Center for Student Success Staff

Whit Rice
Director of the Center for Student Success
Call: 256-352-8406 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Whit is a Cullman, AL native and has worked at Wallace State since 2008. He attended Wallace State and then transferred to Auburn University where he graduated with a B.S. in Finance. He attended graduate school at Troy University where he received his master’s degree in Public Administration. Whit has worked in Recruiting, Upward Bound and Advising and loves building relationships with students and helping them reach their goals. He is a firm believer in the transformative power of education and truly loves coming to work each day.

Fun Facts: Whit is a diehard Auburn fan and enjoys snow skiing, traveling, grilling, the mountains, and spending time with his family. Whit is proud to serve as the name reader at Wallace State’s graduation ceremony and has handled Public Address responsibilities for various Wallace State sporting events.

Advisor to students whose last name starts with an A.

Christine Wiggins
Assistant Director of the Center for Student Success
Call: 256-352-8462 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Christine was born in California, raised in Alabama and graduated from UAB with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. She’s a Capstone Certified Success Coach and is finishing up her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Faulkner University. She has served students at Wallace State since 2010 and finds great value in partnering with them to overcome obstacles, achieve their goals and live the life they imagined.

Fun Facts: Christine loves Disney World, 90s grunge music, and paint-by-number.

Advisor to students whose last name starts with K - Li.

Jennifer McRea
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-8477​ 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Ms. McRea earned her Associate in Science in Business Administration degree from Wallace State Community College, her Bachelor of Science degree from Athens State University and her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the University of North Alabama.  She joined Wallace State Community College in 2004 as a Financial Aid Clerk and transitioned to the Center for Student Success in 2010.

She’s passionate about student success and working together to ensure students overcome any roadblocks they encounter during their academic tenure at Wallace State Community College.

Fun Facts: She is a faith-filled, devout Christian who enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with family.

Personal Quotes: I truly feel earning a college degree can and will transform your life and positively impact future generations. 

Always stay the course with passion, determination and positivity.

Advisor to students whose last name starts with Lo. - No.

Hannah Hays
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-8044

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Hannah is a native of Cullman County. She earned her B.S in Agricultural Communication at Auburn University. During her time at Auburn, she discovered her love of advising and higher education while working as a Tiger Advisor throughout her undergraduate degree. She decided to continue her education at Auburn University and received her M. Ed in Adult Education while working as a graduate assistant. Hannah has been working at Wallace State since 2016 and is looking forward to continue to serve our students and community as a Success Advisor.

Fun Facts: Hannah is a homebody that loves to spend time with her family and three dogs. She enjoys hanging out on the farm, reading, and all things Auburn. War Eagle and Go Lions!!

Advisor to students whose last name starts with Ham. - J.

Devan Ponder
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-8413

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Devan has worked at Wallace State since 2017 and has experience in Advising and Admissions. She came to Wallace State after working for 10 years for Cullman County Schools. A Cullman, AL, native, Devan earned her bachelor’s degree in business from Faulkner University. She is passionate about helping students meet their goals and takes pride in serving her students and community.

Fun Facts: Devan is a big fan of Alabama football (Roll Tide) and can be found binge watching episodes of The Office. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, going on new adventures, and caring for her animals – especially her four dogs.

Advisor to students whose last name starts with Nu. - R.

Jill Strickland
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-8316 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Jill was born and raised in South Carolina until marriage brought her to Alabama.  She earned her B.A. in Health Science and Physiology from Furman University and then an A.A.S as a Physical Therapist Assistant at Wallace State Community College.  After teaching in Wallace State’s PTA program for many years, she transitioned to Success Coaching in 2013.  Jill’s favorite part about working with students is the relationships that are built and is honored to partner with students in their academic journey. 

Fun Facts:  Jill and her husband enjoy crafting and woodworking with proceeds going towards their son’s memorial scholarship at Wallace State. 

Advisor to students whose last name starts with Cao. - Dr.

Julie Grimes
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-7840 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Julie is a Capstone Certified Success Coach with a background that includes journalism, communications, and management. She's a dreamer whose passion is helping others find their dreams, too, and then make plans to achieve them. 

Advisor to students whose last name starts with Ti. - Z.

Susan Peek
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-7839 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Susan is a Virginia native who has lived all over the world but had never called a place home until she settled in Cullman, AL. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History from Berea College and is completing her master’s degree in Humanities at Faulkner University. Susan has worked at Wallace State since 2013, serving as a Success Coach and Prior Learning Specialist. She has experience working in Study Abroad, International Education and as a Student Services Associate.

Susan is passionate about building meaningful relationships with students in order to support them in reaching the goals they have set for themselves. Her particular areas of professional and academic interest are study abroad/international education, career coaching, supporting student Veterans, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education, and Celtic and Appalachian Studies.

Fun Facts: Susan has lived in and traveled to Germany, the United Kingdom, South Wales, Greece, Turkey and Scotland, including six months in a study abroad program at Swansea University in Wales. In her free time, she spends time with family and friends – especially her husband and two daughters – and is currently learning Welsh.

Advisor to students whose last name starts with S - Th.

Elizabeth Hunt
Success Advisor
Call: 256-352-8283 

 Schedule Advising Appointment

Elizabeth is originally from Ashville, AL. She enrolled at Gadsden State Community College prior to earning a Bachelor of Science in Education from Auburn University. She moved to Cullman in 1991 and began working in education with Cullman City Schools. She then began working at Wallace State in Adult Education and as a GED Instructor. In 2013, she joined the Success Coaching team at Wallace State and earned Capstone Certification in student coaching. Elizabeth is passionate about assisting students in achieving their dream of higher education and a fulfilling career.

Fun Facts: Elizabeth is an Auburn graduate as well as her three children and daughter in law. She loves to cook, travel and spend time with her family.

Advisor to students whose last name starts with B - Can.

Chuck Davis
Testing Coordinator
Call: 256-352-8248