Our Team

Headshot of Kimberly Bethea

Kimberly Bethea, Ph.D., Director

Kimberly has a sincere passion for supporting students in their academic pursuits.  Working as an educator for over twenty years, she has taught students at the middle school, high school, community college, and university levels.  As the Director of the Academic Resource Center, Kimberly’s primary responsibility is providing programs and services that assist all Duke undergraduate students in realizing their highest academic potential.

Kimberly earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.  She holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Howard University in Washington, DC and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS.  Her professional interests include the transition from high school to college, college student success, professional development, and learning strategies.  Away from the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, serving in her church, and exploring the Triangle region which she now calls home.

Sonya Jones, M.A., Staff Assistant

Sonya Jones started as a member of the Academic Resource Center staff in the Fall of 2016. She has been working at Duke for almost 5 years, and working with students is the best part of her employment.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Crisis Counseling, and recently received her Masters in Human Services Counseling: Marriage and Family. At the ARC, Sonya is the main point of contact for students in need of an appointment with a Learning Consultant, a peer tutor, or a screening for ADHD and other learning disabilities. Her recent educational advancement, coupled with her previous employments, have allowed her to connect with the students on a deeper level. She also serves as point of contact for parents, professors and administrators who have questions about the many services that the ARC provides. Sonya loves to dance, cooking, and most of all laugh.

Ute Wittmann Pair, Business Manager

Ute has been at Duke for 17 years, mainly in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience (and its previous incarnations). Her background prior to Duke is in Theater administration both in the United States and in Austria, where she is from. When not at work, she cares for her son and family. She enjoys music, gardening, cooking, and above all, travel to experience different cultures and points of view.

Monique R. Harris, M.S., Peer Tutoring Program Coordinator

Monique Harris, a California native, moved to North Carolina by way of Houston, Texas. Monique holds a Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in higher education. She is passionate about student affairs stating that she “loves supporting students and being a part of their educational journey." Monique joined the Academic Resource Center in 2014 after eight years with Duke TIP where she provided educational and college counseling for a pre-college scholarship program. She enjoys photography, pop culture, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of "Games of Thrones."

Headshot Image of Morgan Williams

Morgan Williams,  SAGE Program Coordinator

Originally from Northfield, Ohio Morgan Williams made her way to Durham, North Carolina by way of Washington, DC. At Georgetown University, Morgan earned a B.S. in Foreign Service majoring in Regional Studies - Latin America, with a concentration in Socioeconomic Inequality. As the first in her family to graduate from college, Morgan is extremely passionate about supporting and advocating for underrepresented students' success, access, and equity as they navigate higher education. Morgan joined the Academic Resource Center as the Program Coordinator for the SAGE (Science Advancement through Group Engagement) Program in the Spring of 2018 after two years with The Office of Access and Outreach and the David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program. At the ARC, Morgan operates logistics such as case management, data collection, and program evaluation, while also facilitating student community building across the SAGE Program.  When she’s not in the office, you can catch Morgan spending time with family and friends, going on a run or working out in the gym, trying new restaurants, or traveling!

Reed Colver, M.A., Learning Consultant

Reed is from Philadelphia, PA and Durham, NC. She has lived around the globe, with significant time in Australia working in International Education, when she wasn't surfing, sailing or kayaking. Reed's first job out of college was working for a Deaf theater company. She also has a background in intercultural education, leadership, and training; is a coach and facilitator; and has both professional experience and personal interest in the performing arts. After her around the world voyaging, Reed returned to Durham, NC where she balances her time between work, dancing, time on the water, and the amazing people that are her family.

Ben Cooke, Ph.D., Learning Consultant

Ben was born and raised in Washington, DC and has lived in Durham since the fall of 2000. He enjoys cooking and playing tennis, as well as puttering around in the garden. Ben's wife Linda and their three children Walter, Alice, and Arthur enjoy living in Durham and being members of the Durham community. Ben helps students pursue their passions at Duke, and especially enjoys seeing students get through tough semesters and build their confidence.

Amanda Curtin Soydan, Ph.D., Learning Consultant

Amanda was born and raised in South Africa, and loves anything involving being outside — surfing, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, you name it!  She worked and traveled around the globe for a couple years before being the first in her family to attend university.  Amanda tried on a few academic hats but realized that biology and conservation were her true passions and earned a B.S. in Zoology and Geology, her Honors in Palaeontology, an M.S. in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Biological Science and Technology. Through her own experiences as a student and instructor, she developed an interest in higher education, student development and the science of learning, which is what lead her to the ARC. Being able to partner with staff, faculty and especially students, on evolving learning is a source of real joy. In her free time Amanda continues to work on her biology research and along with her husband, Ben, enjoys the nature, music and foodie vibe in Durham.

Debbie Hughes, Ph.D., MSW, Learning Consultant

Debbie knows a few things about academic life. As the first member of her family to pursue a four-year degree, she enrolled at three colleges before earning her B.A. in History and German at Florida State University. She then went on to earn her M.A. in History at Purdue University and her Ph.D. in History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has taught courses in History at the University of Illinois, the University of Mississippi, and Guilford College. In 2014, Dr. Hughes decided to pursue a new career in social work, and earned her MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Now, she uses a ll of this experience as a student and as an educator to support Duke students as they learn to navigate the academic experience in healthy and productive ways. When she is not in her office, you can find her listening to comedy podcasts, reading novels, or talking enthusiastically about popular culture.

Claire Parker Siburt, Ph.D., Learning Consultant

Prior to joining the ARC in fall of 2014, Claire mentored and taught undergraduate chemistry students in the classroom and in the research laboratory at both Duke University and Meredith College. She did her doctoral work in Bioinorganic Chemistry here at Duke, where she also pursued chemical education projects focused on making the chemistry classroom more interactive and inclusive. Claire’s passions are using chemistry to help people learn about how they as individuals learn, and developing peer educators to be self-aware leaders of diverse groups.  In addition to working with SAGE participants and facilitators, Claire co-leads the HHMI Collaboratory for faculty and educator development, and serves of the Steering Committees for the HHMI COMPASS Project, the GAANN Fellows program in the Chemistry Department, and the Cardea Fellows Program. She enjoys spending time with her husband and new baby, taking pictures, and watching football.

Darla Swann, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist and Learning Consultant

Darla received her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Psychology); her M.Ed., at the University of Virginia (Educational Psychology); and her B.S. at Virginia Tech (Business Management). Her ARC activities include academic coaching, consulting, screening and conducting workshops. She is a licensed psychologist. She was a first-gen student. Her interests include balancing academic demands with non-academic interests; adjusting to college life; navigating interpersonal issues; the development of learning skills; resilience in the face of everyday challenges; health-related behaviors; and difficult life experiences as unique and valuable. Her interests also include working with and supporting first-generation students, and students with health or neurocognitive issues (e.g.; ADHD, LD, ASD) to help them thrive in their college studies. She's excited about traveling, enjoying the outdoors, connecting with others, and watching her inspiring identical twin boys grow.