Steven Hunt, a member of UNC Pembroke’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, has been named acting director of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).
The center’s role is to increase student success through a variety of programs and strategies, including tutoring, advisement and first-year programs. Hunt earned an undergraduate and a master’s degree at UNCP and is a member of a UNCP cohort enrolled in East Carolina University’s Doctor of Educational Administration program.
Jackie Clark, vice chancellor for the Office of Enrollment Management, said Hunt brings experience and strong leadership skills to the position.
“Steven’s teaching experience has proven to be especially beneficial,” Clark said. “His strategic planning skills developed through his military experience are evident in the way he has assessed the current state of the center and identified the necessary next steps needed to be a stronger resource for faculty and students.”
Hunt, who also taught math in the public schools, said his career goal is to work in higher education administration.
“I’ve worked in the classroom in high school and higher education, so this position gives me a good perspective on that bridge between the classroom and administration,” Hunt said. “I enjoyed the classroom, but being here for a month has been eye opening.
“I have a background in military support and leadership, so I understand that good support is critical to student and faculty success,” he said. “This is an extremely busy office, and I am enjoying it.”
Originally from Pembroke, Hunt retired in 2008 from the National Guard as a captain. He was responsible for the training and well-being of 100 soldiers. His unit was deployed to Iraq and engaged in combat missions.
He was awarded the Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Award, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the U.S. Army Commendation Medal. Hunt used his military background to advise veterans and active duty service members for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the university.
Today, he worries less about incoming AK-47 rounds and more about the freshman experience at UNCP.
“This office is very focused right now on advising freshman,” he said. “We’re being proactive, and it seems to be working because we’ve had a record number of ‘early alerts’ referrals from faculty about students who need our help.”
CAE’s biggest program is Freshman Seminar, a 12-week, required class to introduce first-year students to UNCP, college academics and the rigors of college life in general, Hunt said. “We are looking at expanding this important program, and we have already expanded our tutoring program,” he said. “If there is one theme at UNCP this year, it is student success.”
Hunt was a non-traditional student at UNCP. “I worked in a textile mill for three years before enrolling in college,” he said. “I made a decision to go to college, and I’m glad I did. I advise every young person that college is the place to be. The mill is closed.
“My undergraduate experience here was good,” Hunt continued. “I want every student to have a good experience, even if it takes some support from our office.”
Other programs offered by CAE include the Sophomore Connection, Academic Resource Mentors and Supplemental Instruction for courses that have historically proven challenging for all students.
For more information about CAE, please contact the office at 910.521.6625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.