ACE Faculty and Staff

Office Location: A3600 University Center
Phone: 850-645-8253

Holly Hunt, Ph.D.

Director of the Academic Center for Excellence

Holly Hunt serves as the Director within Florida State University’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE). Holly comes from the great state of Alabama where she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Holly moved to Tallahassee shortly after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006 to pursue her Master of Science in Higher Education at FSU. Holly began her professional career in academic advising for exploratory students before moving into ACE and serving as a Teaching Faculty member for SLS 1122: Strategies for Academic Success. Holly earned her PhD in Educational Psycholgy, Learning and Cognition in 2023 from Florida State. She is married to her graduate school sweatheart, James Hunt, and they have 3 children - Harrison, Savannah, and Katherine. As a member of the ACE family, she strives to provide academic resources for students to reach their full potential and to be successful both here at Florida State and beyond.

Office Location: A3600 University Center
Phone: 850-645-8394

Patricia Golay, Ed.D.

Assistant Director, Curriculum & Instruction

Teaching Faculty III

Dr. Patricia Golay serves as an instructor for the Strategies for Academic Success course and coordinator of the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Program Series. Dr. Golay hails from Los Angeles, California and attended California State University, Los Angeles where she received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in History. She taught middle and high school history, English, and special education classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 13 years. Dr. Golay earned her doctorate in Higher Education Administration in 2006 from Florida State University. She has a wealth of international experience including working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Before joining the ACE team in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, she worked at FSU Center for Leadership and Civic Education as the grants coordinator for the Florida Learn & Serve program. Her research interests include service-learning, intercultural competence, and academic self-efficacy. Dr. Golay is committed to serving students and to ensuring that all students develop the skills and confidence needed to be academically successful.

Office Location: G050 Johnston Ground (WJB)
Phone: 850-645-9361

Shane Hockin, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Tutorial Services

Dr. Shane Hockin joined ACE in 2018 and administers the tutoring services at the ACE Learning Studio and ACE-Strozier locations, in addition to numerous “miscellaneous” duties as needed, including providing academic consultations for struggling FSU students. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and English at Central Michigan, before completing his master’s at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland, where he studied modern British History and the Italian Renaissance. After a six year “gap” of working for victim services programs for the State of Florida, Dr. Hockin completed his doctorate here at FSU, studying the intellectual history of the early-modern and modern Atlantic World. As a graduate student, Dr. Hockin tutored students in humanities and “fell in love” with the student support services here at Florida State, prompting a career change toward helping students be well-rounded people, successful scholars, and to fulfill their career goals.

Office Location: G026 Johnston (WJB)

Elyse Budkie

Instructional Specialist I

Elyse Budkie joined FSU in the spring of 2021 and serves as the Supervisor of the Math Studio and runs the Math Support Lab Courses. She also teaches an undergraduate math course each semester including MAC1105 – College Algebra, MAC1114 – Trigonometry, and MAC1140 – Precalculus. She comes recently from Florida Atlantic University where she was the Coordinator of the Math Learning Center, Visiting Math Instructor, and is currently working to complete her doctorate in Adult and Community Education. She looks forward to improving the undergraduate students’ math course experience here at FSU.

Office Location: G015B Johnston (WJB)
Phone: 850-645-4047

Samantha Tackett, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Faculty Engagement & Student Academic Recovery

Proactive Referral & Engagement (PRE) Program Director 

Dr. Samantha Tackett serves as faculty with the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) in the Division of Undergraduate Studies at FSU. At ACE, Dr. Tackett directs the university's early alert process known as the Proactive Referral & Engagement (PRE) Program, leads academic recovery workshop curriculum, and manages the Academic Success Mentors (ASMs) and Study Skills Tutors (SSTs). In addition to consultations with faculty of Gateway and STEM courses, she counsels students who are experiencing academic difficulty and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. She is an alumna from FSU’s Educational Psychology, Learning and Cognition, and Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies programs. Her professional and research interests include students' development of skills to improve their academic recovery, motivation, engagement, persistence, and resilience; and the academic experiences and retention of first-generation and other underrepresented student populations within our educational systems. Dr. Tackett has published in national and international journals and books, and collaborated with colleagues and students to present research at regional, national, and international conferences.

Office Location: A3600 University Center
Phone: 850-645-7890

Yanyu Pan

Instructional Specialist I

Yanyu Pan joined the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) in the spring of 2022. She serves as an instructor for the “Strategies for Academic Success” course and as the coordinator for the ACE Workshop Series. Yanyu moved from China to Tallahassee in 2012 to pursue her graduate studies. She earned an M.S. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from FSU and advanced towards a PhD in Educational Psychology. Her research primarily focuses on exploring students’ motivation, self-regulation, the use of learning strategies, and academic procrastination, aiming to identify effective interventions that enhance academic success. In her role at ACE, Yanyu applies a comprehensive approach, drawing on her academic background and graduate-level certifications in College Teaching, Measurement and Statistics, and Program Evaluation. She is committed to leveraging her expertise to support students’ learning and to equip students with the skills necessary for academic and personal achievement.

Office Location: A3600 University Center
Phone: 850-645-8449

Genna Boyd

Instructional Specialist I

Genna Boyd joined the Academic Center for Excellence in the Spring of 2024 and serves as an instructor for the “Strategies for Academic Success” course. She brings over 15 years of experience in higher education and academic support services. During her career in higher education, Genna has instructed SLS1122: Strategies for Academic Success, HUM 4924: Engage 100 Peer Instruction, SLS 3140: Academic Success Strategies for Transfer Students, SLS 1511: Special Topics in Student Life Skills for Exploratory Students, and the Bryan Hall Learning Community Colloquium. She has also served in numerous administrative capacities at FSU, in addition to more recently serving as the Transfer Coordinator at Florida Atlantic University and Assistant Director of Academic Advising and Student Success at Florida International University. Genna is a graduate of FSU’s College of Social Science and Public Policy where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Science and Sociology and Master of Public Administration degrees. Genna’s current research in her enrolled doctoral program in Organizational Leadership with Southeastern University include Path-Goal Leadership Theory and how leader behavior affects vocational education student motivation. Genna is passionate about building meaningful relationships and remains committed to student persistence and success and supporting students in identifying effective learning strategies for their individual needs.

Office Location: A3600 University Center
Phone: 850-645-0959

Jack Krebs, M. S.

Academic Program Specialist

Jack Krebs joined ACE in 2023 as an Academic Program Specialist. Some of his duties include but are not limited to, managing purchasing and travel for ACE staff, handling mainline ACE phone and email communications, assisting in credentialing UGS faculty, leading workshops, and helping coordinate the FSU dual enrollment program.  In 2023, Jack earned his master's degree in educational psychology with a concentration in Sport Psychology here at FSU. Prior to FSU, he earned his B.S. in Psychology from Kennesaw State University in 2021. As a lifetime Seminole, Jack is excited to be working at ACE and looks forward to helping faculty, staff, and students alike.

Office Location: G052 MC 1221 Johnston (WJB)
Phone: 850-644-1145

Hua (Kim) Jin

Senior Academic Program Specialist

Kim Jin is a supervising coordinator for ACE Learning Studio. She works with Front Desk Student Assistants and plays a key role in managing the operational aspects of the tutoring services offered. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in British and American Literature. Since joining ACE in January 2014, she has been passionate about collaborating with tutors, student assistants, and student visitors to foster a positive and supportive work environment. Her primary goal is to ensure that all students who seek assistance from ACE Learning Studio receive the highest quality of service.


Office Location: G025 Johnston (WJB)

Phone: 850-645-9881

Devin White

Proactive Referral & Engagement (PRE) Program Specialist

Devin joined the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) full-time in the Summer of 2024. He serves as the Proactive Referral and Engagement (PRE) Program Specialist. In 2024, He earned a combined M.S. Ed.S. degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Florida State University, and a few years prior, his B.A in Philosophy from FSU as well. He has a history of working in student success with his time as an Academic Success Coach at Tallahassee Community College and as an Academic Success Mentor at FSU. In these roles, he outreached to students and worked to connect them with campus resources, designed and facilitated workshops on college success skills and self-regulatory strategies, and engaged in data analysis for the PRE program. In addition to these responsibilities, Devin is now a point of contact in advocacy for PRE and its early alert process and works with Dr. Tackett, the PRE Director to coordinate and train ACE’s Academic Success Mentors and Study Skills Tutors. He is committed to doing all he can to help all students thrive in the college environment.

Office Location: G051 Johnston (WJB)

Phone: 850-645-9151

Jennifer Bravo

Academic Program Specialist

Jennifer Bravo first joined ACE in January of 2022 as a Front Desk Student Assistant while earning her B.S. in Criminology and Psychology from Florida State. She now serves as an Academic Program Specialist at the Learning Studio where she oversees the evening operations. Her responsibilities include providing program support, conducting closing procedures, managing staff schedules, and implementing group tutoring sessions. Jennifer also leads the marketing and outreach efforts of the ACE Learning Studio, creating promotional materials, maintaining social media accounts, and coordinating with campus partners. She is also currently pursuing an M.S. in Criminology at FSU. Jennifer has made Florida State University her home and strives to provide the same welcoming environment for every student that walks through the doors of ACE.


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