UNC-CH and Duke University Area Studies Teacher Advisory Council

The UNC-CH and Duke University Area Studies Teacher Advisory Council is a board of up to 14 educators that helps evaluate and support the direction of the seven area studies centers’ K-12 outreach. Representing a diversity of grade levels and disciplines, advisory council members provide valuable feedback on programs and resources, guide the planning of future opportunities for teachers, and advocate on behalf of UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University area studies programs during their two-year term.


The mission of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Area Studies Teacher Advisory Council is to promote the missions and outreach activities of the UNC-Duke Area Studies Centers and to advise staff on the following objectives:

  • Gain a clear understanding of the needs for K-12 teachers to successfully implement area studies in their curricula;
  • Identify areas of strength and weakness in the outreach efforts of the Area Studies Centers; and
  • Provide ongoing evaluation of Area Studies Center programming.

Advisory Council Members

The Area Studies Teacher Advisory Council shall include representatives from K-12 schools and other educational leaders in the North Carolina area who have an active relationship with at least one Area Studies Center. Each Area Studies Center (African Studies Center; Carolina Asia Center; Center for European Studies; Center for Global Initiatives; Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies; and the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies) will nominate two representatives to serve in staggered two-year terms. Advisory Council members shall be appointed based on their commitment to global education, familiarity with UNC/Duke Area Studies programs, leadership in their schools and districts, and willingness to fulfill the responsibilities of the Teacher Advisory Council.

Advisory Council Members’ Responsibilities

Area Studies Teacher Advisory Council members commit to the following:

  1. Attend one scheduled meeting annually in the spring;
  2. Review and provide advice concerning the area studies’ long term vision and strategic planning in areas pertaining to global education;
  3. Advise on curriculum and professional development strategies;
  4. Participate in sub-committees, if needed, in support of specific initiatives;
  5. Identify resources that assist the Area Studies Centers in sustaining and advancing its objectives; and
  6. Promote the Area Studies Centers to K-12 teachers, administrators, and other school staff, either in person, at conferences, and/or on social media.

2019-2021 Advisory Council Members

  1. Valencia Abbott, Social Studies teacher at Rockingham Early College High School, Rockingham County Schools
  2. Colin Baker, AP European History Teacher at Blacksburg High School, Virginia
  3. Amy Barsanti, 3rd grade teacher at Jamesville Elementary School, Martin County Schools
  4. Emily Burrus, French teacher at Pisgah High School, Haywood County Schools
  5. William Giblin, 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Grey Culbreth Middle School, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
  6. Guy Hill, English Language Arts teacher at Triton High School, Harnett County
  7. Carla Ingram, World History teacher at South Caldwell High School, Caldwell County Schools
  8. Michelle McLaughlin, Social Studies Consultant, Division of Curriculum & Instruction, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  9. Valerie Person, English teacher at Currituck County High School, Currituck County Schools
  10. Amber Santibañez, Visual Arts teacher at Durham School of the Arts, Durham Public Schools
  11. Consuelo Schwartz, Spanish teacher at South Central High School, Pitt County
  12. Amy Tart, 5th grade teacher at Union Intermediate School, Sampson County Schools
  13. Michael Williams, Education Projects Manager, National Humanities Center