Meet the Distance Education Support Team

Sarah Barker

Sarah Barker

Director of Academic Support Services

Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree is Health Service Administration from Santa Fe College and her Graduate Certificate in Managing Distance Education Environments from the University of Florida. She has worked for the University of Florida in student services since 2008. Her professional interests include systems design, student support in online learning environments and facilitating the successful design and implementation of graduate online programs. She is most proud of earning her Salesforce Administrative certification in 2018 and UF’s Superior Accomplishment award for the Health Science Division in 2016.

Mike Pearce

Assistant Director of Academic Support Services

Mike joined the DESS Team in February 2017. He earned a Bachelor of Public Administration from Florida International University and Master of Arts in Political Science with a certificate in Public Affairs from the University of Florida. Mike is a strong supporter of accessible education and online learning. In his free time, he enjoys woodworking, soccer and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Morgan Swiers

Admissions Officer

Morgan began working at UF in an admissions capacity in 2012 and specializes in new student enrollment and enrolled student management. He takes pride in helping applicants and students achieve their goals and advance their career. A family man and avid gamer through and through, he spends as much time as possible with his wife and daughter flopping cards, chucking dice, and conquering pixels. Morgan plans to publish games, draw comics, and live forever. He’s okay if only two of those are doable.

Dave Jenkins

Program Assistant


Justin De Leo

Instructional Designer

Justin received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the the University of Florida. He’s thankful for the opportunity to work at UF as an Instructional Designer since 2010. He is enthusiastic about educational research, course design, and assisting instructors and students with achieving goals for teaching and learning. He appreciates the creative thinking and passion for education that he experiences in his job. When not at work, he enjoys cycling, music, and being with his family.

Amber Cacciatore

Academic Program Specialist

Amber earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Florida in May 2014, and later that year began working at the University of Florida. She has worked in Enrollment Management capacities from the start, gaining experience in registration and admissions processes including focuses on non-degree students in special programs and UF Online students. Amber is excited to be a part of the DESS team and continue supporting non-traditional students in their efforts to further their education. Currently, she is somewhat of a non-traditional student herself as she is pursuing a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (concentration of Teachers, School and Society) at the University of Florida part time. In her free time between work and school, Amber enjoys spending time with her fur babies, friends and family, traveling, and seeing plays.