ACE Faculty and Staff

Sara Hamon.jpg

Office Location: A3551 University Center
phone: 850-645-7885

Dr. Sara Hamon

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Sara Hamon serves as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Florida State University. Her role includes oversight of academic support services, the Strategies for Academic Success (SLS1122) course, Living-Learning Communities, and the High School Dual Enrollment program. Dr. Hamon has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, including teaching, administration, planning, policy analysis, and consulting. A native of Ohio, Dr. Hamon earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Heidelberg College (Ohio) and a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Dr. Hamon has worked at a range of diverse institutions, from small private colleges to large research universities. In 1992, she took her first job at Florida State University, working in student housing. After a brief hiatus working at the University of Florida, she returned “home” to earn a Ph.D. in Higher Education at Florida State. Dr. Hamon also has previous experience at the Florida Department of Education, including positions with the Postsecondary Education Planning Commission and the Division of Community Colleges. Additionally, Dr. Hamon has worked as a consultant with MGT, a nationally-known firm that specializes in education research and planning. Outside of work, Dr. Hamon enjoys the natural beauty and southern way of life in Tallahassee with her husband Kurt and their two children.


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

Dr. Courtney Barry

Director of the Academic Center for Excellence

Dr. Courtney Barry serves as Director of the Academic Center for Excellence. A three time alumna, Dr. Barry earned her bachelor’s in communication, her master’s in Higher Education, and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology from Florida State. Dr. Barry previously served as Chief of Staff for the Vice President for Student Affairs from 2008-2014. Prior to that role, she served for over 13 years as a college administrator working in Residence Life, Student Activities, and Greek Life. She also has experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. Her research interests include motivation and failure, as well as first-year retention and transition.

Faculty Photo.jpg

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

Holly Hunt

Associate Director of the Academic Center for Excellence

Holly Hunt serves as the Associate 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 at 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 here at Florida State University. After completing her M.S. degree, she took a position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where she worked for three years as an academic advisor for exploratory students. Holly returned to Tallahassee in June of 2011 after marrying her FSU sweetheart, James Hunt, and continued her work in exploratory advising as a member of the Advising First Center for Exploratory Students. As a member of the ACE family, she looks forward to the opportunity to help students reach their full potential and to be successful both here at Florida State and beyond.

Dr. Samantha Nix

Office Location: G015 Johnston Ground (WJB)
phone: 850-645-4047

Dr. Samantha Nix

Instructional Specialist I, Proactive Referral and Engagement Program Coordinator

Dr. Samantha Nix coordinates the new early alert program at Florida State University. Her interest in this work was cultivated through both her previous professional roles and her scholarly research. Before coming to the Academic Center for Excellence, she worked as a program coordinator for the FSU Certificate in Institutional Research and Women in Math, Science, and Engineering living learning community; in various roles for the FSU Department of Physics and the Center for Leadership & Civic Education; and, as managing editor of The Southerner. Her research focuses on college students' experiences with academic challenge in STEM contexts. This work has been published in Frontiers in Psychology, Research in Higher Education, and Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Dr. Nix earned her B.A. degree in English Literature and French from the University of Southern Mississippi and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Higher Education from FSU.

Dr. Marisa Agama

Office Location: G052 Johnston Ground (WJB)
phone: 850-644-1145

Dr. Marisa Agama

Instructional Specialist I, PASS Program Coordinator

Dr. Marisa Agama oversees the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Program, and serves as a Faculty member teaching Strategies for Academic Success courses. Dr. Agama earned her Ph.D. in Art Education from Florida State University (FSU). She completed both her MA and BA at the University of California-Irvine (UCI). She holds a Master’s in Social Sciences, with an emphasis in Demographics and Social Analysis. As part of her BA she majored in three areas: Psychology, Criminology, and Social Ecology. She has over fourteen years of research and evaluation experience in the fields of education and community health, including roles as project manager, evaluator, and research analyst. Dr. Agama regularly presents her research at state and national conferences. She has conducted several practice-based research projects evaluating how student engagement can be amplified through Photovoice and video activities in a student-centered environment. As part of her doctoral dissertation, she developed and implemented several community-based projects in dynamic afterschool settings and daytime technical programs. Through a project-based approach, the activities were adapted to the assessed needs and interests of the students. In addition, Dr. Agama has taught undergraduate courses to students interested in pursuing teaching certifications at FSU. These courses include: EDF 1005: Introduction to Education, EDF 2085: Teaching Diverse Populations, and EDE 4943: Student Teaching in Elementary Education. She holds professional certifications from FSU in Program Evaluation, Global Partners, Preparing Future Faculty (PFF), Online Instructor Training, and Advanced Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching.




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

Dr. Patricia Golay

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.

Andrew Dentzau

Office Location: A3600 University Center
phone: 850-645-8215

Andrew Dentzau

Teaching Faculty I

Andrew Dentzau serves as an instructor for SLS 1122: Strategies for Academic Success within the Florida State University Academic Center for Excellence (ACE). Andrew is a Tallahassee native and two-time alumnus of Florida State University. He earned his Bachelor's in Philosophy and his Master's in Educational Psychology. His graduate research examined student motivation, self-regulated learning, and the onset of bipolar disorder in college students. His broader research interests include non-academic barriers to college success and effective college teaching. Andrew hopes to always remain in Higher Education, giving support to the students that need it most.


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

Dr. Kimberly Burgess

Teaching Faculty I, Transfer Student Success and Support

Dr. Kimberly Burgess has been a part of the ACE team since 2018, specializing in supporting transfer students at Florida State University. In addition to teaching SLS 3140: Academic Success Strategies for Transfer Students, a 1-credit course to re-inforce successful classroom and success strategies, she serves as a liaison and point of contact for transitioning students by assisting them with locating campus resources and connecting with key campus personnel to help them thrive at FSU. Dr. Burgess is a three-time alum of Florida State University, receiving her B.S. in Communication and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Adult Education. Prior to joining FSU as part of the ACE team, she had nearly 20 years of experience at diverse institutions such as Western Governors University, Troy University, Albany State University, and Bethune-Cookman University, where she held positions such as faculty mentor, director of academic advising, graduate program coordinator, regional transfer coordinator, and dean of undergraduate studies. Dr. Burgess is a member of and has delivered presentations for prominent associations in the fields of adult education, academic advising, higher education, and transfer student support. Her research interests include factors influencing teacher change, the role of race and gender in instructor and advising relationships, and development of transfer support initiatives.


Other staff:

Shane Hockin, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Office Location: G015 Johnston (WJB)
Phone: 850-645-0186

Angela Hockin
Administrative Assistant
Office Location: UCA 3600
Phone: 850-645-0852


Hua (Kim) Jin
Program Associate
Office Location: G052 Johnston (WJB)
Phone: 850-645-9151

Joy Wright
Program Associate
Office Location: G050 Johnston (WJB)
Phone: 850-645-9151





Legacy Sort
Legacy Priority
title-inside title-centered