Our Team

Director | Faculty | Staff | Graduate Assistants

Image of Chase Hadgood

Contact the Director:


Welcome to the DAE!

My name is Chase Hagood and as the Director of the Division of Academic Enhancement (DAE), I’m delighted to welcome you to the DAE and share information regarding the many resources the Division offers to promote student success at the University of Georgia (UGA).

The DAE empowers all University students to achieve success with innovative courses, services, and student-centered initiatives. The DAE supports students as they transition into higher education and sustains their progress through the University’s unique academic environment. Headquartered in Milledge Hall and with satellite offices in Brumby Hall, Science Learning Center, Miller Learning Center, Russell Hall Academic Center, and Boyd Science Library, the DAE provides all UGA students meaningful academic assistance through services like tutoring and academic coaching, research-based UNIV courses, and outreach like Freshman College Summer Experience, the Intensive English Program, and TRiO programs.

I invite you to explore this site and all of the DAE’s locations throughout campus. If you have suggestions for new services or programs or if you have ideas about how the University might improve our approach to holistic student success, do not hesitate to be in touch.

I trust you’ll find your interaction with staff, faculty, and all members of the DAE organization reflective of our mission: committed to students, committed to success.

Best regards,
Thomas Chase Hagood, Ph.D.


Debra Alvis


Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, UGA

201 Milledge Hall

Dr. Alvis is a faculty member and Licensed Psychologist in the state of Georgia. She teaches UNIV 1103, UNIV 1103S, UNIV 1102, and UNIV 1107 in the Division of Academic Enhancement and counsels undergraduate, graduate and CARE students with academic concerns.

Garrison Bickerstaff


Ph.D., Linguistics, UGA

207 Milledge Hall

Dr. Bickerstaff teaches the UNIV 1105 and UNIV 1115 English courses, and he teaches UNIV 1102 in the Freshman College Summer Experience. He coordinates the UNIV 1120 Online @ UGA course and first-year English placement essay evaluation. He also coordinates the DAE writing center.

Winfred H. Biddle


Ph.D., Educational Psychology, UGA

223 Milledge Hall

Dr. Biddle teaches undergraduate learning support courses.

Lindsay Coco

Assistant Director for Initiatives

Dr. Coco directs the Freshman College Summer Experience. She also coordinates the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program and other efforts to support first-year and first generation students.

Brad DiNardo

IEP Instructor

M.Ed., Teaching Additional Languages, UGA

123 Milledge Hall

Mr. DiNardo teaches English to speakers of other languages in the Intensive English Program at UGA.Mr. DiNardo teaches English to speakers of other languages in the Intensive English Program at UGA.

Marina Doneda

IEP Instructor

M.A.T., Piedmont College

132E Milledge Hall

Ms. Doneda is an instructor in the Intensive English Program and teaches English as a Second Language to international students.

Sylvia Hutchinson

Professor Emerita, Senior Advisor to the Director

Ph.D., Reading Education, UGA

215 Milledge Hall

Dr. Hutchinson has served as faculty, administrator, and mentor in several units at the University including the College of Education, the Institute of Higher Education, the Institute of Women’s Studies, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and UGA Student Affairs. Hutchinson works with Division faculty and staff on various committees and initiatives to improve the learning experiences of all UGA students.

Kevin Kennedy


M.A., Mathematics, UGA

251 Milledge Hall

Mr. Kennedy teaches UNIV 1108 and 1110. During some semesters he also works in the Math tutoring lab.

Susan Kinnaird

IEP Instructor

M.Ed., Language Education/TESOL, UGA

220 Milledge Hall

Ms. Kinnaird is an instructor in the Intensive English Program and teaches English as a Second Language to international students.

Sun Kwon

IEP Instructor

M.A.T. TESOL, University of Southern California

132 Milledge Hall

Ms. Kwon is an instructor in the Intensive English Program and teaches English as a Second Language to international students.

Xuechao Li

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Mathematics, West Virginia University

203 Milledge Hall

Dr. Li teaches UNIV 1110, UNIV 1108 and Odyssey Seminar (Fall only).

Virginia Phares


Ed.S., Reading Education, UGA

222 Milledge Hall

Ms. Phares teaches UNIV 1102 and UNIV 1111 and tutors in the areas of reading comprehension and study strategies.

Chris Pisarik

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Counseling and Counselor Education, UNC Greensboro

221 Milledge Hall

Dr. Pisarik teaches UNIV 1103 and UNIV 1113 to UGA students and, as a Licensed Professional Counselor, counsels undergraduate and graduate students.

John Riggott


M.S., Mathematics, University of South Carolina

249 Milledge Hall

Mr. Riggott teaches our two introductory math courses UNIV 1110 and UNIV 1108 and works in the math lab and as the main online math tutor.

John Shipley

IEP Instructor

M.Ed, TESOL & World Language Education

132E Milledge Hall

Mr. Shipley is an instructor in UGA’s Intensive English Program (IEP). He also works as the IEP’s self-study coordinator in preparing the application for CEA accreditation.

Spenser Simrill


Ph.D., English, UGA

254 Park Hall

Dr. Simrill teaches UNIV 1120 at the Division of Academic Enhancement.

Sayamon Singto


Ph.D., Language Education, UGA

252 Milledge Hall

Dr. Singto teaches UNIV 1115, UNIV 1117, and courses in the Intensive English Program. She also provides writing tutoring in the DAE Writing Center.

Lavon Smith


M.A., French, UGA; M.Ed., TESOL, UGA

206 Milledge Hall

Mr. Smith teaches English (ESOL) in the Intensive English Program. Additionally, Mr. Smith teaches writing and communication (UNIV) courses in the Division of Academic Enhancement and works as a writing tutor in the DAEÂ Writing Center.

Gregory Timmons

Part-Time Instructor

B.A., Georgia State University

132 E Milledge Hall

Mr. Timmons provides writing tutoring for graduate and undergraduate students and teaches writing courses for multilingual graduate and undergraduate students.


Keith Allen

Academic Coordinator for Retention

Brumby Hall Rotunda #8


Mr. Allen coordinates the Division’s CARE and Early Alert programs. He also coordinates the Housing Academic Team (HAT), a collaborative effort responsible for academic workshops and a variety of other events offered throughout the year.

Maggie Blanton

Assistant Director for Services

241 Milledge Hall


Ms. Blanton collaborates with the Director of the DAE in the management of operations and oversees several services and programs, including the Academic Resource Center, Academic Coaching, and Learning Support.

Shane Bowen

Administrative Associate I

131 Milledge Hall


Mr. Bowen manages the front office of Milledge Hall and assists the Academic Resource Center Coordinator with day-to-day operations of the Academic Resource Center.

Karen Braxley

IEP Director

204 Milledge Hall


Dr. Braxley directs the Intensive English Program (IEP), a non-credit English language program for international students who come to the United States to improve their English.

Leroy Burroughs

Program Specialist II

121 Milledge Hall


Mr. Burroughs provides academic, career, and financial counseling to program participants from Clarke Central High School, Elbert, and Warren Counties Middle and High Schools.

Catherine Darlington

Program Specialist II

120 Milledge Hall


Ms. Darlington serves as an Educational Program Specialist helping students to meet their post-secondary goals. She serves 6th – 12th grade students in Hancock and Wilkes counties.

Sonia D. Davis

Director of Upward Bound

305 Milledge Hall


Ms. Davis is an alumnus of the UGA Upward Bound Program that she currently oversees. She has worked with TRIO programs for several years and enjoys seeing the impact the program has on the lives of her students and their families.

Barbara Edwards

Business Manager II

225 Milledge Hall


Ms. Edwards managers the budget and assists the Director, faculty and staff in the day to day fiscal operations for all the programs housed in the Division of Academic Enhancement.

Cheri Garrison

Administrative Associate I

226 Milledge Hall


Ms. Garrison manages the accounts for the Federally funded TRIO Programs which include the Educational Talent Search Program and the Upward Bound Program.

Cora Gartrell

Curriculum Specialist

307 Milledge Hall


Ms. Gartrell handles all aspects of receiving academic information from target schools to assist students with progressing to the next grade level.

Latricia Gaston

Administrative Associate I

132A Milledge Hall


Ms. Gaston greets incoming callers via phone or in person, updates student files and databases, mails out correspondence, and works closely with Student Support Services staff with detailed Annual Performance Report information.

Jacquie Gholston

Administrative Associate I

321 Milledge Hall


Ms. Gholston greets incoming callers via phone or in person, updates student files and database, mails out correspondence, works closely with Upward Bound staff with detailed Annual Performance Report information.

Brandon Gordon

Program Specialist II

132A Milledge Hall


Mr. Gordon is the Counselor/Coordinator for TRIO: Student Support Services. He helps students with class scheduling, career guidance, and provides workshops for students within our program.

Vernetta Johnson

Program Specialist II

321 Milledge Hall


Ms. Johnson serves as a academic advisor and advocate for high school students in Clarke, Madison, and Oglethorpe Counties.

Victoria E. Martinez

Administrative Associate I

205 Milledge Hall


Ms. Martinez assists the Director of the Intensive English Program and she is in charge of processing applications and enrollment, corresponding with prospective and new students, and assisting students who come to the office with questions. In addition, she is responsible for preparing payment invoicing, billing, and maintaining student records.

Sherontae Maxwell

Assistant Director for Access

124 Milledge Hall


Ms. Maxwell develops ETS and SSS program goals and objectives and coordinates all activities and day to day operation of the federally funded TRIO Programs.

Aaron Newman

IT Professional Associate

211 Milledge Hall


Mr. Newman performs all IT duties for DAE, including hardware, software, networking, maintenance, backups, updates, anti-virus, and patch management.

Rachel Pharr

Academic Resource Center Coordinator

126 Milledge Hall


Ms. Pharr coordinates the Academic Resource Center, which offers free peer tutoring services, including small group appointments, test reviews, online tutoring, and drop-in tutoring centers.

Lastasia Ramsey

Program Specialist I

122 Milledge Hall


Ms. Ramsey is a Program Specialist with Educational Talent Search for the federally funded TRIO programs. She serves students in Clarke County.

Graduate Assistants

Elizabeth Day

Chemistry Graduate Assistant

Milledge Hall

Ms. Day is the Chemistry Graduate Assistant for the Division of Academic Enhancement.

Amelia Hoyle

CARE Graduate Assistant

250 Milledge Hall

Ms. Hoyle is a CARE Graduate Assistant for the Division of Academic Enhancement.

Hyeri Park

Assessment Graduate Assistant

234 Milledge Hall

Ms. Hyeri Park is an Assessment Graduate Assistant for the Division of Academic Enhancement. She is currently a doctoral student in Educational Psychology. Hyeri serves on various assessment projects across the Division.

Josh Patterson

Graduate Intern

214 Milledge Hall

Mr. Josh Patterson is currently a graduate in the Institute of Higher Education where he researches religious studies in public higher education. Patterson serves as a graduate assistant for the Governor’s Teaching Fellows and as an graduate intern in the Division of Academic Enhancement where he is currently investigating the organizational structures of the Division.

Hewitt Rogers

CARE Graduate Assistant

250 Milledge Hall

Hewitt Rogers is a CARE Graduate Assistant for the Division of Academic Enhancement.

Will Whiteside

Math Graduate Assistant

Milledge Hall

Mr. Whiteside is a Math Graduate Assistant for the Division of Academic Enhancement.

Fengkan Zhu

CARE Graduate Assistant

250 Milledge Hall

Mr. Zhu is a CARE Graduate Assistant for the Division of Academic Enhancement.

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