Center for Global Awareness Mission

The mission of the Center for Global Awareness is to bring a unique holistic approach and global perspective to its books, resources, and professional services about history, cross-cultural understanding and global topics for educators and students in grades 9 through university, inspiring learners to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to engage responsibly in the 21st century.

President Dr. Denise R. Ames

Denise & Nancy

Dr. Denise R. Ames draws upon her extensive teaching experience, varied personal experiences, far-reaching world travels, and careful research in developing an alternative, holistic, globally-focused approach to world history, the global economy, and significant global topics. She has over 30 years teaching experience in secondary schools, a community college, universities, professional development training, and public speaking. She has conducted professional development workshops in world history, globalization, and global awareness for educators both nationally and internationally. She is the founder and president of the Center for Global Awareness, author of four books, two forthcoming books, and blogs regularly for CGA. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

Director Nancy W. Harmon

Educator Nancy W. Harmon has been an educator for more than 30 years with a MA degree in multicultural education from University of New Mexico and certification in English and English as a Second Language. She has taught and developed curriculum in a variety of situations, including a community school on the Navajo reservation, teacher training for Peace Corps in Eritrea and Thailand, and an environmental management graduate program taught in English in Bangkok, Thailand. She helped implement a nationally recognized service learning program at an innovative charter high school. She is the author of International Folktales and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

The Zia Sun Symbol

The logo for the Center for the Global Awareness is based on the Zia Sun symbol. To us, it symbolizes that the global and the local are interconnected together in a dynamic relationship. With inspiration provided by Denise and Nancy, the logo was created by Daryl Fuller, Tijeras, New Mexico.

The Zia people of New Mexico regard the Sun as a sacred symbol. Their symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce newborns to the Sun. Four is the sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the four points radiating from the circle. The number four is embodied in the Zia peoples’ beliefs:

  • the four points of the compass (north, south, east, and west);
  • the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter);
  • the four periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night);
  • the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle years and old age); and
  • the four sacred obligations one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others).

The Zia Sun Symbol is featured on the New Mexico flag.

Board of Directors

Jim Knutson, M.A.

Susan Richards, PhD

Roger Harmon, PhD

Karen Kemeys, PhD


Jim Knutson is a veteran educator and food consultant. After many years in the classroom teaching alternative students and counseling, he turned to his passion of cooking and food consulting. Jim worked with a number of food companies specializing in high-quality vegetarian foods. He is known far and wide as a wonderful and creative vegetarian cook. He currently runs Desert Harvest a food rescue non-profit that organizes the distribution of surplus foods from different food outlets to needy families in the Albuquerque area. He also volunteers as a career counselor for teen moms and at the Albuquerque Animal Shelter. He, and his partner Denise, live in the north campus area of Albuquerque.


Susan Richards currently teaches history at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. She earned her PhD in Latin American history from University of New Mexico, and has taught there as well. Along with Latin American history, Susan teaches U.S. history and New Mexico history. In addition to serving on the board of CGA, she is also active in the union at CNM. Both Denise and Susan were history instructors at CNM when they met in 2003.


Roger Harmon is a cultural anthropologist who has done field research in Thailand, directed education programs for refugees in Asia following the Vietnam War, and served in several capacities with the Peace Corps, most recently as Country Director in Thailand. He now runs his own travel business, Worldviews2000, planning and directing cultural travel throughout SE and Central Asia.


Karen Keymes holds a PH.D in Language, Literacy, and Socio-cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her teaching career includes elementary and middle school in the Department of Defense Schools located n Germany and Japan, and teacher education (literacy and social studies) at the University of New Mexico. She has worked with the US Army as a contractor to develop and facilitate educational programs and community awareness of domestic violence & child abuse for overseas posts (Germany locations). Research interests include language acquisition and meaning-making, narratives of educational achievement through personal connections and identity formation, and the development of intercultural competence.