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University Center Activities & Events

University Center Activities & Events

CLDSA From A Student's Perspective

Working at the Center for Leadership Development and Social Action this past year as a sophomore has been extremely engaging and eye-opening, and has been both a learning experience and really fun. Over the course of the semester, I helped coordinate and assist with logistics of most of the Center's biggest programs such as Framework Fridays, Leaders in Residence Lunches, Alternative Spring Break, and the Leadership and Service Awards. My duties ranged from small office tasks like emailing, making phone calls, and copying important files to more exciting things such as introducing and meeting some of the greatest faculty on campus to learning more about the importance of leadership and what it looks like at Duke.

My favorite project of the year was working on the Leadership and Service Awards, because of several different reasons. I appreciated how collaborative of an effort planning Awards was; every member of the student staff was working on a different aspect of the event, and the other Duke staff members' enthusiasm about the it made it a really enjoyable experience. The actual event was spectacular as well! Members of the student staff each hosted a different part of the event, from greeting and assisting attendees with registration, to working the technology to create and show the awards presentation, to MCing the actual event! However, the biggest reason why Awards was my favorite project of the year was because of the recognition that so many amazing students got for doing fantastic jobs in both areas of leadership and service here on campus. Even though not every nominee received an award, each of their resumés were equally impressive and inspiring. I was so happy that they received the recognition they deserved!

During high school, I was involved in a lot of different leadership organizations, and thought I had a pretty good grip on my definition of leadership. Over the course of working this position as a student staff member for the Center, however, I found that there was still a lot more to learn! I enjoyed working under the newly developed Leadership Framework which consisted of three components: Citizenship, Character and Collaboration. If I could offer one piece of advice for anyone practicing leadership (which should be everyone!) it would be to lead with those three components in mind.

As the Center continues to grow, I hope more and more students learn about what we do and even apply to work with us! There really is a lot to gain from working here, and the connections that you make with both the other student staff members and the Duke staff and faculty is truly amazing! Next year, the Center and its programs can only get better!

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CLDSA From A Student's Perspective

While working at the Center for Leadership Development and Social Action, I have gained a lot of knowledge about the inner workings of the University. My first set of CLDSA duties focused on familiarizing me with the Duke University Leadership Framework and the 3 C’s (“Character, Collaboration, and Citizenship to bring about positive Change”), which aligned very closely with my own goals as a leader. This similarity between the Center’s goals and my own originally came to me as a surprise, due to the fact that my view of leadership had been shaped by my seemingly disconnected life experiences (i.e. sports, friendships, and academia). After learning about the different departments of the University Center for Activities & Events (UCAE) and their functions, I went to work on spreading leadership knowledge and skills with the greater Duke community through open events such as Leadership Lunches and Framework Fridays.

As my experience as a student staff member in the CLDSA increased, so did my role in our office’s programming. In fact, there are two instances where my work in our office’s programming truly impacted me as a leader: the first was planning an event with the Duke Hazing Prevention Committee on January 31st, and the second was preparing awards for the Leadership and Service Awards on April 21st.

As the leader of a student organization on campus, namely, a Greek-lettered organization, there are many questions to consider in order to maximize the operating potential for the group. The CLDSA, in collaboration with the Hazing Prevention Committee, hoped to raise the question: “Do Good Leaders Haze?” During this Hazing Prevention Week event, students and faculty discussed instances of hazing on campus and beyond in order to reach an understanding about the practice, as well as to offer solutions to the issue. What I took away from this event was that, as a leader, one must constantly reflect on his own actions, as well as those within his tenure, to ensure that the ethics of any practice isn’t overruled by its perceived benefit to the organization. The event taught me that it is important to think critically of every action taken by the group, and not to follow any questionable tradition in blind faith.

Moving forward, a second example of work that has impacted me as a member of the CLDSA team was the preparation of awards for the Leadership ceremony in April. In actuality, this process consisted of washing rocks. As it was explained to me, one of the office members had the idea to clean and present awards in the form of “Duke Rocks” to certain Leadership and Service Award recipients; but as I was sitting in front of the stones, preparing my mental for a lovely Paleolithic manicure, I started to question what all of it was for…

Why am I working here?

What do rocks have to do with leadership?

How clean can a rock REALLY get?

Instead of taking the experience for granite (hehe), I chose to take the time to evaluate my situation. There are many people out there who hate their jobs; I was not one of them. In fact, I was more than happy to get my hands dirty for a job that I truly enjoyed. What is a good leader, if not someone who is willing to sacrifice the most for his group, without a complaint or ill-thought? The humility to carry out necessary tasks in such a manner is vital for the success of any leader in life, as well as within the organization. I came out of that situation with not just baby-soft hands, but also with a valuable experience that I could carry over into my life as a student, and as a human being.

Throughout these lines, I have detailed my experiences as a member of the Center, as well as implicitly listing reasons why any student would want to work here. With a friendly, vibrant staff and a welcoming atmosphere, the CLDSA is perfect for the rising student who would like to develop himself and others as leaders in their respective communities. Such opportunities make working at the UCAE Center for Leadership Development and Social Action the ideal choice for any student.


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CLDSA From A Student's Perspective

I’m Mary Wilson, a sophomore and I work in the UCAE Center for Leadership Development and Social Action. What I love about the job is that no two days are the same. Some days I promote upcoming events in the center on social media (hey! follow us on twitter @dukeUCAE). Other times I spend 20 minutes getting lost in hallways behind Griffith while trying to deliver a letter. Once I organized markers for an hour (super relaxing) and more recently I’ve spent many hours staring at spreadsheets and unwillingly memorizing the dinner choice of almost everyone who came to the Student Leadership Service awards.

A lot went on behind the scenes to make the Student Leadership Awards happen. Event planning is very involved. There’s the communication with the nominees that Lindsey handled flawlessly. Jessica made this pro-status slideshow. Phillip MC-ed the event and Brian and Felipe and Sonam and Abe all kicked ass in their own way  that I’m not completely aware of because I was too busy comparing qualtrics data. So, to actually make it to the Waduke and see the whole event unfold was pretty cool.

During the awards ceremony however I couldn’t help but think about what an awards ceremony actually is—an attempt to recognize and honor the leadership put forth by Duke students. I know some of the people who received awards and I know that it meant a lot to them to be presented with those awards. One of my teammates, Caroline Kiritsy, won the Baldwin unsung heroine award. In my opinion, she absolutely deserved it. This is a girl who (as it explained in the nomination process) helped to found the student organization, Athlete Ally (with the help of other awesome deserving teammates and other athletes). But what didn’t go mentioned is how she is also perusing the patenting process for one of her engineering projects. Or that she brings her A game to 6am practice after late night/early morning problem sets. Those witnessing the distribution of Caroline’s award couldn’t truly understand her patience or the positive attitude she brings while enduring freezing rain and mud. Overall, she is a person who has a strong desire and matched effort to make the people around her better.

At the same time, there were plenty of other students who are tremendous leaders and yet weren’t even invited to the awards ceremony. (I know this because of all those spreadsheets I looked at.) It’s important to acknowledge that while giving awards can be very rewarding, it is a flawed system of recognizing and honoring the leaders around us. This is not to belittle the effort put in by my coworkers and bosses, but just a reminder that the end goal of leadership is not and nor should it ever be a plaque or fancy dinner at the Waduke.

I think that it is sometimes easy to lose sight of what the real goals of leadership are and can be. Frist of all, leadership is not a just title, award, resume builder or especially ego builder. In fact, the best leaders I’ve seen have two things in common. Firstly they spend time with the people they are leading because they genuinely care about their wellbeing, and have respect for them. Secondly, leaders embrace doing the grunt work alongside of the people they are working with. Leaders also have a vision for the group and a sense of both grit and confidence in the organizations mission and goals. Leadership is a major buzzword and what it means in our society is in the process of changing and we at Duke can have an impact in that change based on not just our future careers, but our daily actions.  [more?]


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Announcement of Nominees

Congratulations to the following students, organizations, faculty and staff, who have been nominated to receive Duke University’s most prestigious campus-wide honors for leadership and service. Awards will be presented at the Duke University Student Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony on April 21, 2014.

Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award

Nicole Daniels
Nicholas Grace
Leah Mische
Noha Sherif
Jacob Tobia
Katharine Waldman

Baldwin Scholars Unsung Heroine Award

Caroline Kiritsy
Alexandria Lattimore
Karmyn McKnight
Hanna Metaferia

Faculty and Staff Student Interaction Award

Janie Long

Lars Lyon Volunteer Service Award

Emily Harris

Leading at Duke Leadership and Service Awards

First-Year Student
Ileana Astorga
Bryce McAteer

Sophomore Student
Daniel Kort
Isabella Kwai
Pranava Raparla
Jay Sullivan
Emma Zhao

Junior Student
Elisa Berson
Mariel Charles
Emily Feng
Elena Lagon
Joyce Lau
Jen Lunde
Viju Mathew
Janvi Shah
Aarti Thakkar

Outstanding New Student Organization
Duke Athlete Ally
Community Empowerment Fund (CEF)

Outstanding Established Student Organization
Mi Gente
Senior Class Council
Know Your Status
Duke Marketing Club
GlobeMed at Duke University

Julie Anne Levey Memorial Leadership Award

Hala Daou
Rinzin Dorjee
Steve Soto
Gary Yeh

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award 

Ryan Bartholomew
Hannah Ward
Edwin “Will” Woodhouse, III

Class of 2017 Awards
Carlton Adams
Elena Baldwin
Anna Bensley
Amina Bility
Tina Chen
Phoebe Donovan
Rinzin Dorjee
James Ferencsik
Lauren Hagedorn
Ben Hoover
Will Floyd-Jones
Raina Kishan
Leo Lou
Aishu Nag
Beatrice Pepera
Basil Seif
Lauren Shum

William J. Griffith University Service Award

Outstanding Contributions to the Duke Community
Lindsay Barnes
Li Chen
Robert Collopy
Danping (Donna) Dana (Sun)
Leilani Doktor
Valentine Esposito
Denzell Faison
Kristina Hallam
Andrew Hanna
Nikki Jenkins
Joyce Lau
Grady Lenkin
Derek Lindsay
Melina Lopez
Danny Nolan
Parker Poliakoff
Lillie Reed
Kyra Socolf
Nandini Srinivasan
Lynn Vandendriessche
Guang Yang

Outstanding Contributions to the Durham and Local Community
Grace Benson
Steven Blasner
Andrew Hanna
Eneka Lamb
Shane Stone
Emma Wilson

Outstanding Contributions to the Global Community
Joy Liu
Leah Mische
Craig Moxley
Jacob Tobia
Jessye Waxman

Student Affairs Distinguished Leadership and Service Award

Building Alliances through Collective Engagement
Kelly Bies
Steven Blaser
Andrew Hanna
Katie Howard
Anastasia Karklina
Anays Murillo
James Paul Senter
Remi Sun

Commitment to Diversity
Jacob Tobia
Rachel White

Demonstration of Integrity
Athidi Guthikonda
Andrew Rotolo

Expanding the Boundaries of Learning
Vishnu Kadiyala
Leah Mische
Nandini Srinivasan

Respect for Community
Andrew Hanna
Adriana Guzman Holst
Anays Murillo
Adam Rodriguez
Megan Stanford
Kristen Westfall

For more details, visit https://studentaffairs.duke.edu/ucae/leadership/leadership-service-awards

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Leadership Through Service (Leadership Lunch)

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On Location: Peru #DukeASB14

Hola Duke! We're reporting live from Peru with 12 amazing Duke students and two awesome advisors. We're squeezing a lot of experiences and adventure into a short amount of time and wanted to take a quick second to give a live update while we're here in action. Stay tuned for a full recap, but if you just can't wait until we get back home here are a few quotes from the ASB participants to digest as an appetizer.

"I do a lot of volunteering with the elderly at back home at Duke and I've really appreciated seeing the similarities and differences in volunteering with these two similar communities in different environments" - Trish Ike '15.

Returning to Peru for her second ASB, this time as site co-leader, Lindsey Olivere '15 said: "This time around I'm enjoying seeing everything in Peru as much as I'm enjoying seeing everyone else take part in this adventure".

"The people of Villa El Salvador are full of hope. They've come a long way and no matter the conditions they believe things will get better. Witnessing the leaders and people of this community has filled me with respect" - James Tian '15.

"It warms my heart to know that I've made a positive impact on the students of INABIF elementary school and hopefully I'll make a lasting impression" Brandon Watkins '14.

"Being immersed in a different culture has shown me the many differences and similarities between people but the individual interactions with the children of INABIF gives me hope that they will be able to dream big and reach new heights" Ritika Patil '16.

"I will forever be changed by the smiles and the laughter of the kids at my school. They were very welcoming and allowed me to enter their hearts and minds and I will be forever grateful" Marcus Benning '14.

We will have more ro talk about and share when we return. It's been an amazing week so far and we can't wait to share it with you.

-ASB Peru 

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Leadership Through Service

In this short life
That only lasts an hour
How much, how little
Is within our power.
             --Emily Dickinson

We often associate leadership with power, but there is also a notion of Servant-Leadership, in which one’s power is exercised in service, or acting for the common good.  Duke’s mission of “knowledge in the service of society” reflects this idea, and many of our programs and activities provide opportunities for students to “serve”—whether on campus, in the Durham community, or in the larger world.  Life, Short, Much, Little—every day we might ask, “How do I make today matter in the midst of all the things I have to do?”

Leadership through service is a deliberate way to cultivate many of the values students claim to want to develop in their goals for “improving the world,” “making a difference,” “becoming a good person,” “being a change agent,” or “following my passion!” Acts of service (or a serving orientation to life) take you outside yourself and your own little sphere to new communities and people who can teach you much about yourself, as well as about life as you do not know it.  And it IS “within our power” (i.e. LEADING your own life!) to find or create opportunities for this daily.

Service-Learning employs a reflection practice which helps us discover what matters, and what is within our power, as we describe, examine, and articulate our experiences.  Each of these steps can apply to any life experience, and I urge you to consider them in the context of your own efforts to “lead from within.”

Step One:   Describe.  Ask yourself, “What am I doing?”  (An internet guru recently said on NPR, “Attention is now the scarcest resource of all.”  So be intentional about objectively noticing what is going on in any particular moment (this is also called Mindfulness), and what details are significant—in your behaviors, attitudes,  the people you are with, the setting, how you are feeling. (This will, of course, require that you set aside your earphones and turn off your cell phone so that you can focus on the specifics!)  “I am sitting on the bus next to someone I don’t know and I am eager to get this next class over with so I can go to the gym.”  Or “I am tutoring a third-grader who can hardly speak English and I feel inadequate to help her learn to read.”

Step Two:  Examine. Ask yourself, “What could I be doing differently—or better?  How can I enlarge my world to embrace more of this moment/opportunity/challenge?  Why am I feeling uncomfortable
/happy/relieved/eager—or nothing?”  As you focus on this step, be aware of the responses that emerge—“I could start a conversation with a stranger.”  “I want to take a walk in the gardens.”  “I could make some picture flash cards for the child I am tutoring.”  I am resisting identifying my feelings because that might interfere with what I need to be doing.”  “I’d like to write a note to a former teacher.”  “I want to know more about the Durham public schools.”

Step Three.  Articulate. Ask yourself, “What have I learned from this experience—about myself, about other people, about the way the world works, about the way this school/organization behaves?”  Then, “How can I apply any new insights and understandings to other experiences and moments?” What can I change—in myself, my environment, my relationships—that enable me to exercise what is “in our power”-- and to “make a difference”?

The poets always say it best: 

Pay attention.
Be amazed.
Tell about it.
      --Mary Oliver

The DEAL model for Critical Reflection was developed by Dr. Patti Clayton and others, and can be explored more fully at http://www.ncsu.edu/cece/resources/deal_model.php.

Leader in Residence lunch and discussion with Dr. Betsy Alden
Noon - 1 pm
March 21st
005A Bryan Center


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