About Claudia

cluadiaMy background includes a B.A. from St. John’s College (1988) and an M.E.d. from Harvard University (1992).  I have worked for over twenty-five years in education with a focus on at-risk and first-generation college students. My publications include numerous articles on African American school history and on rural life. In 2009, I organized the inaugural conference about African American educational history at UNC Wilmington.  With my colleague Dr. Richard T. Newkirk, I  present  professional development entitled “Lessons from the Rosenwald Schools: Appreciating African American School History and Pedagogy.”

My documentary films about historic African American schools have earned awards and were screened at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s conferences about Rosenwald schools in 2012 and 2015.  They have also screened at film festivals, colleges, libraries, and many other venues. In Fall, 2017 I completed SHARECROP and SHARECROP: DELTA COTTON,  documentaries that showcase oral history of the South’s “forgotten farmers.”   These films have screened at festivals in major cities including London, Atlanta, Detroit.  The 2018 National Council for Black Studies conference featured SHARECROP, and I developed a companion teaching guide for the film.  The SHARECROP  project was made possible by the generous support of the Middle Road Foundation.


  • St. John’s College (B.A.)
  • Harvard University Graduate School of Education (M.Ed.)

Honors & Awards

  • 2011 David Brinkley Preservationist of the Year
  • 2012 Director’s Choice Award Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
  • 2012 Gertrude S. Carraway Preservation Award
  • 2015 International Independent Film Awards Bronze Medal Winner for “Carrie Mae: An American Life”


1988-1991 Science Learning Skills Specialist, Boston University

1995 – 2002 Academic Advisor, UNC Wilmington

2002- 2006 Co-Director, Cornerstone Learning Communities, UNC Wilmington

2006 – 2009 Director of Marketing & Administration, Healing Hands Animal Hospital

Spring 2008 Teacher, Documentary Film Seminar, Pender Early College HS

2010-2015 Exceptional Children’s Teacher, Duplin County Schools and New Hanover County Schools

2015-2018 Documentary filmmaker, made possible by the support of Middle Road Foundation

2018-present Exceptional Children’s Teacher, New Hanover County Schools



  • Middle Road Foundation, spring 2015, in support of documentary project “Sharecrop”
  • Lowe’s Charitable & Educational Trust, summer 2010, in support of restoration and repairs for Canetuck Community Center (formerly Canetuck Rosenwald School)
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, spring 2010, in support of documentary work about historic African American schools in Pender County, NC
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, fall 2009, in support of the one-day conference “Rosenwald School History Awareness Meeting” to be held November 13, 2009
  • Grant from the Wilmington Star-News, spring 2008, in support of documentary film project with Pender Early College HS students
  • GEAR UP grants, summer of 2005 & 2006, in support of “Campaign College Camp”, which brought prospective first-generation college students from Pender County high schools to the UNCW campus


  • Co-author, with Dr. Richard Huber, Hands On Science (Instructional Fair Press, 1995): A book of middle school science activities.
  • “Talking with the Parents of Advisees” The Mentor, July 2003
  • Brochure, website and other communications for UNCW’s Cornerstone Learning Communities program, 2002-2006
  • Marketing materials for UNCW’s Freshman Seminar program, 2006
  • Co-author, with Dr. Cynthia Burnett, of numerous pet health articles in the Pender Post and Dog Living
  • Numerous articles on rural living in The Chronicle of the Horse
  • “Dear Sponsored Child” Wilma, July 2008
  • “Symbols of Sacrifice” Wilmington Star-News, October 2008
  • “Rosenwald School Reflections: Documentation & Preservation” Amazon, January 2014
  • “Under the Kudzu” Cape Fear Living, February 2017
  • The Other George Davis” Port City Daily, March 2019


  • Film showing: “Sharecrop” premiere at UNC Wilmington, November 2016
  • Talk/professional development for educators, Pender Early College High School, October 2016
  • Film showing: “Carrie Mae: An American Life” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference Rosenwald Schools conference in Durham, NC, June 2015 
  • Conference Presentation: 2013 Rosenwald School Conference at UNC Wilmington, “Oral History: Pedagogy and Effective Teaching Practice in Schools for African Americans” (co-presented with Dr. Donyell Roseboro) March, 2013
  • Film showing: “Under the Kudzu” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference at Tuskegee University, June 2012
  • Film showing and talk: “Under the Kudzu” at Brunswick County Community College, May 2012
  • Film première: “Under the Kudzu” at UNC Wilmington, April 2010 (première co-sponsored by UNCW Department of History and the Office of Diversity)
  • Conference organizer and presenter, “Rosenwald School History Awareness Conference”, November 2009
  • Talk and film presentation “Rosenwald Schools: Connecting Generations” for Taking Education Skills Seriously (TESS) an education non-profit June, 2009
  • Talk sponsored by Historic Wilmington Foundation “Discover Rosenwald Schools” May 2009
  • Talk at Pender County Libraries “History and Impact of Rosenwald Schools on Pender County” February 2009
  • Co-presenter, “Rosenwald Schools Revisited”, Preservation NC conference, October 2006
  • Co-presenter, “Cornerstone Learning Communities at UNC Wilmington: A Story of Collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs” First Year Experience conference, February 2006
  • Co-presenter, “Integrating Physics and History in a First-Year Learning Community” American Association of Colleges and Universities conference, October 2005
  • Poster Presentation “Learning Communities at UNCW” National Learning Communities Conference, November 2004
  • Co-presenter, “UNCW Cornerstone Learning Communities: Building Bridges” North Carolina Housing Officers and NC College Personnel Association conference, October 2004


  • Writer and director, “Under the Kudzu”, a feature-length documentary about two historic Rosenwald schools in Pender County. Premiered April, 2010 at UNC Wilmington. Winner of 2102 Cape Fear Independent Film Festival Director’s Choice Award
  • Director, Seeing it in Color: Remembering the Canetuck Rosenwald School, a brief documentary about an historic African-American school in Pender County, NC, made in collaboration with Pender Early College High School students. This film was a “Featured Selection” at the 2009 Cine Noir film festival
  • Director, Exit 408: Passing through Pender, a brief documentary of oral histories about life during the Depression in Pender County, NC, made in collaboration with UNCW students and AP US History students from Heide Trask HS- 2006

Areas Of Expertise

  • History
  • Leadership
  • Publications
  • Curriculum Design
  • Editing
  • Nonprofits
  • Film Showings and Talks
  • Public Speaking
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Community Outreach
  • Higher Education
  • Grant Writing
  • African American History
  • Workshops on Creating Learning Communities
  • Workshops on creating oral history projects with students