ARC Leadership Team - Coastal Carolina University
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ARC Leadership Team

Photo of James SolazzoJames Solazzo, Vice President of Student Success, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs/Professor  
KRNS 216C | 843-349-2717 |

Jim’s passion has always been sharing his love of mathematics with students, giving them the confidence and tools they need to pass their courses. Whether in his former role as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics or in his current role as Associate Provost and Director of the Academic Resource Center, Jim focuses on students’ success across the curriculum. In particular, he uses data to best determine where student resources are needed, creating programs that promote timely degree completion and consequently reduce student loan debt. However, Jim’s favorite thing to do is to visit K-5 classrooms in Horry County with fun games that highlight the beauty of mathematics and show that everyone is capable of being good at math.

Jim received his Bachelor of Arts in mathematics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Houston. Immediately after earning his Ph.D., Jim took a postdoctoral position at the University of Georgia. During this time, he realized how much he enjoys teaching mathematics, making Coastal’s teacher-scholar model a perfect fit for his career goals as a mathematician. He has now been teaching college mathematics for over 30 years and in 2012, was given the opportunity to serve as the Chair the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at CCU for 5 years. Jim’s mathematical research interests are in optimal line packings in finite dimensional Euclidean space.  

A fun fact about Jim is that he loves 80’s hair metal.    

Photo of Leslie HolodyLesley Holody, Administrative Coordinator  
KRNS 216D | 843-349-2298 |

Lesley has a passion for helping students achieve their educational goals. She enjoys helping students in many different fashions, whether a simple task like helping a student add a course or a more complex solution that involves multiple departments on campus working together to remove barriers from a student’s path. 

Lesley is a Virginia native and earned her B.A in International Affairs from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. She made the move to South Carolina in 2011 and began working at CCU in 2013. She has worked in various departments around campus, from Human Resources to Computing Sciences, the Provost’s Office, and the Academic Resource Center. Lesley’s varied experiences on campus provide her with a strong knowledge base to pull from when working with a student or performing an administrative task. 

Joining Lesley at Coastal is her husband Kyle, who became an Assistant Professor in 2011, but soon became, and currently is, an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Media, and Culture. “We bleed teal in our house” notes Lesley.  

A fun fact about Lesley is she is a Harry Potter fanatic and enjoys flexing her nerdy knowledge in trivia contests.

Daphne HollandDaphne Holland, Assistant Vice President for Student Success Initiatives/CSSC 
KRNS 105 | 843-234-3463 |  

Daphne has an innate passion for working with students to succeed since the beginning of her career in the educational field. She has gained invaluable experience as a professor, an administrator, and in various leadership roles. Daphne has also learned a great deal about the impact of positive relationships with students as well as working with diverse populations, the meaning of outstanding student outreach/support and to her most importantly, helping to develop students in and out of the classroom through implementing innovative initiatives to enhance student success and goal achievement. While working with students in and out of the classroom, it has allowed her the opportunity to engage with students on a multitude of platforms, from teaching face to face and online, advocating and making policy changes to better support students academically and by creating a student success center that is comprised of academic coaching for students. Daphne also enjoys the flexibility her educational and professional background affords her to do so. 

Daphne is from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina and she earned her Bachelors of Science in Physical Education with a minor in English and a Masters of Art in English Education from UNC Pembroke. She also earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with Higher Education a concentration in Education Administration from Clemson University.  

Daphne's research interests include First-Generation college students, First-Second year student success, and student success initiatives in higher education. She has also published in the area of intercollegiate athletics within community colleges. Throughout Daphne's career at CCU, she has created the Coastal Student Success Center (CSSC) and the Academic Coaching Experience Department (ACED). Daphne has previous experience of being a dean, professor, researcher, editor, academic advisor, registrar, program director, and curriculum developer.   

Daphne chose to work at CCU because the position of Assistant Provost provided her a job that combined components of all of her previous work experiences into one, which was the greatest appeal to her. 

Fun fact about Daphne: she is a first-generation college student as well as student-athlete. She played both basketball and softball for UNC Pembroke. Daphne enjoys living on the coast, traveling, antique shopping, and collecting antique text and children's literature books.

Photo of Frankie WeeksFrankie Weeks, Senior Director of University Advising 
KRNS 216A | 843-349-2498 | 

Frankie has a passion for helping students navigate CCU and overcome obstacles that might normally sway students away from in their path do their degree. Frankie is from Manassas, Virginia and she received her Bachelor's of Arts in Sociology and Master of Arts in Writing from CCU.   

Frankie started her career at CCU in the registrar’s office in 2007 and in 2009, she joined the staff in the Institutional Research and Assessment Office. It was there that Frankie learned the intricacies of higher ed and all the moving parts of a university. She discovered a passion for student success and moved into advising in the Edwards College in 2014. Frankie’s research has focused on student retention and persistence and the development of programming to help students engage and take pride and responsibility in their academic journey. She currently teaches UNIV 110 – The First-Year Experience course and has also taught ENGL 101 and 102. In her current role as Director of University Advising, she provides professional development for advisors across CCU’s campus and works to consistently improve advising processes. Frankie loves that her current position allows her to assist students from all majors as they maneuver their way through university life.   

Frankie chose to work at CCU because after she was finishing up her undergraduate degree as a non-traditional student at CCU, she realized she was not ready to leave the CCU family and ultimate decided to pursue a career in higher education.  

Fun fact about Frankie is she is the youngest of 27 grandchildren and the first to graduate from college.

Photo of Verne WalkerVerne Walker, Director of Career Services
LJSU A203E | 843-349-2357 |

Verne has a passion for serving others, helping others imagine their future, and assisting them in creating a realistic plan to get there. Verne is from Muskegon, Michigan, and he received his Associate in Art at Muskegon Community College, his Bachelors of Science in Psychology at Central Michigan University, and his Master of Education in Higher Education Administration and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Toledo. 

Prior to Verne joining the CCU community, he served at a community college in Ohio for 21 years where he held several leadership roles in Student Services and Academic Services. Verne’s research interests include: Academic Advising, Community College Leadership, Career Services, Leadership Development, and Student Affairs.  

Verne chose to work at CCU because he and his family wanted to live near the beach, and he also wanted to continue his career in higher education. “Coastal provided me the opportunity to serve students, faculty, and staff in a career field I enjoy while living near the beach.”  

Fun fact about Verne is he and his wife won an International Dance Contest in the Dominican Republic.