Skip to main content

Full-time Staff

Kimberly Abels

Kimberly Abels, Director, (919) 962-4426
Dr. Abels has led the student-centered, tech-savvy professional and student communities that comprise Carolina’s Writing and Learning Center for over twenty years. She collaborates with colleagues and campus partners to build Writing and Learning Center services and fosters environments where students imagine, discover, reflect, and stretch into new ideas and academic habits.

Robin Blanton

Robin Blanton, Academic Coach, Biology Specialist, (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.

Jackie Stone

Jackie Stone, Academic Coach, Math Specialist, (919) 962-9353

Jackie is passionate about working with college students, especially at UNC! She received her Master’s in Mathematics from Carolina, and has taught math classes at both UNC and NJIT. 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 130 and Math 231. In her free time Jackie likes to cook, hike, hang out with Cooper, her adorable puppy, and play board games with her husband.

Lara Edwards

Lara Edwards, Academic Coach, ADHD/LD Specialist, (919) 962-9350
Lara is a UNC alumna who has spent much of her career doing psychoeducational evaluations and counseling with students. She has worked with students across a variety of settings including in schools, learning centers, and private clinics. Most of the students with whom she has worked have had ADHD and/or learning differences, and Lara is excited to bring her prior knowledge and experience with her into her academic coaching at UNC. Lara’s goal is to support students on their academic journey and in achieving their goals. In her spare time, she enjoys art, photography, gardening, the beach, and spending time with her 3 teenage/young adult sons.

Marc Howlett

Marc Howlett, Academic Coach, (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 Chapel Hill libraries, parks, gardens, and transportation facilities.

Robin Horton

Robin Horton, Peer Tutoring Specialist, (919) 962-3782
Robin has several years’ experience training peer tutors at North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Additionally, she has worked as a writing tutor, an academic coach, and a tutor mentor at UNC-CH’s Writing and Learning Center and at the College of William & Mary, her undergraduate institution. She has also taught a variety of college-level writing and literature courses and been a program assistant for MURAP at UNC-CH, a summer program that promotes diversity in higher education. Robin received her Ph.D. in English Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2018. Her dissertation research focused on working-class poetry in nineteenth-century America. She currently lives in Carrboro with her husband Steven.

Kristen Rademacher

Kristen Rademacher, Academic Coach, ADHD/LD Specialist, (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.

Ben Grace

Ben Grace, Administrative Support Specialist, (919) 962-7710
Ben provides logistical support for all staff at the Writing and Learning Center to ensure they have the resources needed to support Carolina students in turn. He also supervises our team of work-study Office Assistants. As the receptionist for the Writing Center, he will likely be the first face you see when you come visit.

Graduate Learning Coaches



Anna is excited to return as an academic coach to the Learning Center to collaborate with students, participate in ongoing projects, and help design and lead new workshops and initiatives. A fifth year in the English PhD program, she studies contemporary transatlantic autofiction, aesthetic theory, and psychoanalysis. Before coming to UNC, Anna taught English in Brazil and spent six months studying yoga therapy in India. Brazilian music and dance as well as yoga, backpacking, cooking, and her cat, Sammi, and new puppy, Senna, all nourish her soul.



Lea is a second-year dual degree Master of Social Work and Master of Public Administration student here at Carolina. She is originally from Albemarle, NC and also attended UNC for undergrad, where she double majored in History and Spanish. After undergrad, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017-2018, working with the City of Raleigh on the Dorothea Dix Park project. Her areas of interest include US immigration policy, ethical and sustainable international development, and nonprofit management. She is excited to work with students this year as a Graduate Learning Coach, and loves reading and spending time with friends, family, and her two cats, Casper and Cayde.


Isaac is excited to join the Learning Center to help students navigate STEM fields and develop their interests in them. Isaac is a candidate in the physics PhD program, focusing on the mathematical foundations of gravity and dark matter in the early Universe. In addition to serving as lead instructor, and TA, for several physics courses at UNC, Isaac has many years of teaching and tutoring experience in physics and mathematics. He has served as an adjunct lecturer in physics at CCNY while completing his M.Sc. in physics, and as a New York City Teaching Fellow teaching high school physics. In his free time, Isaac likes to cook, play basketball, exercise, live vicariously through his friend’s doggos, and make cringeworthy puns. His many life goals include forming a secret scientific society, which shall be called *The Order of Magnitude*.


Gonzalo is excited to be joining the Learning Center as a Graduate Learning Coach. He is currently a fifth year in the Mathematics PhD program. He grew up in Miami, Florida, where he obtained an MA in mathematics before coming to Carolina. He has nearly a decade of teaching and tutoring experience in college level math, including working with Carolina’s Summer Bridge program to help first year students’ transition from high school to college life.


Tony is a PhD candidate in the Department of History here at UNC, studying Modern Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on Cuba. He is originally from Florida and completed his undergraduate studies as well as an MA program at the University of North Florida majoring in History and minoring in in International Studies. He is a member of the Institute for the Study of the Americas here at UNC and has been involved in their work with the Instituto de Historia de Cuba in helping foster relations between scholars in Cuba and the U.S.. His areas of research and interest include guerrilla movements and insurgencies as well as popular social movements across the Global South. The main body of his work has focused on the Cuban Revolution and the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. Tony is really happy to be joining the team at the Learning Center and is excited to work with students.