Heather Searcy, Director
(336) 334-5772, [email protected]

heatherHeather Searcy (she/hers) 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. Heather joined the Students First Office in 2013 as an Exploratory Majors Advisor and moved into the Associate Director for Academic Advising role in 2017 before moving into the Director role in 2022. In her spare time, Heather enjoys cheering on the Pirates and the Wolfpack, tackling DIY and home improvement projects, and spending time with her husband, Mike, daughter, Emerie, and Golden Retriever, Beau.

Student Support Team

Mary Triplett, Student Support Coordinator 
(336) 256-1311, [email protected]

Mary Triplett (she/her) attended UNC-Chapel Hill where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. Mary’s love for working with people and passion for mental health advocacy led her stay at UNC-Chapel Hill to pursue her Master of Social Work degree. After graduating with her MSW, Mary had the opportunity to work with college students in the Behavioral Health field. While developing her interest in working with students, Mary realized the inherently multidimensional nature of student success. Mary is excited to have the opportunity to support UNCG students from within the higher education setting as they navigate the complexities of the college experience. In her free time, Mary enjoys spending time with her partner Bennett, running long distances, making good coffee,  and mapping out her future reading plans.

Academic Advising Team


Alana Hadley Long, Exploratory Majors Academic Advisor
(336) 256-1483, [email protected]

Alana Long (she/hers) earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While working on campus in their Honors College and the advising center for the College of Health and Human Services, she discovered her passion for higher education. This caused her to go on to pursue her master’s of education in higher education student affairs from the University of South Carolina. While at U of SC,  Alana developed a love of the first-year experience and helping students learn to navigate the college experience. This prompted her to begin working in the Students First Office, first in the Student Support Coordinator role, and now in the Academic Advisor role. While off campus, Alana enjoys spending time with her ducks, her dogs Remy & Baloo, and her husband Trevor.

Ana Brambila, Exploratory Majors Academic Advisor
(336) 334-3873, [email protected]

Ana Brambila (she/hers) attended Elon University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services with a minor in Public Health. Following graduation, Ana completed two years with VISTA, and one year with City Year, providing academic support, behavioral coaching, and mentorship to elementary school students. Later, she served as a Civic Engagement Coordinator helping high school students earn community service hours for graduation.  Ana’s continued love for service and passion for helping others led her to pursue her Master of Social Work degree at The Catholic University of America. During graduate school, Ana worked with the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C, supporting youth who experienced homelessness.  Additionally, she provided therapeutic mental health services to young adults at a local community clinic. In her free time, Ana loves to do arts and crafts, dance, and spend time with her daughters and husband, Nelson.

Angie Allred, Exploratory Majors Academic Advisor
(336) 256-8562, [email protected]

angieAngie Allred (she/hers) 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 sons, traveling, drinking coffee, reading, cheering on the Wolfpack, and thrift shopping.


Dey Zambrana-Soler, Exploratory Majors Academic Advisor
(336) 334-5957, [email protected]

Dey's headshotDey Zambrana-Soler (she/hers/ella) is a double alumna from UNC Greensboro. While in her undergraduate days, she served as a Peer Academic Leader, Spartan Orientation Staff, Peer Academic Advisor, and much more which made her fall in love with student development and inspired her career in higher education. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology (with a minor in Communication Studies) and earned a master’s degree in Higher Education (with a concentration in Student Affairs Administration). Her journey at UNCG started as an Exploratory major, so she’s very fond of SFO’s work and is super excited to be a part of the team that was so integral to her success. Outside of work, Dey enjoys listening to live music as a concert enthusiast, spending time with her friends and family, watching HGTV/reality television, and exploring new restaurants.


Haley O’Brien Ledbetter, Exploratory Majors Academic Advisor
(336) 256-1265, [email protected]

Haley Ledbetter ( she, hers) attended Roger Williams University where she earned her bachelors degree in Marine Biology. It was while working as an Orientation Advisor that Haley discovered her interest in pursuing Higher Education. She went on to earn her masters degree in Sports Leadership and Coaching at Western New England University. Throughout her two years as a graduate assistant at WNE, Haley worked directly with the softball athletes both on the field and in the classroom. She worked with the softball athletes to help them find their passions and helped them prosper not only athletically, but also academically. Having the ability to work with students in both areas showed Haley that she wanted to help students seek out their passions and create goals outside of the sport of softball. In her spare time, Haley enjoys watching the Red Sox, exploring new restaurants and reading her kindle.

Destinee Goldston, Graduate Assistant for Exploratory Advising
(336) 334-5730, [email protected]

Destinee Goldston (she/her) attended NC State University and earned a degree in Social Work. After graduating she served two years as a College Adviser with the NC State College Advising Corps at Louisburg Magnet High School. She worked to create a “college-going culture,” by supporting students in meeting their higher education goals. Her work has led her to continue serving students of all backgrounds as they matriculate to higher education. She is currently a first-year master’s student in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) graduate program and is eager to support those at UNCG. In her free time, she enjoys watching reality tv shows, snacking, and meeting new people.


Academic Recovery Team


Danielle Nie, Associate Director for Academic Recovery

(336) 334-3872, [email protected]

Danielle Nie (she/hers) earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in Psychology. During her undergraduate experience interning in the advising center, she found her interest in assisting students through their undergraduate career. Danielle went on to earn her master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education here at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Throughout her two years at UNCG, Danielle worked in the Students First Office as an Exploratory Majors graduate assistant. After graduation, she returned to her alma mater to assist students experiencing academic difficulty. This included students who were on academic probation, suspended, or being readmitted to the institution. She also developed a peer mentor program, an advising development series, and served as an academic advisor to first year Psychology majors. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys traveling with her husband and son Brady, spending time with family, and trying new Pinterest/Tik-Tok-inspired recipes and restaurants!


Devonne Gaddy, Early Alert & Intervention Coordinator
(336) 256-0340, [email protected]

Devonne E. Gaddy (she/hers) has been involved in higher education for more than 13 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from North Carolina Central University and a M.S. in Human Services specializing in Counseling Studies from Capella University. Prior to joining the Students First Office as the Early Alert & Intervention Coordinator, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience from various roles within the North Carolina Community College System. Devonne’s professional career consists of admissions, academic advising, enrollment services & recruitment as well as dual enrollment (Career & College Promise). Over this time span she realized that all students despite their unique circumstances have a sincere determination to succeed but need various support systems. She believes that it is not enough to just enroll a student but stands firmly by the Starfish EARLY ALERT and CONNECT systems where faculty/staff can quickly identify and provide actionable support to students. In her spare time, Devonne enjoys biblical studies, spending time with family and friends, volunteerism, watching movies, traveling, and spontaneous adventures.


Whitney Scott, Academic Recovery Coordinator
(336) 256-8533, [email protected]

whitneyWhitney Scott (she/her or they/them) 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 ARS 120: Academic Connections in Education (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.


Lauren Hall, Graduate Assistant for Academic Recovery
(336) 334-5730, [email protected]

Lauren Hall (she/her/hers) attended UNC-Greensboro and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in History and a concentration in History. During her time student teaching, Lauren realized that she wanted to help students outside of the classroom grow and develop skills that students will be able to take with them throughout their academic career. Therefore, she turned to pursuing a Masters degree in higher education. She is currently in her first year in the Student Affairs Administration In Higher Education (SAAHE) and is extremely excited to begin her journey. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her cat and watching new shows on Netflix.


Division of Student Success

The Students First Office is part of UNCG’s Division of Student Success and partners closely with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies regarding the university-wide coordination and implementation of academic advising, appeals, and undergraduate policy.


Dana Saunders, Assistant Dean for Advising and Student Success
(336) 334-5730, [email protected]

danaDana Saunders (she/hers) has been involved in higher education for more than 15 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 has held positions in multiple areas of academic advising and student success, and most recently served for 10 years as the director of the Students First Office. Dana’s professional interests include academic advising, University policy, program assessment, and strategic planning in higher education. When she is away from campus, Dana enjoys hiking, kayaking, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her family.


Leah Johnson, Student Support Advisor for Academic Recovery
(336) 334-3467, [email protected]

leahLeah Bianco (she/hers) earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, with a concentration in Child, Youth, and Family Development at UNCG in 2016. Before attending UNCG she earned her Associates Degree in Pre-Social Work at Guilford Technical Community College. Leah joined the Students First Office as an undergraduate intern in 2016 and discovered an interest in helping students in higher education. In the Fall of 2018 she accepted a full-time position as a Student Support Advisor in SFO. She currently coordinates all appeal processes in the Division of Student Success. In her spare time, Leah enjoys home improvement projects, watching HGTV, spending time with her husband, Eric, and dogs, Archie and Rosie.




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