Full-time Staff

Kimberly Abels

Kimberly Abels, Director

kabels@unc.edu, (919) 962-4426
Kim’s career has been spent fostering the creative, student-centered, tech-savvy communities that are Carolina’s Writing center and Learning Center.  She enjoys dynamic, interdisciplinary environments where students discuss, evaluate, imagine, discover, reflect, and stretch into new ideas and academic habits. Although she currently spends much of her time collaborating with colleagues to build Learning Center services and programs, she loves meeting with individual students and listening as they define and refine their academic selves. She’s always glad for time to travel, read, make art, and enjoy life in Durham with her husband and two teenagers.

Ashton Bartley

Ashton Bartley, Academic Coach, Chemistry Specialist

abartley@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6389
Ashton’s passion is chatting with college students about chemistry, helping them to understand and even enjoy the central science.  She graduated from the University of Florida with a PhD in organic chemistry.  Her favorite part of working with college students is watching their confidence bloom!   Ashton is super excited to be an academic coach specializing in chemistry at UNC-CH where she facilitates the CHEMpossible learning groups.  Outside of the Learning Center, Ashton enjoys baking, exercising, reading, tacos, and corgis.

Robin Blanton

Robin Blanton, Academic Coach, Biology Specialist

rcb@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-8012
Robin’s background is in biological sciences and public health. She enjoys serving students as an academic coach and counselor.  She facilitates the learning group Bio Cell that serves students in the Biology 101 course. She also assists students as they prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).  She is passionate about her three amazing children and wonderful husband.

Christy Clemons

Christy Clemons, Peer Tutoring Coordinator

clemons@unc.edu, (919) 843-8698
Christy loves working with Carolina students, and has done so in a number of ways since coming to Chapel Hill as a grad student in American literature.  She has taught writing and literature courses in the English department, served as a tutor for student athletes, and worked as a private GRE tutor.  Although she has also worked for “that other school” as a Duke TIP instructor, she is a Tar Heel at heart! At the Learning Center, Christy coordinates the peer tutoring program.  When she’s not working on her dissertation, she enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and beating her husband at Scrabble.

Marc Howlett

Marc Howlett, Academic Coach, Test Prep

mhowlett@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-7228
Marc is dedicated to working with college students, strongly believing that everyone can learn, improve, and succeed. As an Academic Coach, Marc collaborates with students to maximize their academic lives. He knows first-hand the transformative power of academic coaching, having utilized the Learning Center and Writing Center extensively as a UNC graduate student. Marc graduated from UNC in 2015 with a PhD in City & Regional Planning. When not working at the Learning Center, Marc and his family frequent Durham libraries, parks, gardens, and transportation facilities.

Theresa Maitland

Theresa Maitland, Academic Coach, ADHD/LD Specialist

tmaitlan@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-9350
Theresa’s career in education has allowed her to be a teacher, teacher trainer, counselor, learning specialist, author and a coach with individuals from ages 3 to 60. Working with college students is her favorite role. She loves coaching students to discover ways to balance their lives and live the life of their dreams now! While she has special talents for helping students with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning, attentional and emotional differences, she welcomes any student who is ready to grow. She and her husband love their life in Raleigh and are surrounded by a large extended family. In her free time she enjoys reading, gardening, sewing, playing piano, traveling and learning to relax and do nothing.

Bob Pleasants

Bob Pleasants, Assistant Director, Academic Coach

bpleas@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-9350
Bob’s career in education has given him the opportunity to work one-on-one with students, to teach in classrooms, and to create larger educational programs. He has worked as a writing tutor; taught in communities, high schools, and at Carolina; and has developed and coordinated educational programs for a variety of audiences and ages. Bob is passionate about using education as a tool for both personal reflection and social change, and he wants to create opportunities for all students who enter Carolina to succeed. In his free time, he enjoys running, cooking, reading, and discovering new music in all genres. He is a proud resident of Durham, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Kristen Rademacher

Kristen Rademacher, Academic Coach, ADHD/LD Specialist

krademacher@unc.edu, (919) 843-4553
Kristen’s years in education include various roles: classroom teacher, curriculum developer, private tutor and academic coach.  She enjoys helping both undergraduate and graduate students create an overall goal-centered Tar Heel experience, as well as develop effective academic skills.  Kristen has particular interest in students with ADHD and LD, and coaches them to manage and even embrace their learning differences.  Kristen loves yoga, writing, cooking, spending time with her family, and getting to the mountains or beach when she can.

Jackie Stone

Jackie Stone, Academic Coach, Math Specialist

jacsto@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-9353
Jackie is passionate about working with college students, especially at UNC!  She received her Master’s in Mathematics from Carolina, during which she had the opportunity to teach several undergraduate math classes.  She is excited to be an academic coach at the Learning Center, where she is specializing in mathematics and facilitating the Math Plus study groups for students taking Math 110, Math 130, and Math 231.  In her free time Jackie likes to hang out with Cooper, her adorable puppy, and play board games with her husband.

Graduate Learning Coaches

Robin S

Robin Smith

Robin S. loves working with Carolina students, and she’s had many opportunities over the past nine years: she’s taught classes in the English department, coached students in writing strategies at the Writing Center, and helped students prepare for grad school as a part of UNC’s MURAP program. She feels lucky to work with such a driven, intelligent, and talented bunch of Tarheels, and she’s excited to join the Learning Center this year as an academic coach and an assistant for the Peer Tutoring program. When she’s not on campus, you’ll find her hanging out in Carrboro, working on her dissertation in a coffeeshop, or trying to grow something besides weeds in her garden.

Miranda Elston

Miranda Elston

Miranda loves working with college students. She has taught several UNC Art History courses and recently taught university tour groups at the Ackland Art Museum. Miranda is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at UNC. When not working on her dissertation, she loves to go rock climbing, running, and hiking. When it is too hot to be outside, she enjoys watching Soccer, Rugby, UNC basketball, and playing board.

Tim Conder

Tim is a Tar Heel through and through. He and his wife are alumni and both of his children are current undergraduates.  And he has now returned for an encore as a Carolina student currently as a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies.  It is no surprise that he loves listening to, dialoguing with, and supporting Carolina students in their academic and whole life goals.  To him, few things are more exciting than being part of a relational/coaching collaboration that results in new or rediscovered possibilities, hopes, skills, and vision.  Away from the Learning Center, Tim is very involved as a leader, writer, and researcher in grassroots community organizing and social justice work.  For fun, he’s a (slow) runner, an avid soccer fan, and a ridiculously avid UNC sports fan.