Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching is an appointment-based program offering UGA students the opportunity to meet with certified and trained academic coaches to discuss their pathways to success.

What is Academic Coaching?

Alongside their academic coaches, students explore common challenges they face including time management, test and performance anxiety, note-taking, motivation, text comprehension, test preparation, and other barriers to success at UGA. Typically, the coach and student work together over four sessions to create a strategic learning plan—one that lays the groundwork for awareness of what strategies and practices will be necessary for success in UGA’s unique academic environment.

Why Academic Coaching?

Compared to most high schools and transferring institutions, the subtle and demanding pace of a research institution like UGA may pose significant and unexpected challenges for students. Academic Coaching provides direct, differentiated assistance for students as they navigate this transition no matter what challenges occur in their undergraduate experience.

How do students book an appointment?

To book an appointment with an academic coach, students log onto TutorTrac with their MyID and password, and for the Center and Section, choose Academic Coaching. Students should complete a Self-Assessment In-take Survey before the appointment so the academic coach can adequately prepare and make the most of the initial coaching session.

Would you like to learn more about DAE’s Academic Coaches?

Academic Coaches in the Division of Academic Enhancement help students achieve success in courses through sustained, outcomes-driven interactions. Coaches from faculty and staff backgrounds draw on research, extensive experience, and training to assist any UGA student.

Meet our Academic Coaches:


Amelia Hoyle

Ph.D., in progress, Counseling Psychology, University of Georgia
M.Ed., Professional Community Counseling, University of Georgia
B.A., Psychology, Women’s Studies, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Office: 132E Milledge Hall

Amelia Hoyle is an academic coach in the Division of Academic Enhancement who believes in the potential of all students who walk into her office. As a current doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia, Amelia enjoys sharing the knowledge she has gained as a student, while also discussing the unique academic strengths and specific goals for each individual student. Specific areas of interest for Amelia include time management and collaborating with students to develop study routines that fit their busy lives. Outside of the DAE, Amelia enjoys exercising, reading, sushi, and cuddling with her rabbit, Bernie!


Brandon Gordon

M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, Columbia College
B.S., Mass Communications, Lander University
Office: 132A Milledge Hall

Brandon’s professional background is in student affairs, housing and student access programs.  He is passionate about working with students from underrepresented backgrounds and helping those students navigate the rigors of college.  Brandon is from Spartanburg, South Carolina and has a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration.  In his free time Brandon enjoys listening to music, playing NBA 2K, walking nature trails and spending time with his grandmother.


Chris Pisarik

Ph.D., Counseling and Counselor Education, University of North Carolina Greensboro
221 Milledge Hall

Chris is dedicated to and passionate about helping UGA students reach their goals.  He is skilled at developing collaborative relationships that allow students to clarify goals, develop solutions, and generate the motivation needed to realize their potential.  Chris has particular interests in goal setting, academic motivation, and the power of intentionality.  He is a disciplined runner, a reader, and enjoys time camping in the mountains with his family.


Debra AlvisDebra Alvis

Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of Georgia
M.Ed., Community Counseling, University of Georgia
M.A., Spanish, Florida State University
B.S., Education, Florida State University
Office: 201 Milledge Hall

Dr. Debra Alvis enjoys helping students find their unique paths for optimal growth and development. With this in mind, each session is designed to address the individual student’s needs. Often included in a session is a discussion of the student’s academic goals followed by individualized strategies designed to address any obstacles to meeting these goals.  Dr. Alvis is a licensed psychologist and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).  She is also trained as a mindfulness and yoga teacher with over thirty years of personal practice.  She has worked with UGA students in teaching and counseling capacities since 1989. Her teaching and research interests include the neuroscience of learning, academic and personal wellness, and the relationship between meaningful experiences and motivation.


Fengkan Zhu

Ph.D., in progress, Counseling Psychology, University of Georgia
M.A., Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia
B.S., Psychology, Nanjing University
132E Milledge Hall

Fengkan Zhu is passionate in helping students achieve academic success through collaborations with students to help them gain insight about personal and systemic barriers, discover their own strengths and positive assets, and create a personalized action plan. In addition, Fengkan is committed to incorporate multicultural competency in his work with each individual student. Fengkan can provide service in both English and Chinese.


Hewitt Rogers

Ph.D., in progress, Counseling Psychology, University of Georgia
Ed.S., Counselor Education, The University of Mississippi
M.Ed., Counselor Education, The University of Mississippi
B.S., Psychology, Mississippi State University
Office: 132E Milledge Hall

As an academic coach, Hewitt Rogers takes pleasure in helping students overcome personal and academic obstacles by providing them with a fresh perspective and equipping them with some of the tools necessary to succeed.  He previously worked at The University of Mississippi’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning where he provided individual and group counseling as well as academic support for students in need.  Whether students desire assistance learning new study skills, working on time management, or just learning how to better navigate the college environment, Hewitt is available to help students achieve their goals.


Keith Allen

Ph.D., in progress, Higher Education, University of Georgia
M.A., Higher Education and Student Development, Taylor University
B.A., Economics, Emory University
Office: Brumby Hall Rotunda #8

As the coordinator of academic coaching and a passionate life-long learner, Mr. Allen takes a multidisciplinary approach toward supporting each student.  He focuses on meeting each student where-ever they are in the process of identifying and reaching their academic, personal, and professional goals.  He encourages each student to consider their own strengths, interests, and unique background characteristics: ripe for development at the University of Georgia.  He also enjoys helping students use metacognitive strategies to actively engage in learning and become masters of the material for each class.  Outside of the academy, Keith enjoys the outdoors: biking, hiking, skiing, and the beach.


Lindsay Coco

Ph.D., Higher Education, University of Georgia
M.Ed., Educational Administration, Texas A&M University
B.A., Economics and International Studies, Texas A&M University
Office: 237 Milledge Hall

Lindsay’s career in higher education has allowed her to engage with students in many settings, including working abroad for numerous years prior to coming to the University of Georgia. She has worked with students in various leadership and service-learning programs, in the UGA Honors Program, with faculty members in UGA’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and now in the Division of Academic Enhancement with programs that support first-year students, first generation students, and Scholars Programs. Lindsay gets really excited about seeing college students grow, develop, and achieve their goals! As an academic coach, Lindsay works primarily with students in Scholars Programs such as Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars and Georgia Commitment Scholars.  Outside of work, Lindsay enjoys tennis, yoga, traveling, reading, and spending time with her husband and two adorable rescue dogs!


Maggie BlantonMaggie Blanton

M.Ed., Educational Administration, University of Georgia
B.A., Art History, Wake Forest University
Office: 241 Milledge Hall

Maggie’s almost ten years as a staff member at UGA has given her the opportunity to help students navigate UGA’s unique learning environment. She started at the Division of Academic Enhancement in 2012 as the Academic Resource Center Coordinator and currently serves as the Assistant Director for Services. Maggie believes all students have the ability to harness their strengths to succeed at UGA, and that every student can benefit from the academic support provided through tutoring, academic coaching, and mentoring. Outside of work, Maggie enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time exploring all the beauty Athens has to offer with her husband and daughter.


Rachel Pharr

M.S.W., Social Work with Clinical Concentration, University of Georgia
B.S., Psychology with Neuroscience Emphasis, Georgia College and State University
Office: 126 Milledge Hall

With an educational background in psychology and social work and six years of experience working in Higher Education, Rachel has a true passion for helping others. In her current role as the Academic Resource Center Coordinator, she assists students with finding the perfect tutor for their most challenging courses. Rachel’s approach to working with students is centered around a belief that all students have the potential to succeed if given the proper support and environment. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, cooking, traveling, and refurbishing old furniture.


Sherontae Maxwell

M.S.W., Social Work, Savannah State University
B.A., Service Learning, Mercer University
Office: 124 Milledge Hall
Email: sbolden@uga.eduB.A., Service Learning, Mercer University

Sherontae Maxwell serves as the director of TRIO Student Support Services and Talent Search at the University of Georgia both federally funded grant programs by the US Department of Education. Her career with TRIO started almost twenty years ago with TRIO Programs/ GEARUP at Savannah State University. Sherontae currently serves on the state and regional board executive boards for TRIO Programs. Ms. Maxwell has also served as a personal consultant with several TRIO Programs all over the nation. She has presented workshops on many topics on state, regional and national level that include: “Best Practices in TRIO”, “Leadership 101” and “Finding Your Purpose in TRIO.” Additionally, she serves as a national trainer for TRIO personnel providing leadership and guidance for professionals.  Sherontae has a passion for serving the disadvantaged population. Her love for TRIO is evident in the lives of the many student’s she has touched throughout the years.


Sylvia Hutchinson

Ph.D., Reading Education, University of Georgia
M.Ed., Elementary Education, University of Georgia
B.S.Ed., Early Childhood Education, University of Georgia
Office: 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.


Wendy Biddle

Ph.D., Educational Psychology, Gifted Education of Minority Students, University of Georgia
M.A., Latin, University of Georgia
B.A., Classics and Latin, University of Georgia
Office: 223 Milledge Hall

Wendy loves working with UGA students, and has done so in a number of ways since coming to Athens as a grad student in Latin literature, followed by Educational Psychology. She has taught Classical literature and language courses in the Classics department, multicultural gifted education for Educational Psychology, and collaborated with the administration of the Freshman College Summer Experience. At the Division of Academic Enhancement, Wendy teaches various student success courses. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, writing, reading, running, and spending time with her husband and family.



Step by step instructions for scheduling your appointment:

  1. Login to TutorTrac thru the MY UGA portal
  2. You will be directed to the main page of TutorTrac
  3. Click “Search Availability” under Student Options.
  4. Select Academic Coaching Center from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select “Academic Coaching” as the section.
  6. Click Search and you will be shown appointments available for the next 7 days.
  7. Select an appointment by clicking on it.
  8. Click Save. Within moments, you should receive an email or text confirmation of your appointment.
  9. To view all successfully booked appointments, return to the welcome screen by clicking Main Menu (in the upper left side of the page).

To cancel your appointment:

  1. Log on to your TutorTrac account.
  2. The main page will display a listing of all upcoming appointments.
  3. Click the grey X next to an appointment to cancel it.
  4. You should receive an appointment cancellation email at your UGA email account.


If you have questions, need assistance, or would like more information about the Academic Coaching program, please contact Keith Allen in the Division of Academic Enhancement via email at






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