Meet the Staff

Greetings Fellow Niners!

Larry Gourdine

Associate Dean and Director of Student Assistance and Support Services

I proudly serve as your Associate Dean and Director for Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS). My responsibilities include providing overall leadership and administrative oversight for SASS. Additionally, I work directly with students experiencing a broad range of issues interfering with their ability to be successful academically, socially and personally by connecting students to support services; provide assistance and support to faculty seeking help regarding a student issue or concerning student behavior and; support to parents and family members seeking help on behalf of their student(s). 

I graduated from Murray State University with an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education and a Masters degree in Public Health with a concentration in Gerontology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Prior to working at UNC Charlotte, I have had the privilege and honor of serving students at the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Katie Russo

Associate Director of Student Assistance and Support Services

Katie Russo serves as the Associate Director for SASS. Katie received her Bachelors degree in History from UNC Greensboro and her Masters of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Virginia Tech. After graduate school, Katie worked at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, for two years. She also served as a Residential Learning Coordinator in Housing and Residence Life at Virginia Tech. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Katie served as an Assistant Director in Community Standards at the University of Connecticut, where she had experience with conduct, care team, and Title IX. In her free time, Katie enjoys reading, traveling, playing volleyball, and hanging out with her family and friends. Katie's top five Strengths are: Responsbility, Empathy, Arranger, Relator, and Developer. She can be reached at

Kristan Holzman

Assistant Director for Withdrawal Services

Kristan Holzman serves as the Assistant Director for Withdrawal Services. Kristan received her Bachelor's degree in Communications from Western Carolina University and her Masters in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Kristan worked at the University of South Carolina-Columbia for five years. Her work experience includes working in University Housing and Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. When she isn't working she enjoys reading a good book, catching up on TV shows, and hanging out with her family. She can be reached at

Kait McConomy

Assistant Director for Case Management

Kait McConomy serves as the Assistant Director for Case Management. Kait received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Brevard College and her Master of Arts in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Kait worked at the University of Central Florida as an Area Coordinator in Housing and Residence Life for three years. Before joining the SASS office, Kait worked at UNC Charlotte in the Department of Housing and Residence Life for three years as a Coordinator of Student Conduct and Assistant Director. Kait is currently working on her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at UNC Charlotte. Kait’s top five Strengths are: Empathy, Activator, Belief, Connectedness and Developer. She can be reached at:

Brad Yeckley

Assistant Director for Financial Literacy

Brad Yeckley serves as the Assistant Director of Financial Literacy. He is a Penn State University alumnus with a BS in human development, an MBA in corporate finance, and is currently writing his dissertation to finish his PhD work in Organization Development. Brad previously served as the assistant director of The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center at Penn State, was a member of Penn State Emerging Leaders, sat on the Penn State Financial Literacy Advisory Board, and was a member of the University Staff Advisory Council. Additionally, he was an inaugural member of the Equity Action Resource Team. Brad has professional experience in personal and business investment planning as a licensed investment adviser and can be described as a serial entrepreneur. He has also received national credentialing and recognition for his work in financial literacy. Brad believes in fully living a strengths-based life; his top five strengths are: Maximizer, WOO, Positivity, Learner, Includer. Brad can be reached at

Vesta White

Administrative Support Associate

Vesta White serves as the Administrative Support Associate. Vesta earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina; prior to that, she earned her Associate in Arts & Sciences degree in Information Technology from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. Vesta began her career in higher education at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in 2005, where she spent 15 years supporting first-year student success programs in a coordinator and strategic planning support role within the University College and the Office of First Year Experience. In her leisure time, she enjoys fun activities with her family and friends, listening to live music, traveling, participating in community outreach/engagement opportunities and attending cultural enrichment events. Vesta believes the motto “What we do well helps us excel”, a term she creatively coined for a student success program at JCSU. Vesta understands that strengths awareness and application drive personal, professional and academic success; her top five strengths are:  Woo, Communication, Positivity, Connectedness, and Strategic. She can be reached at


  Office Information

Location: King 118
   Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm


    Phone: 704-687-0289
    Fax: 704-687-1969