Financial Wizard and Translator: Silvia Bengle
Silvia worked for the University of California, Irvine for 20 years. Originally hired in a temporary role, she quickly transitioned to full-time administrative assistant for the UCI Medical Center’s pediatric department. Silvia coordinated monthly reports for 22 departments and provided interdepartmental clerical support.
As a financial analyst at the School of Humanities, Silvia reconciled ledgers, oversaw accounting systems, and streamlined UCI’s online financial systems. From nine years with the Dean’s Office to the Office of Research Administration, Silvia’s expertise enhanced financial infrastructure campus-wide.
Silvia is bilingual and will also serve as Head Translator for Wilmington School of the Arts. After living in Mendoza, Argentina for seven years, Silvia and her husband of 23 years are happy to call Wilmington home.
Administrative Essentialist: Kirsten Kolb
A graduate of Elon University, Kirsten earned a bachelor’s in sociology and a minor in Spanish. Kirsten has spent the last six years in the pharmaceutical industry analyzing key metrics and KPIs for a global pharmaceutical consulting firm. Prior to this, Kirsten spent six years with the Mission Delivery Team at Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina. Dedicated to nonprofit efforts and bettering young lives, Kirsten both planned and coordinated wish fulfillment for children with life-threatening medical conditions
Originally from New Jersey, Kirsten has spent the last seventeen years in North Carolina. She and her husband currently live in Wilmington, NC.
Creative Content Coordinator: Jamie Lynn Miller
A freelance writer, teacher, and outdoor enthusiast, Jamie earned a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. As a writer and oral storyteller, her work has appeared in both regional and national publications including Sierra Magazine, Waterway Guide, Men’s Health, Women’s Adventure, and Climbing Magazine; internationally, Jamie written for the Dominican Republic-based Lifestyle Cabarete. A 20-year veteran of rock radio and an on-air host for Aspen Public Radio, Jamie Lynn’s interviews with people of note—from nationally-renowned musicians to middle school students crafting the spoken word—are podcast at Sonic Byways with Jamie Lynn.
Jamie shares her passion for well-crafted content as a teacher of language arts, creative writing, podcasting, and English as a Second Language. She has worked with Cape Fear Community College, UNCW, Friends School of Wilmington, and DREAMS Center for the Arts, as well as international language school Global-LT.
On the active front, Jamie can be found rock climbing, sailing, surfing mini waves, and around the ring as an amateur boxing official for USA Boxing. She recently discovered fishing on the beach–and wonders what took her so long.
Education Coordinator: Amy Carter
Amy has over 10 years experience working with children and finds great joy in watching children’s natural passions unfold and take form through self-discovery and artistic expression. She has a degree in Elementary Education from The University of North Florida, has her Master’s Certification in Montessori Teaching, and has worked in Self-Directed Education as an Agile Learning Facilitator and Academic Director of an alternative school.
Amy is a loving mother of three who brings the warmth she would hope for her own children to experience in a school to her own work, is a proponent of Conscious Discipline strategies, and a promoter of community and parental involvement. She strives to use her own love of the arts and performing to create an environment for deeper understanding of academic concepts, creative expression, social justice, and cultural studies. Her passions include singing, acting, and dancing (especially in community theatre and musical groups locally). She is inspired by the creativity of children and believes they are the most profound makers of art.
Cultural Arts Programming Director: SheaRa Nichi
Cultural Arts Programming Director SheaRa Nichi is an accomplished dancer, actor, director and choreographer who’s been performing professionally since age eight. SheaRa Nichi studied professional theatre in New York City through the Circle in the Square School and BADA British American Drama Academy, a Shakespeare drama intensive program through Yale and Oxford University. SheaRa also holds a BS in Computer Science.
For SheaRa, art for every student should be a hands-on, interactive use of the performing arts, including dance, acting, singing, writing, and poetry. She has worked with Burning Coal Theater and Cape Fear Regional Theater company as a resource artist, choreographer, and writers’ director, and as a resource for Practical Art Therapy for New Hanover County Schools since 2004.
By helping students verbally and physically express their passions and experience, SheaRa believes in the power of the performing arts to stimulate both academic and interpersonal connection. Through the NC NEA endowment to bring Creative Forces incentive to Fort Bragg Intrepid Spirit Center, SheaRa will provide needed art therapy to soldiers with brain trauma and PTSD. She has traveled to Haiti, Europe and Brazil researching and learning all forms of African cultural dance, and while working with MWR on Fort Bragg, she will continue to provide African dance classes for all.