Tabula Duke: Student Affairs News, Feb 2013


Dear Faculty and friends,

The theme for this month is "Student Engagement". That's a pretty broad concept and one that means very different things to different people. Most simply for us in Student Affairs, it refers to the multiple ways we invite and encourage students to be proactive about their Duke experiences. With hundreds of clubs, organizations and opportunities, ranging from the arts to community service, from politics to entrepreneurship, from literary expression to fraternal life, Duke students have no shortage of ways to connect, engage and lead.

And the opportunities don't stop there. Over the past several years, working closely with Dean Nowicki and many other faculty, we've worked towards a new definition of student engagement that embraces a deeper connectivity between the curricular and the co-curricular. Duke's introduction of programs like Duke Engage, The Winter Forum and many more all offer students wonderful opportunities to bridge the didactic and the experiential and, as we learned through the Duke Social Relationship Project, students who report strong feelings of academic engagement also report strong feelings of 'belonging', lower sense of 'loneliness' and more healthy behaviors with alcohol use, dating and more. (see the full report at: 

The new Duke House system, the recently announced Bass Connections program, the Innovations and Entrepreneurship program and so much more are all leveraging Duke's strengths in both formal learning and experiential education and we, in Student Affairs, couldn't be more excited to be part of that movement. Hardly a week goes by without a call inviting a new opportunity to partner on another engagement opportunity.

I invite all of you to consider ways in which we could augment your educational offerings with the opportunities we have through housing and dining, our health education and clinical programs, the numerous student clubs and organizations, our cultural and religious communities and more. 

I look forward to increasing our collaboration with Duke faculty and to showcasing the value of collaboration. As always, please feel free to write to me at with questions, ideas and reactions.

As Kirk would say: "Engage"!



DukeGroups. A Student's Experience
by Mandy Jiang
As a first year student, I was overwhelmed by the diversity of on-campus student organizations. DukeGroups Website has become the major portal to the various organizations that I am interested in. It is very easy to find organizations that match my interests. Read more.

Beyond the Numbers: A (Fall) Break From The Norm
by Kimberly McCrae
"I realized that by basing judgments about people off numbers (the statistics of 'illegals' who don't have documents) we take away the personal histories of this collection of people with different experiences.  It's like saying, 'You are just a number.  You are not who you think you are.  You do not deserve your own personality.  You are a number that I can manipulate as I please in an equation. I can reduce you. I can find your limits. I can eliminate you.' " When I first read the above statement, it brought tears to my eyes. Read more.

Duke Partnership for Service
Duke Partnership for Service (dPS) is the governance organization for student service groups, social action groups, and initiatives of all sorts. 65+ student-run service organizations are a part of dPS, and they range from involvement in education, health, the environment, and much more. The three main missions of the Duke Partnership for Service are to Support, Connect, and Inspire. Read more.

Duke Career Conference
The Duke Career Conference--formerly the Fannie Mitchell Career Conference--sponsored by the Career Center and the Duke Alumni Association will be held February 9 and will feature alumni leaders coming back to campus to give students insight and exposure to various career paths possible with a Duke degree. Networking is just one of the opportunities available to conference attendees. Read more.

Duke Authenticity Project
Your character is a lifelong project. Make it an authentic one. The Duke Authenticity Project asks you, the first-year student, to dig deep, discover, and explore your values and how they contribute to how you practice leadership. Read more.

PACT training
PACT (Prevent. Act. Challenge. Teach.) is an interactive, student-facilitated training sponsored by the Women's Center that aims to engage everyone in preventing gender violence on Duke's campus. PACT's goal is to reduce the incidence of sexual and relationship violence on campus by training participants to intervene in safe and creative ways, rather than standing aside as a passive bystander. Read more.

A Hazing-Free Environment
Each semester brings exciting opportunities for involvement and leadership in campus and community organizations, such as fraternities, sororities, selective living groups, and non-residential groups. During this busy time, we would like to remind you of Duke’s commitment to a hazing-free environment. Hazing is described as any activity (regardless of a person’s willingness to participate) that is harmful or potentially harmful to yourself or others. Learn more about Duke hazing policies, and what do to if you encounter questionable activity. Read more.

Leadership and Service Award nominations open
When you think of EXCELLENT LEADERS at Duke, who comes to mind? Nominations are now open for the University's most prestigious student leadership and service awards. These awards highlight the character, collaboration, and citizenship of undergraduate and graduate students and student organizations, as well as outstanding faculty, staff and alumni who help develop student leadership. Information, award descriptions and nomination instructions.

Don’t wait! Nominate and Make it Known!