Dr. Holly Fling

Lecturer & Academic Coach

Dr. Holly Fling




Office 204

Dr. Holly Fling helps students gain academic and life skills in UNIV 1201S: Learning for Success at the University and prepares first-year cohorts to enter UGA’s academic community in UNIV 1203: Starting Strong: Introductory Seminar for Scholars. In UNIV 1105: Introducing English Composition, she teaches the foundational writing skills that students will need to be successful in their first-year composition classes and beyond. Dr. Fling also serves as an Academic Coach in the DAE.

An advocate for student success and well-being, Dr. Fling helps students gain the tools they need to achieve their goals and introduces them to resources on campus and throughout the community. She especially enjoys using her humanities background to help students develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and analysis.

When Dr. Fling is not working, she loves walking her dog, Jane, spending time with family and friends, experimenting with new recipes, and traveling.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Ph.D. in English and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, University of Georgia
  • M.A. in English, Truman State University
  • B.A. in English, Truman State University
Awards & Honors
  • Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Advisor Award, Georgia Military College, 2022
  • Phi Theta Kappa Catalyst 2020 Advisor Scholarship, Georgia Military College, 2020
  • The Alice C. Langdale Award for Exceptional English Graduate Student, University of Georgia, 2019
  • UGA Career Center Recognized Career Advocate for Students, University of Georgia, 2018
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Georgia 2017 Dickens Universe Award, University of Georgia, 2018
  • Willson Center Graduate Research Award, University of Georgia, 2016
  • Outstanding Graduate Student in English, Truman State University, 2013
  • Nominated for the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis Award, Truman State University, 2013
Areas of Expertise

As Dr. Fling was a first-generation student who transferred from a community college to a university, she is interested in transparency in higher education for all first-year students, but particularly first-generation and transfer students. She is also working on a pedagogical essay about first-year writing.

Teaching Philosophy

As a first-year college student, a psychology major at the time, I thrived in my psychology class because my professor used different pedagogical strategies and modes of presentation. Though I had no intention of ever becoming a teacher, I remember thinking that if I were a teacher, I, too, would use these approaches. I was surprised, then, to discover that my classmates were not all earning high scores on their exams. In fact, many were failing. I wondered how anyone could perform poorly when our professor was so effective.

Since taking that psychology class in my first year of college, I’ve learned three important pedagogical lessons. First, success looks different for everyone, and these different perceptions are based on factors such as goals, personalities, and lived experiences. Second, not all students know how to learn, even when they have the highest goals. And third, although curiosity is critical to learning, not all students are curious enough to engage.

To meet every student’s needs, I believe it is important for me to get to know all the students with whom I work so that I can better understand their goals. Once I know where they are and where they want to be, I can help them map out their paths. The process of mapping pathways to goals involves conversations about how these paths are never straight because learning is recursive. Some students are put off by this nonlinear process and require more work on my part to help them foster a sense of curiosity. In a writing class, fostering curiosity might mean encouraging students to choose topics about which they feel passionate and to take risks in their writing. In a class that teaches student success, I first focus on creating a community so that everyone feels that they belong and second on collaborative learning so that the students perceive themselves as part of something bigger than themselves, a team.

My own love of learning and my curiosity are what led me, during my first semester of college, to study my psychology professor’s pedagogical practices and to wonder why her approaches were not working for everyone. Today, these traits drive my determination to find new ways to engage students in learning and to initiate their curiosity, so that they all have greater chances of achieving their version of success.

Inclusive Teaching Statement

As a faculty member, I try to create safe spaces built on communities of trust by helping students understand that we all enter conversations from different points of understanding due to our personal experiences. In my classes, we discuss how personal experiences create ideologies through which people observe and understand society. I believe that college is a place for students to learn to identify their own ideologies and to understand why they see the world as they do. But even more importantly, I believe that college is a place for them to learn how to look through other people’s ideologies by listening and trying to understand. I encourage students in my classes to ask questions such as “Can you help me understand?” or “Can you share an example of what you mean?” By learning to listen and understand first, they will be better situated to respond to different viewpoints in their writing and conversation. Our differences have the power to make us smarter, kinder, and better. And I am dedicated to creating communities in which everyone belongs and feels safe and respected, and to ensuring that all students have equal access to education regardless of ability, background, or identity.

The Latest News

First-generation students sitting at table at first-gen celebration.
Achieve Atlanta student beside UGA sign

Committed to students. Committed to success.

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