in the SFO. Leah assists with the academic appeals process as well as helps with technical aspects of the Starfish EARLY ALERT and Starfish CONNECT systems. She loves being a part of the SFO and assisting students and staff members on the Academic Recovery Team. In her spare time, Leah enjoys being with friends, doing crafts, watching movies, shopping, and traveling.