Amy Locklear Hertel, Director

Amy. headshot1 Amy Locklear Hertel is Director of the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally from Fayetteville, N.C., she is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a descendant of the Coharie Indian Tribe. Amy also has an appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Social Work.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at UNC Chapel Hill in 1997. While at UNC, she served as president of the Carolina Indian Circle and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece. She was also one of the four founders of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc., the country’s first American Indian Greek letter organization.

Previously, Amy served as a project manager at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, where she completed her doctoral studies. She also earned her master of social work and law degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. In her life as an attorney, she served as a corporate attorney for five years in St. Louis where she focused on mergers and acquisitions as well as securities filings.

Her area of study is asset building in tribal communities as a means toward tribal self-determination. Amy has experience working in Indian Country with asset building, grassroots giving, capacity building, and community based participatory research. As a tribal citizen, professional, daughter, wife, and mother, Amy is dedicated to serving her communities.

Amy serves on various boards and committees in North Carolina, as well as outside the state. Her service includes the G.A. Jr. & Kathryn M. Buder Charitable Foundation and the North Carolina American Indian Health Board. She also serves as a Co-Chair for the Chancellor’s Task Force on UNC Chapel Hill History. Amy lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, Johann, who is faculty at the UNC School of Medicine and works as a pathologist at UNC Hospitals, their daughter Ava, and son Ahren.

Office: 919.843.4189; Email:


Randi R. Byrd, Community Engagement Coordinator; Healthy Native North Carolinians Network Coordinator

Randi R. Byrd is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She serves as Project Director for the Healthy Native North Carolinians Network. Ms. Byrd works closely with American Indian communities in North Carolina around health and wellness through a holistic community lens, community grassroots organizing that values indigenous ways of knowing and practices, facilitating and promoting tribally-vetted and culturally appropriate curricula on NC American Indians, affirming tribal self-determination in sustainable planning and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships that strategically and meaningfully strengthen communities. Ms. Byrd serves as mentor through the American Indian Center for students and Ambassadors particularly interested in opportunities to give back to their communities through service. Randi serves on UNC’s Food For All Academic Theme Committee and is a Safe Zone certified contact for the Center. She is also a sister of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. Her hobbies include growing competition-sized giant pumpkins, fishing, and writing.

Office: 919.843.5927; Email:

Christina S. Theodorou, Community Engagement Coordinator; NC Native Asset Coalition Project Director

Christina. croppedChristina Strickland Theodorou is the NC Native Asset Coalition Project Director. A graduate of UNC-Pembroke, Christina has 12 years’ experience advocating for and working with American Indian populations in North Carolina. Having grown up in Charlotte in a family of small business owners, Theodorou grew up surrounded by native community members of Metrolina Native American Association. While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she was an active member of the Carolina Indian Circle, and served on the powwow planning committee, and was the first chair of the UNC American Indian Arts Festival. During Theodorou’s sophomore year, she envisioned an American Indian women’s organization on campus to help with retention efforts of native female students, and is one of the founders of  Alpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc. Over the past 15 years, Theodorou’s professional experience has been in tribal communities has been with the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, Guilford Native American Association, LRDA and the NC Indian Economic Development Initiative in program management.  Christina has a deep rooted sense of utilizing available state and local resources. In mobilizing the social, economic and political engines of North Carolina, Christina believes it necessary that the American Indian experience of the state become a viable voice and part of UNC via the American Indian Center, as well as an important asset and expression of culture in North Carolina. Theodorou is married to Ioannis Theodorou, and has two children Chrisoula and Athanasios. She loves engaging in art, dancing and singing at traditional gathering, and traveling to meet others in the various communities on the planet. She believes that being tribal is a way of thinking and in the hearts of those who remember the traditional ways of family, community, reciprocity and balance.

Office: 919.962.5528; Email:


 Teryn E. Smith, Research Manager & Grant Administrator; Sacred Hoop of Native Health & Wellbeing Program Manager


headshotTeryn Smith, an enrolled member of the Sappony Tribe, currently serves as Research Manager and Grant Administrator at the UNC American Indian Center. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the UNC Chapel Hill in 2013 with a double major in Psychology and Anthropology and a minor in American Indian Studies. Teryn also earned her Master of Social Work degree from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2016.  She has been working with Native communities evaluating the use of Talking Circles as a culturally appropriate intervention to improve health and wellbeing and manages the AIC’s Sacred Hoop of Native Health & Wellbeing (SHHAW). Teryn also developed the Center’s NC Native Education and Information Initiative, a culturally-appropriate curriculum and related materials to increase awareness and inclusiveness of American Indians in NC K-12 school curricula. She was a graduate of the Center’s inaugural class of the NC Native Leadership Institute. Teryn serves her tribal community through the Sappony Heritage Youth Camp committee as well as the Sappony 5K Trail Run committee and is a sister of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc.

Office: 919.962.5530; Email:



Qua Lynch, Native Student Engagement Coordinator

Office: 919.843.5928; Email:


Jillian Ransom, Administrative Support Associate


Office: 919.843.4189; Email: