Alumni Magazine Articles




September 29, 2020

Writer:

Phil Tinari

He appeared on East Campus one tobacco-scented September morning in 1998, his reportorial concentration rendering him as inconspicuous as a man in a bright white suit and spats can be. At the front of the sun-drenched, wood-floored classroom, history professor Ronald Witt (1932-2017) taught Petrarch and Bruni to a few dozen rapt undergraduates. At the back sat Tom Wolfe (1930-2018), scribbling away in a steno pad.

September 29, 2020

An art professor from the local college, having seen my kindergarten drawings, sought out my mother at a PTA meeting. The professor told her I had an innate talent that should be nurtured. We didn’t have the resources for art classes, and by the time we did, I had filled my days with other things, including a degree from Duke’s School of Nursing and a family of my own.

September 29, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

A few of our stories of realization came to us as spoken words, not as writing or images. We’re sharing them here as part of our podcast "The Devils' Share."

September 28, 2020

I was studying in my freshman dorm, Gilbert-Addoms on East Campus. 

A table away, a guy sat, also glancing occasionally at the TV, so we struck up a tentative conversation. He had on a worn T-shirt of pastel greens, blues, and pinks with an unfamiliar name in script. I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce it, and since we were having a pleasant talk, I asked, “What’s that mean?”

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Stoney Portis

On October 3, 2009, more than 300 Taliban fighters overran Combat Outpost Keating, the outpost held by my reconnaissance troop of seventy-six cavalry scouts. During the eighteen-hour battle, the Taliban killed eight soldiers, wounded nineteen more, and burned our base to the ground. Describing my unit’s mission, President Obama asserted we had to “defend the indefensible.” This was the longest day of my life, but it only prefaced a struggle that has lasted for years.

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Erica Henry

This past May, as my immediate family gathered in my backyard to have a virtual high-school graduation for my middle son, eighteen years of memories rushed through my mind. It was at that moment that I realized my son had beat the odds and exceeded all the expectations that were made of him.

September 26, 2020

Turning points in life aren’t always recognizable. Sometimes they are a series of events, like mine, that last a year. The year I graduated from high school was a year of mini-revelations that were in fact harbingers of the life that lay ahead.

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Thalia Halloran

I can’t exactly pinpoint the day I realized I could no longer plan for my future, but it wasn’t long after I received an e-mail informing me that I could not return to campus. I was alone in New Orleans on spring break—a trip I’d planned months in advance. I had bought my plane tickets seven weeks ahead of my departure to ensure the cheapest prices, and I researched places to stay.

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Anthony Galanos

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the over-wrought heart and bids it break.”

Shakespeare, Macbeth, act 4, scene 3

Illustration of man on bench facing a wheelchair being held my medical person

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Ashon Crawley

Facebook Statuses

Monday, August 22, 2011, at 1:28 AM: 

“in pain. :-(”

 

Monday, August 22, 2011, at 8:31 PM: 

“tylenol pm means i’ll be out in 3-2-zzzzzzZZzzzzZzzzzzzz...seeyall tomorrow…lol”

 

September 26, 2020

It’s been four years, but it feels like it all happened yesterday. The first week of July 2016 was tumultuous. The nation was rocked by two killings of Black men at the hands of law-enforcement officials. On July 5, 2016, Alton Sterling died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after an altercation with police officers. Philando Castile was shot and killed the next day after alerting a police officer that he was legally carrying a gun.

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Mary Adkins

When I walked out of my law job for the last time onto bustling Madison Avenue in 2011, I knew I was taking a risk. The 80 percent pay cut didn’t fully capture it; I was giving up a set salary for the precarious, gig-to-gig life of a tutor, the same one I had lived in my twenties before law school. I would be without health insurance; I still had six figures of student loan debt; my Visa was maxed out from re-furnishing my entire apartment because of a bed-bug scare.

Nobel winner Bill Kaelin, along Boston's Charles River

July 23, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

BILL KAELIN LIKES A PUZZLE.

Not a crossword, not a Sudoku. You won’t find Kaelin playing Words With Friends, and Board Game Night was never a staple in the Kaelin household. A puzzle demands concentration. It demands focus; it requires you to pay attention to one thing at a time.

Two images by Fati Abubakar

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Fati Abubakar

From the minute I arrived in the United States from Nigeria as an international student, my instinct was to look for an African community—a restaurant, a mosque, an association. And in the African diasporic community, I found happiness, a sense of belonging. However, as a photojournalist, I wondered why so many of us Africans leave home. What was the pull to the United States or to Europe?

Black Duke employees and white Duke employees, segregated at 1946 holiday party

July 22, 2020

I am writing two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, as protests against white supremacy take place across the country. Many Americans are reckoning with the impact of racism, especially as it relates to American history. I, too, am reckoning with the past, especially here at Duke. There are hard truths to accept in a place where many people feel warmly embraced—a place that many of us love.

Homework

July 22, 2020

Years before COVID-19 turned the educational world topsy-turvy, Douglas Michelman ’82 was concerned about the “homework gap.” Michelman had joined Sprint as the chief communications officer in 2014, and because his portfolio included corporate responsibility, the CEO asked him to reimagine how Sprint could create social impact in a relevant way.

Develop[Her]'s Lauren Hasson

July 22, 2020

One day, a male peer pulled Lauren Hasson ’04 aside and complained to her about how little he was making. “I was stunned to learn that not only was he making exactly what I was making at the time, but he had been hired at 50 percent more,” says Hasson. “That’s 5-0—50 percent more than me—when I was at his level.”

Mychal Harrison

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Mychal Harrison

This issue, I’m lending this space to the new DAA president, Mychal Harrison ’01, who has a special message for all alumni. —Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president, alumni affairs

George Graham, Terry-Rene Wiesner Brown, John Gromada

July 22, 2020

Samantha Lowe was hoping to spend her summer at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. But when the rising sophomore learned that the internship would be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she logged onto Ask a Blue Devil to ask for help.

Retta

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

People who watched A Parks and Recreation Special, the one-off reunion show about the TV series’ characters coping with the COVID-19 lockdown (it ran in early May), knew they were seeing something remarkable. Sure, the laughs were there: The characters spent the half-hour special addressing their situation in the surreal and witty way that defined the show.

In 1967, protesters confront federal troops in Newark

July 22, 2020

Protests sparked by police actions. Anxiety over (invented) outside agitators. “Lawand- order” leaders drawn into competing crises. Media accounts—Newsweek, in one case—offering assessments that to be Black in America is to assume “that America is after all a racist society.”

Power Plant Gallery director Caitlin Kelly helps an artist install her work

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Janine Latus

Caitlin Margaret Kelly M.F.A. ’14 studies a photo of a back-to-the-lander teaching a younger woman how to aim a rifle, then slides it along the floor toward the center of a wall. Placed there, though, the gun appears to threaten the boy in the photo next to it, standing in his patch of poison ivy. She moves it again, but here it targets a decaying church, its steeple slumping into its sanctuary.

A damaged and abandoned sailboat near Beaufort

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

Memorial Day 2020 and Carteret County was as mobbed by tourists as Liz DeMattia has ever seen it.

blue mask

March 4, 2020

Writer:

Robert Bliwise

This issue’s long-planned cover story follows one researcher’s fixation on developing an AIDS vaccine. We could not have planned for what’s become a fresh global fixation, on the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. By late January, it had disrupted university-supported travel to China and had rejiggered the academic calendar at Duke Kunshan University.

The Common Wind

February 26, 2020

Writer:

David Menconi

Even when published in book form, academic dissertations rarely get much attention. But “The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution,” which earned Julius S. Scott Ph.D. ’86 his doctorate, is the rare exception. After its completion in 1987, “The Common Wind” attracted interest from a few publishers. But Scott was not prepared to undertake the revisions that publishers and he himself felt were necessary.

February 26, 2020

We asked Laura Huang B.S.E. ’00, M.S. ’01, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage, about why she believes you can flip stereotypes and obstacles in your favor.

On how her research reconsiders hard work:

February 26, 2020

PAUL SIEFKEN ’92 was terrified of the big shoes he would have to fill. Not the size nine, dusty blue sneakers that Mister Rogers always put on as he sang “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Something even bigger than that—Fred Rogers’ legacy. It was 2012, and Siefken, director of children’s programming at PBS, had just received a job offer from Fred Rogers Productions to head its production for a time and go on to be its next president and CEO.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

The Carpenter Reading Room on the third floor of Bostock Library is an “absolute silence area” during even slow times of the semester. An overloud cough can generate a stare, an unmuted phone chime, defenestration—for at least the phone.

Didn't read/Too long

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

ANIMALS AND MICROBES

Image of Central Campus construction, 1973

November 19, 2019

In May, students moved out of their Central Campus apartments for the last time. The buildings are now being razed, and the future of Central Campus is uncertain. Over its nearly forty-five-year lifespan as part of our university, the Central Campus apartments remained the same, but the vision for what they could be changed as the years passed.

images of various book covers

November 19, 2019

We asked Jason DeParle ’82, a New York Times reporter and author of A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century, about what he learned about global migration from following a family for thirty years.

Image of the 2019 MacArthur Fellowship winners

November 19, 2019

Jenny Tung ’03, Ph.D. ’10, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology, is among the recipients of a 2019 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (popularly known as the “genius grant”). Her research involves understanding how social and environmental adversity affects health and survival over the lifespan of an individual.

You were hooked on this field from your time in a freshman seminar, right? And that projected you into graduate school.

Picture of Peaches the cat, relaxing on Duke University campus

November 19, 2019

She usually sits on top of her house, or she runs around in the grass,” says Jonas Meksem. On an early fall day, the junior stopped by to visit Peaches the Calico Cat on his way to Pitchfork’s, a campus eatery. Meksem peeked inside her cat home.

No Peaches.

“I try to make visiting Peaches a part of my daily walk,” says Meksem. “It’s great because she’s everyone’s pet, and everyone gets to take care of her.”

Image of the Brodhead Center

November 19, 2019

A century ago, in the fall of 1919, America’s colleges and universities were on the cusp of their first great expansion. Prior to the First World War, fewer than 50,000 bachelor’s degrees and 1,000 doctorates were awarded annually in the U.S.; by 1930, those numbers would more than double. In 1919, the first postdoctoral fellowships in the sciences were established by the National Research Council with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation; these new programs would revolutionize research.

A headshot of NCMA director and Duke alumnae Valerie Hillings

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

When her phone rang last fall, France Family Professor of art, art history, and visual studies Kristine Stiles recognized the voice on the other end of the line. “Do you know who you’re talking to?” the voice asked.

“Of course,” she said. “Valerie.” Valerie Hillings ’93: student, research assistant, protégé, then friend and ultimately colleague, curator at the Guggenheim. A voice Stiles would never mistake.

An image of Duke alumnus Frank Konhaus and his wife, Ellen Cassilly

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

Early evening. A crowd of fifty or so mills around two levels of galleries and assembly space: a modernist house filled with visitors, the living room lined with folding chairs, the kitchen island covered with wine bottles, pimento cheese dip, ham biscuits, and fruit. Framed photographs cover every wall, and people leaf through books and read gallery guides left in easy reach on shelves and windowsills.

Image of children building a house of cardboard while monkeys place in box

November 13, 2019

Gummy bears. They reveal a sweet reality. Watch the video: A couple of three-year-olds are noisily negotiating a challenge cleverly arranged for them. They pull together on some ropes, thereby unsealing a big-box container and unleashing a flood of the candy treats. It doesn’t take much prodding by either partner to arrive at an equitable distribution; if one points out she’s gummy-deprived, the other will quickly correct the gummy imbalance.

August 12, 2019

Robert J. Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of medicine and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

What aspect of your current life would have most surprised your college-age self? That I became a scientist.

What’s the best thing college students can do to prepare for careers that may not even now exist? Get as rounded an education as possible. And make sure you are well-versed in computer science, whatever [your] major.

August 12, 2019

Writer:

Andrew Rosen

When I walk across Duke’s majestic campus, I’m sometimes lulled into thinking campus-based universities, beloved for centuries, might continue forever. Duke’s beauty and dynamism make it hard to imagine that the campus model of higher education is heading into long-term decline, to the point where a generation from now it will be the exception, not the rule.

August 12, 2019

It has been a great spring and summer in beautiful and historic Beaufort, North Carolina, my hometown. Hundreds of visitors daily have come to explore the glorious coastal ecosystem, just as they have every summer. Yet the normality is just surface. Beaufort is still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which struck the area just under a year ago. 

August 12, 2019

Writer:

Andrew McCabe

You might think that someone who spent twenty-one years conducting and overseeing FBI investigations would be inclined to look at the world retrospectively. A lifetime of trying to figure out what happened, after it happened, might have you constantly looking backward. An organized-crime figure is discovered dead—who did it, and why? Somebody set off explosives at the Boston Marathon—how did they do it, and where did they go?

But I know the past is only part of the story.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Nick Martin

A couple of weeks after I graduated, my editor at the independent blog company I had interned for over my junior-year summer called to offer me a full-time gig. This was about a month after a has-been professional wrestler nearly sued the entire company out of existence.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Drew Korschun

Watashi wa watashi-tachi mo mata kõei aru Nihonjin de-aru koto wo akumade shinjite-iru mono de-arimasu.

“I am, and all of us are, glorious Japanese, and I will believe that until the end.”

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Laura Knott

Eleven years after I graduated from Duke, I completed a degree at MIT, where focusing on the future is so normal that few people at the institute question it. I was steeped in techno-futurism, in the belief that it’s often best to leave the past behind. But I’m a gardener. I dig. And I think about how living soil is made, and how plants have evolved to sustain themselves—and how, for millennia, growing food has been a political act.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

I started writing seriously seven years ago, and sometime in the intervening period, I became a procrastinator. Missing a deadline is a terrible, deep pit: At first, it’s to be avoided at all costs, and then, once experienced, it’s something never to be relived. And yet, I catch myself following the same patterns, flirting with the same disasters.

August 8, 2019

I am the little girl at the end of a dirt road seldom traveled on. The curious mind who watched her grandmother weave rugs for eight hours straight, never tiring. The young soul who never understood the land she walked on was crying for help.

August 7, 2019

Writer:

Rana DiOrio

I was two months away from getting married to the father of my girls when the tech bubble burst, and I was laid off. I had a bull-market contract in a bear market, so my firm chose to pay my golden parachute and take the loss. I was utterly devastated. My solar plexus crumpled as if into a tight ball of aluminum foil. Despite the sizable amount of money in my bank account and imminence of the wedding of my dreams, all I could focus on was the loss. My reaction surprised me.

August 7, 2019

Writer:

Robb Chavis

 

The future doesn’t exist.

Don’t worry. I’m not trying to scare you. This isn’t some dystopian rant about how nothing matters. It’s the opposite. When I realized my future was just an idea I manufactured in my head, it helped me take bigger swings in my life. And I’m hoping my story will help you do the same.

August 7, 2019

When I approached the Army ROTC offices in the basement of the West Duke Building in 2002, my sophomore year, I had one purpose in mind—finding a way to stay in college. 9-11 was a fresh memory, but the prospect of war seemed distant and unlikely. I wanted to secure my future, and a degree from Duke was a major part of my plan. I needed a scholarship, and the Army seemed like my best bet.

A graphic of digits in computer code

August 7, 2019

Writer:

Jane Terlesky

I recently walked around the Duke campus with my eighteen-year-old daughter, her many possible futures spread out before her, each one, for this flash of a moment, an equal contender in the competition for her attention.

Moon Landing

July 16, 2019

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Tonight, take a moment to gaze toward the heavens and salute the moon. After all, it was fifty years ago this month that Apollo 11 launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and Neil Armstrong took his “small step.”

And, on the team it took to pull off such a historic feat were three Duke alumnae. Parrish Nelson Hirasaki ’67, Julie Isherwood ’68, and Lindsay Robinson ’67 all worked on the Apollo program. And by their telling, they had the time of their lives doing it.

May 17, 2019

There are parties and then there are parties—the kind of gathering that gets talked about with giggles and winks in a hungover haze. Apparently, in September 2008, there was a party at the Lofts at Lakeview on Erwin Road that neither Beth (formerly DeFrancesco) Hatef J.D. ’10 nor David Hatef M.B.A. ’09 attended.

Kristian Lum M.S. ’08, Ph.D. ’10

May 17, 2019

With the preponderance of available data has come a preponderance of concern about how the information is used and who possesses it. Kristian Lum M.S. ’08, Ph.D. ’10 counts herself among those concerned. And as lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, she’s in a position to help elucidate data use.

“A lot of my work touches on the ways in which data and machine learning may not work in the way you’d like or hoped,” she says.

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

WE ASKED

Jane Sherron De Hart ’58, A.M. ’61, Ph.D. ’67, professor emerita of history at the University of California-Santa Barbara and author of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life (Knopf), about what she learned about Justice Ginsburg from decades of research and countless interviews with her. De Hart received the graduate school’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

Ryan Bergamini discusses “community” to a degree that the combination of his face and the word has become a meme. On East Campus, he’s the senior making signs that encourage the first-years in the dorm where he’s a resident assistant to become TROUTs (Trinity Residents Organizing a Unified Trinity, with the slogan stating that “TROUTs swim together”).

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

Outfitted in someone else’s camouflage protective vests and helmets, preparing to walk the perimeter fence of a concrete motor-pool containment of the Third Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, a half-dozen Duke students give considerable thought to what might happen on their circuit. They’re on a simulation exercise helping the Special Forces figure out how to best get medical care and information to units as they fight, far from support.

May 16, 2019

Writer:

Anne Saker

Almost every advertisement for razors ever created captures the same moment. Towel around his neck, a man with morning stubble confronts his bathroom mirror. He is about to execute the manly act of shaving. But first, he locks eyes with his image.

May 14, 2019

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“I don’t understand why we don’t understand grief,” says Kimberly Holmes Wiggins ’02.

It’s a frustration both immediate and ongoing for Wiggins. On April 16, 2016, her husband, Rasheed Wiggins ’99, M.B.A. ’10, was killed in a still unsolved hit-and-run crash in Orlando, Florida. That was the beginning of a new title for her—widow. The label, she says, was hard to accept, hard to even verbalize.

February 9, 2018

During the search for his first internship, sophomore Kevin Ma hit a dead end. He had started off by going to career fairs, but came home only with swag. He stalked LinkedIn and job sites. He finally found his way to the Duke Alumni Association’s website—and there his career course shifted.

Ma logged into the new DAA alumni directory and began searching for alumni in his area. He messaged several dozen—and much to his surprise, nearly everyone messaged him back.

February 7, 2018

Writer:

Scott Huler

Steve Schewel ’73, PH.D. ’82 used to carry in his wallet a picture of Terry Sanford holding a bullhorn, addressing a crowd of students who in 1970 had staged a sit-in on the traffic circle. In the wake of the Kent State shootings two days before, Schewel, then a freshman, had joined the crowd that stopped traffic to protest the war and the shootings.

December 8, 2014

Brooks Bell’s analytics firm, Brooks Bell Inc., which she founded in Raleigh in 2003, focuses on testing and optimization for companies such as Adobe, American Eagle Outfitters, American Express, AOL, and Brooks Brothers and is the first agency to focus exclusively on digital experimentation. Bell, who majored in psychology at Duke, also cofounded ThinkHouse and HQ Raleigh, two residential entrepreneurial communities in Raleigh that support the growing startup ecosystem.

September 30, 2014

Last spring, the Sanford School of Public Policy developed a new strategic vision intended to spark political engagement, broaden students’ experiences, and boost the school’s influence across the country and around the globe.

September 30, 2014

Writer:

Louise Flynn

After taking professor Helen “Sunny” Ladd’s core public policy course, Aliya Pilchen ’13 was eager to sign up for another class taught by Sanford’s foremost expert in education finance. But there was one problem: Pilchen was only a junior, and the class she had her eye on was offered to graduate students.

September 29, 2014

When David Shiffman ’07 applied to Duke in 2002, he wrote his application essay about the first time he swam with sharks. The then-landlocked Shiffman, who grew up in Pittsburgh, included an anecdote about consoling his father before his dive into the deep with an eleven-foot tiger shark—“Don’t worry, Dad; they don’t usually eat people.”

September 26, 2014

Writer:

Michael Penn

At first the idea seemed pretty half-baked. Come back to Duke for thirty six hours, the pitch went, and let’s see what happens. But when Christopher Scoville ’05 received the invitation in the fall of 2013, he focused less on the nebulous agenda and more on who was driving it.

“When Tony says, ‘I’m starting this new thing,’ you say yes,” says Scoville.

September 25, 2014

The foothills are alive...with the sounds of creaky wooden porches, husky train whistles, and tobacco plants being scythed. These sounds are stored in the Sonic Dictionary, a digital archive of acoustics hosted by the Audiovisualities lab at Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute. It’s a kind of “Wikipedia of sound,” according to English doctoral student Mary Caton Lingold, who conceived the project.

September 25, 2014

You’re an outsider who needs to operate as a n insider in a pretty confusing setting, a setting that, for a couple of years, will impose all sorts of expectations on you. Lots of obstacles for you to stumble over. Lots of rituals and routines to sort out.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

Despite a broken air-conditioner in her classroom and spending ten hours (and counting) on her feet, Laurel Burk ’13, M.A.T. ’14 is feeling pretty good about the first day of school at Durham’s Northern High School.

September 25, 2014

As NBC’s Parks and Recreation comes to an end, we asked the comedian, actress, and renowned Tweeter @unfoRETTAble to fill in our blanks.

When I first arrived at Duke, I was…

August 1, 2014

The trigger of your senses can often prompt specific memories. For Tracy, it’s a particular piece of music that brings thoughts of the place she once called home.

Produced for The Short Audio Documentary course taught by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies.

July 30, 2014

Charles Taylor ’15 presents a visual guide to his time at Duke.

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 22, 2014

Writer:

Michael Penn

Kimberly Blackwell ’89 could have gone about anywhere to begin her career as a pioneering breast-cancer doctor. After graduating from the Mayo Medical School in 1994, she chose to come back to Duke. Now a clinical oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute, Blackwell is regarded as one of the top breast-cancer researchers in the country.

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Jacob Tobia

The cashier at the Dollar General gave me a somewhat confused glance as I checked out, looking at me with a combination of perplexity and shyness. He did not quite understand what my purchase would be used for, but he also seemed too shy to ask. And so, without explanation, I paid for my item and left.

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Clem Richardson

"It was a rough time for us, when they accused our boys of that heinous crime.”

We were in a midtown Manhattan hotel conference room in 2007, attendees at a Duke University Black Alumni Connection meeting, my first. I thought I had misheard the speaker, an impassioned former Duke athlete who by the end of his speech had pledged $60,000 to either DUBAC or the Reggie Howard Scholarship Fund—I no longer recall which.

But his words I never forgot.

Erik Goodge (photo by Justin Lubke)

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Sabrina Lee

Sitting a comfortable distance from the U.S. military conflicts abroad, I had envisioned “coming home” as both a welcome departure from the battlefield and a new beginning for returning veterans. However, my perspective shifted upon interviewing one of the subjects from my first documentary.

July 18, 2014

Here’s a slice of my personal life that will be familiar to many readers: a home-renovation project that stretched out for almost a year. Now the chaos of all that carpentry equipment has been cleared away. There are snazzy light fixtures, new floors and countertops, energy-efficient windows, built-in shelves, shiny appliances.

April 29, 2014

More than 2,000 students have participated in DukeEngage since it began in 2007. The program, in which students serve a domestic or international community in need, has become a Duke hallmark. So, it might surprise you to know that forty years before DukeEngage launched, Duke had developed an immersive community- service program based in Durham.

April 29, 2014

Kara Medoff Barnett ’00 began taking ballet classes at the age of three and entertained the idea of becoming a professional dancer before she was sidelined with an injury in high school. By the time she arrived at Duke, she had switched her sights from arts to medicine, taking pre-med courses and volunteering with the student-run Emergency Medical Services group.

April 29, 2014

Read more about these alumni who recently returned to give back to Duke students through mentoring, lectures, and words of wisdom.

April 29, 2014

Duke senior Martin Shores’ grandmother made a mean steak. She had a way with food, transforming basic ingredients into delicious dishes, he says. Like a tasty carbonara pasta sauce, “which I still need her to teach me to make,” he adds.

April 29, 2014

Paulie Harraka '12 is an independent racecar driver and founder of Paulie Harraka LLC. He focuses on breaking the mold in NASCAR with a unique group of investors. As a former representative of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, Harraka eventually hopes to use his company to help underrepresented drivers reach NASCAR.

Can pills crush the pain?

April 28, 2014

Writer:

Taylor Sisk

Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in the Duke School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, offers an analogy for perceptions of mental health. “There’s this continuum between night and day, and there’s this moment, dusk, where you can’t really tell the difference between night and day.” Dusk suggests that there is no absolute of either; that it’s a question of degree.

Design for a Duchess

November 19, 2013

In 1942, the incoming freshmen arriving at the Woman’s College were offered a simple stapled pamphlet titled Social Standards. This document, produced by the Social Standards Committee of the Woman’s College Student Government, offered advice on how to behave, dress, and act at Duke. It included regulations—including four involving

Spotlight

November 19, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

Shirley Fulton J.D. ’80 and Robert Bridges Ph.D. ’79 are among the twelve individuals selected for North Carolina’s 2014 Heritage Calendar, which honors contributions to the African-American experience in the state. In conjunction with the calendar’s release, the N.C.

Matt Koidin

November 19, 2013

Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president for alumni affairs, talks with Matt Koidin M.B.A. ’05, co-chair of DukeGEN and chief technology officer of Pocket.

SW: How has Duke become more interested in entrepreneurship?

Duke medal

November 19, 2013

While service to others—and one’s alma mater—is reward enough for most volunteers, the Duke Alumni Association’s awards program recognizes the contributions of alumni who have gone above and beyond. These include:

November 19, 2013

Whether you’re navigating the early stages of your professional career, experiencing a major life transition, or pursuing deeper engagement with issues that matter to you, the Duke Alumni Association’s 2014 Women’s Weekend promises insights, inspiration, and expert advice.

Lemkin postwar. Arthur Leipzig

November 14, 2013

This is how you mend a broken world. A war-crimes tribunal presses a genocide charge, some decades later, against the leader of the Bosnian Serbs. The president of Sudan, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur, where violence broke out in 2003, stirs embarrassment and angst with his plan to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Bangladesh sentences a former lawmaker to death for the mass murder of Hindus during the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Photo by Megan Morr

November 14, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

On a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon in late September, the Duke women's varsity soccer team trails Virginia Tech 0-1. Seven minutes into the second half, forward Kelly Cobb '15 falls to the field clutching her right leg. Cobb is considered one of the best goal-scorers in the country; she played on the 2012 U.S. World Cup team that won the gold in Japan. But she’s also been plagued by injuries that have warranted surgery, physical therapy, and rehab.

Lacey Chylack/Chris Seward.

November 14, 2013

Writer:

Barry Yeoman

Under a moonless sky in the North Carolina mountains, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate named Terry Sanford stood on the steps of the Henderson County courthouse and made a proposal that seemed audacious for 1960. It had been a stinking hot May day, but the night was cooling rapidly, and 350 voters had shown up to hear this former FBI agent and World War II paratrooper describe his vision.

November 12, 2013

Writer:

Elissa Lerner

Phil Haus ’08 wants to pheed the world. More specifically, with Pheed—the new all-in-one text, photo, video, and audio social network—he wants to change the social-media landscape. The app, which debuted in November 2012, was dubbed “the social-media company of the year” by Business Insider.

November 12, 2013

In her first documentary, The Lottery, director-producer Madeleine Sackler ’05 explored the controversy surrounding the role of charter schools in America’s public-education system. Now she’s turned her lens to protest art and political tyranny in Eastern Europe.

Menu

November 12, 2013

Tourists bring them home as travel keepsakes. But for ecologists tracking fish populations, menus are serving a wider purpose.

Menus taken as souvenirs from seafood restaurants in Hawaii have helped a team of researchers glean important insights into the historical trajectory of the state’s fisheries.

A critical part of that history—a span of forty-five years in the middle of the twentieth century—is obscured by the lack of official records.

November 12, 2013

Writer:

Oshri Hakak stood on the banks of the Ganges River in March 2012 and watched the lifeless bodies burn. He stood where countless others have stood through the ages, witnessing the sacred Hindu ritual that releases a person’s eternal soul from his or her earthly existence. For a young man pondering his place in the world, the stark reminder of human mortality and the enduring quest for spiritual transcendence was profound.

November 12, 2013

The popular perception of plastic is that it’s not the most resilient material we have at our disposal when it comes to wear and tear.

Turkey

November 12, 2013

About a month before students were slated to land in Turkey last summer, the city of Istanbul erupted in a fury of protests. What began as a peaceful sit-in to oppose the demolition of Gezi Park soon morphed into large-scale demonstrations and indiscriminate police violence.

November 12, 2013

During the second quarter of this year’s football homecoming game against Troy University, Michael Holyfield ’79 finally got the respect he deserved. The first African-American Duke Blue Devil mascot was given a letterman jacket by the athletics department.

“We wanted to honor him and the historical contributions he made,” said Jon Jackson, associate director of athletics for external affairs, in a statement.

November 12, 2013

Even Blake S. Wilson B.S.E.E. ’74 is in awe of the cochlear implant, and the electrical engineer is one of the core developers of the device. “Most of today’s implanted patients can understand everyday speech with hearing alone, without lip reading—many in noisy environments, some even on the telephone.

Provost Peter Lange

November 12, 2013

He’s a political scientist, yet when folks seek to describe Peter Lange in his role as provost, the word most often used is “architect.” And so, as he prepares to step down in June 2014 and design the next chapter of his life, Lange is being lauded for the relationships he helped forge, the global bridges he helped champion, and the campus growth he helped spur.

Photo Lesley Jane Seymour ’78

September 19, 2013

SW: What made you decide to attend Duke?

LJS: I had gone to a boarding school that was a feeder school for Wellesley. But I wanted to take a different route. When I visited Duke, I looked up Chapel Drive, and I said to myself, “This is what college is supposed to look like.” 

Photo of Max Kramer

September 19, 2013

WHOMax Kramer

Image of basketball hoop

September 19, 2013

Writer:

Bill Wheeler

In February 2002, Bill Wheeler M.B.A. ’93 decided to treat family friend James Suttenfield to a Duke home basketball game. Wheeler had grown up playing with Suttenfield’s son, and the elder Suttenfield had become a mentor after Wheeler’s father died. Wheeler knew Suttenfield had been awarded three Bronze Stars during World War II and had gone on to play varsity basketball at the University of Richmond.

A photo of the pages of a book

September 19, 2013

Sosin scrutinizing papyri

September 17, 2013

The ancient and the modern come together in a new appointment at Duke. In July, Joshua D. Sosin Ph.D. ’00, an associate professor of classical studies and history, became the director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of Duke University Libraries. More impressive: Sosin is the first tenured faculty member at Duke to have a joint appointment in the library and an academic department.

Photo of a spotlight

July 26, 2013

Laine Wagenseller ’90 felt helpless when he first met Adolf Baguma during a service trip to rural Uganda. Orphaned as a young child, Baguma had suffered debilitating burns when a teenage aunt threw scalding banana leaves on him as punishment for trying to get food. Baguma couldn’t walk upright—his legs were twisted by fused scar tissue—so he got from place to place by scooting himself along on all fours.

Blake Byrne ’57

July 26, 2013

Writer:

Sterly Wilder

Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president for alumni affairs, talks with Blake Byrne ’57, the Alumni Distinguished Award winner for 2013. Byrne recently stepped down as chair of the advisory board of the Nasher Museum of Art.

Image of brain shaped like a heart

July 25, 2013

On the HGTV show House Hunters, prospective buyers choose from several home options. The final decision comes down not just to cost, but also to the emotional investment potential homeowners have in a particular property. That link between emotions and perceived value is powerful—and Duke researchers have discovered why.

July 25, 2013

It may be quiet on campus, but the $3.25 billion Duke Forward campaign has kept activity humming during the summer.

First, trustee emeritus Morris Williams ’62, M.A.T. ’63 and his wife, Ruth, pledged $5 million to Duke athletics. It’s the fourth commitment of $5 million or more to athletics since last October.

Scroth: Nasher leader. Photo by Chris Hildreth

July 25, 2013

Sarah Schroth, the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art, is the museum’s new director. Schroth has been serving as its interim director since November. She succeeds Kimerly Rorschach as the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the museum.

An expert on Spanish art of the seventeenth century, Schroth joined the Duke University Museum of Art—as it was then known—in 1995.

Happy day: graduates celebrate the end of one chapter, and the start of the next. Jon Gardiner

July 25, 2013

More than 5,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students were awarded their degrees during Duke’s 161st commencement in May.

Photo of a writing pen

July 25, 2013

Writer:

Our readers

Straightening Out Shooting

I read with interest “Straight Shooting” [Summer 2013]. Sadly one of Duke’s own was an early victim of gun violence in a school. Horace P. (“Buck”) Morgan ’70 dedicated his life to helping troubled youth, but lost his life in the 1990s in Georgia when he was shot by a student at school. Buck was one of the best people to ever graduate from Duke.

Image of an arrow

July 25, 2013

Growing up in New York in the 1970s, Michael Marsicano ’78, M.Ed. ’78, Ph.D. ’82 loved the English horn and the oboe. But with his sights set on medical school, he couldn’t see himself going to a conservatory. Instead, he chose Duke—a place known for training doctors that also had an outstanding wind symphony. Under the leadership of longtime music professor Paul Bryan, Michael went to Vienna with the Wind Symphony for a semester-long study-abroad program and concert tour.

© ER Productions/CORBIS.

July 24, 2013

Writer:

Damon Tweedy

One of my first patients as a medical intern was an avowed racist. Chester (a pseudonym) was a lifelong smoker and fan of Southern cuisine whose bad habits finally caught up with him. His body failing, he turned to our hospital for help only to find me, a black man, as one of the doctors entrusted to extend his life. The year was 2003, but for a time, it felt more like 1963.

Photos courtesy James Cannon Boyce.

July 24, 2013

Floating along Inle Lake in Central Burma, I lean over and run my hand through the warm water. As I do, my eyes never stop searching that one hill I came more than 10,000 miles to see. Most tourists, if they  choose to stop on the lake, will pause to take picture after picture of the fishermen, the floating villages, the temples, and the jumping cats. The engines to their boats then fire back up, and they head off, chattering away and comparing shots taken.

July 24, 2013

Writer:

Stephen Martin

In Letter to a Man in the Fire, the late writer and longtime Duke professor Reynolds Price ’55 makes an eloquent case for the existence of a caring God. He pauses at one point in this extended essay, which draws on his own nearly fatal battle with cancer, to acknowledge that his sincere hope for an afterlife “would seem lunatic to many of my university and writing colleagues.”

Building futures: Gates and participants at a Sure Start Project initiative to promote maternal and newborn health in India’s Kathghara Village. © Bill & Melinda gates Foundation/Barbara Kinney.

July 24, 2013

Writer:

Melinda Gates

One of the hallmarks of getting old, I'm told, is thinking that everything is getting steadily worse. I must still be young, then, because I am confident that Duke has gotten better since I was a student. I arrived at this conclusion this past May, when I returned to campus to deliver the commencement address.

Photos by Alex Maness.

May 21, 2013

How do Americans come together - and fall apart? That question fuels the works produced by Hoi Polloi, an Obie-winning New York-based theater collaborative.

50th logo

May 15, 2013

As part of the university’s 50th anniversary of black students at Duke, a number of regional events are setting the stage for alumni to explore the past and future of Duke’s commitment to issues of race relations and diversity.

Road Scholars: Hare, Moffitt, Strandberg, and Wallace share their expertise with alumni audiences. (Credits: Christer Berg, Razorfilms, Victor Strandberg, Alana Damron)

May 15, 2013

Although still in its pilot year, the Duke Alumni Association’s Faculty Fellows program already has been well-received. With enthusiastic buy-in from the initial class of fellows to growing demand from regional Duke chapters for continued intellectual engagement with the university, the initiative formalizes an integral component of the DAA’s Forever Learning focus.

Future champs: Ogelsby rallies a passel of All West Lacrosse players. Photo courtesy of Matt Ogelsby.

May 15, 2013

As East Coast-West Coast rivalries go, the quest to produce the nation’s top varsity lacrosse players is decidedly lopsided. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country, exploding at every level of play, from youth leagues to competitive high-school teams to clubs. Still, the country’s top athletes and colle- giate programs historically have been rooted along the Atlantic.

Engaging artists: Milazzo, right, in conversation with actor Willem Dafoe as part of the Film: Masters series. Credit: Oriel Pe'er/The Modern School of Film.

May 15, 2013

Robert Milazzo is a patient, persistent man. Back in the late ’90s, as he was figuring out how to break into the film business, he made it his mission to somehow connect with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright/screenwriter/director David Mamet.

Credit: Jessica Haye & Clark Hsiao

May 15, 2013

Writer:

Sean Flynn

Maurice Conway does not recall being particularly polite when the phone rang that first evening, and he had every right not to be. He was fifty-seven years old and retired because of a bad heart that had required doctors to splice veins around the clogged spots in his arteries, and he’d given up cigarette only five months earlier, which will make any man irritable.

Image of spotlight

May 15, 2013

 

Peng Shi '10 (Credit: Gretchen Ert/The New York Times/Redux)

Forever Duke logo

May 15, 2013

Writer:

Sterly Wilder


Sterly Wilder ’83, associate vice president for alumni affairs, talks with NBA star (and former Duke basketball standout) Grant Hill ’94, who now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.

SW: I was your pre-major adviser, and we met the first day you were on campus. Do you remember whether I gave you a hard time?

Photos by Donn Young

May 14, 2013

Andrew Fontanella could be forgiven for wanting to be somewhere else. At six foot three, with a tousle of curly dark-brown hair that adds another inch or two, he looms above everyone else in this cramped second-floor classroom in the generically named Medical Sciences Research Building on Research Drive. It’s 11:30 on a windy Wednesday morning in March, and Fontanella keeps an eye on the clock.

Duke Global Health Institute logo

May 14, 2013

Global health has grown from a certificate program in 2006 to a full major, albeit one offered only as part of a double-major program of study. The major offers students a multifaceted approach to global health challenges and is one of the country’s first liberal-arts majors in global health.

Looking homeward: Masaai tribe member Mepukori aspires to bring improved health-care services to her native Kenyans. Credit: Megan Morr.

May 14, 2013

Duke students traverse all sorts of distances before setting foot on campus, but few have covered as much cultural and geographic ground as Nash Mepukori.

Photo of Steven and Rebecca Jensen Scott

May 14, 2013

Sports medicine at Duke—a division of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery—will get a boost through a $20 million gift from Steven and Rebecca Jensen Scott. The gift will expand clinical and research program development, faculty recruitment and retention, and support for sports-medicine training, as well as providing support from the medical school. This is among several significant gifts for Duke Forward, the $3.25 billion fundraising campaign launched last September.

Cowan: a call to level the educational playing field. Credit: Jared Lazarus.

May 14, 2013

During a rousing keynote speech at April’s Reunions Weekend, U.S. Senator William “Mo” Cowan ’91 deftly combined the personal and political as part of the university’s “Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: Commemorating 50 Years of Black Students at Duke.” His talk in Page Auditorium touched on the legacy of African-American students at Duke, his own campus experiences, and the imperative of providing high-quality education for minority students.

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

Fifty years ago this fall, a black third-grader sat in the balcony of a Charlotte movie theater, segregated from the white children seeing the same movie, accepting as normal that his skin color meant he and his friends drank from separate water fountains, used separate bathrooms, rode at the back of the bus.

February 13, 2013

So you’ve settled into the bathroom for a few minutes only to realize—too late!—you have nothing to read. Bryan Silverman ’15 and his brother Jordan share your frustration. It’s why they started Star Toilet Paper, toilet paper with advertisements printed on recycled paper in safety-tested, vegetable oil-based ink (like common printed napkins). Don’t turn your nose up, though. The idea was compelling enough for Silverman to be named Entrepreneur Magazine’s “College Entrepreneur of 2012.”

February 13, 2013

As winter recedes, millions of Americans renew their pledges to eat better and exercise more. And hundreds of scientists work to discover the keys to make those efforts more successful. Here’s the latest on what Duke researchers are learning about maintaining a healthy body:

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Tim Lucas

For millennia, African lions ruled a seemingly boundless kingdom, a sprawling, unbroken stretch of savannah onethird larger than the continental U.S. But today, 75 percent of that vast savannah is gone, and humans are fast chipping away at what remains. And Stuart Pimm is worried.

February 13, 2013

LACROSSE: Lacrosse players Casey Carroll ’07, Jake Tripucka ’13, and David Lawson ’13 were selected in the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. The 18th overall pick, Carroll is pursuing a master’s degree at the Fuqua Business School after serving multiple tours of duty as an Army ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan.

February 13, 2013

For Aisha Taylor ’05, Duke provided a clear life-changing experience: a “Women as Leaders” course. The course was taught by Betsy Alden ’64, who spearheaded service-learning at Duke and is now an adjunct lecturing fellow in the Program in Education. Alden also helped start Duke Alums Engage, which plans service experiences for alumni in dozens of cities each year.

February 13, 2013

Steve Johnson M.H.S. ’02 is the new artist-relations’ manager for MerleFest, a four-day celebration of bluegrass, old-time music, Americana, country, blues, and rock. He’ll be in charge of selecting and scheduling the nearly 100 artists who perform on fourteen stages during the April event in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of Doc Watson, the American music legend who died this past May.

(All photos: Les Todd)

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Chris Vitiello

Ingrid Daubechies’ eyes dart down at her plate of mixed salad greens. She stabs a hefty chunk of endive hiding beneath an arugula leaf and chews it quickly. The words are coming fast now.

“We don’t get a three-dimensional map,” she says. “We have a much higherdimensional map. More like eighty. But I can only explain it in three dimensions.”

Walking meditation: Stone labyrinth at Duke Integrative Medicine (Credit: Jon Gardiner)

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

On Good Friday in 2009, Mary Ann Harrison made a phone call that changed her life.