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Our Success Coaches

GEAR UP North Carolina has partnered with eight institutions of higher education to provide coaching for first-year students graduating from select North Carolina high schools.


Calvin Sutton

Calvin Sutton is currently the GEAR UP Success Coach at Lenoir Community College, located in Kinston, NC. In this role, Calvin’s focus is to proactively assist GEAR UP high school graduates navigate their first college experiences as a first-year college student. To address student needs he anticipates utilizing a combination of support avenues including high touch coaching, campus programming focused on academic preparation, financial literacy, and commitment to completion. He believes an effective and consistent implementation of these support measures will successfully aid the effort in boosting academic persistence, personal development, and semester to semester retention among the institution’s first-year students.

Prior to joining the GEAR UP team, Calvin served as the college advisor and liaison to the Lenoir County Early College High School. He has held positions with Lenoir County Public Schools: Dropout Prevention, CTE Business Teacher, and Transition Specialist under Federal Programs. As an Elon University student/athlete alum, he understands the balancing act that students must perform with academics and responsibility outside of the classroom. He is a supporter of professional, social, and civic engagement and utilizes a collaborative approach to design curated solutions that hopefully brings out the best in circumstance, himself and others.

Lenoir Community College
GEAR UP Success Coach

More information coming soon…

Pitt Community College
Jeffrey Quick

As the GEAR UP Student Success Coach at Sandhills Community College, Jeffrey manages a caseload of first-year students from target GEAR UP NC high schools. He is responsible for providing high-quality coaching sessions that contribute to their personal growth, development, and motivation to retain to their next academic year. Jeffrey believes that for students to become their overall best selves, they need to know that someone is in their corner instructing and “cheering” them on to greater success.

Before joining GEAR UP, Jeffrey served in various capacities within the Scotland County School district to include GEAR UP Program Coordinator, Middle School Exceptional Children, and Science teacher.  He holds an Associate in Arts degree from Sandhills Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Fayetteville State University, and a Master of Science in Higher Education from Walden University.  He identifies as an African American male from humble beginnings and truly believes that “Education is the most powerful weapon that one can use to change the World.” ~Nelson Mandela~

Sandhills Community College
Dana Chandler

Currently, Dana serves as the GEAR UP Success Coach at Elizabeth City State University where she has worked for 3 years in multiple capacities. In the Success Coach role, Dana engages the experience of first-year Elizabeth City State University students. In 2018, Dana became an alum of the institution when she earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. She is currently working on a master’s degree in Liberal Studies from UNC Wilmington. Dana is a first-generation college student which helps to fuel her passion for students fulfilling their purpose-driven goals. Dana has been a certified life coach for the last 15 years. Dana’s coaching philosophy is focused on person-centered attention, giving each student the space to express their thoughts and goals as she partners with the student to reach a greater reality.

Elizabeth City State University
GEAR UP Success Coach

More information coming soon…

East Carolina University
GEAR UP Success Coach

More information coming soon…

North Carolina A&T State University
W. Scott Holloway

W. Scott Holloway is currently the GEAR UP Success Coach at The University of North Carolina Greensboro in the Division of Student Success. Before joining GEAR UP, he served as the Assistant Director for Academic Success Coaching at UNCG. He is a native of Miami, FL and has lived in Greensboro, NC most of his adult life. His specialization is providing optimum level support that helps students capitalize on opportunities that benefit them academically, personally, and professionally. He is strategic at helping students resolve obstacles that threaten to hinder their success. Scott firmly believes that each student has the right to develop to her/his fullest potential. He is committed to a holistic, individualized approach that is specific to addressing the unique needs of each student. As a former first-generation college student himself, his overarching goal as a GEAR UP Success Coach is to support first year college students from target high schools through high quality, high touch coaching, providing accountability, and facilitating successful personal development that ultimately leads to college graduation. Presently, Scott possesses degrees in Master of Speech Communication, Bachelor of Communication Studies, and Bachelor of Psychology.

UNC Greensboro
Joel Lowry

Joel Lowry is the GEAR UP Success Coach at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Joel’s focus as a Success Coach at UNCP is to provide a smooth transition from the high school to the college atmosphere for the new generation of college students. He creates relationships with students and makes them feel welcome at the university. He also assists with on-campus events through the relationships he has built with various departments across campus. In 2022, Joel became an alum of the institution when he earned a B.A degree in History. After graduating Joel started teaching at South Robeson Middle School. He spent his days teaching social studies to grades 6,7, and 8. After school, Joel would spend time coaching the middle school teams alongside his co-workers. This taught Joel life lessons that benefitted him and his new position at UNCP. Being a local Native American from Pembroke, NC Joel understands what it takes to overcome obstacles. His goal is to help students overcome and outgrow obstacles, to help them succeed and thrive on UNCP’s campus.

UNC Pembroke