True Blue: Meet Hanan Awel


Duke Class of 2017, what’s up?!

First off, a big CONGRATS for getting into Duke! You made not only a wise decision, but also the best decision. These next four years will challenge you like you’ve never been challenged before. GET PUMPED!

My name is Hanan Awel, and I am originally from Washington, DC. I am a rising sophomore planning to double major in Global Health and Public Policy with an International Comparative Studies minor. I am very interested in international development, social justice issues/human rights, and infectious diseases/health disparities. I have no idea where the road ahead is going to take me. What I do know is that I want to be a mover, a shaker, and a change agent. Wherever I go, I just want to be 100% happy and beyond satisfied with my life and career.
The summer after my freshman year, I had the rare opportunity to travel to Kenya in order to conduct health research and teach English, science, and math at several primary schools. I was able to do this though the DukeEngage WISER program. Through this program, I was able to get a glimpse into the lives of young girls who strived to overcome the impossible (yeah, I’m talking about those amazing WISER girls), learn about the Masai warriors who must hunt and kill a lion before becoming a true warrior, and even jog with an 80 year old woman around Muhuru Bay. These experiences will forever stick with me. It was in Kenya where I completely changed my prior career plans—Kenya shook my world, changed my world. I highly recommend applying to be a part of any of the DukeEngage programs. If you want any advice or suggestions before applying, please let me know!

I am so excited to be a part of the True Blue cast! I believe that the health and well-being of a college student is of upmost importance—especially at an academically rigorous school like Duke. It is so crucial to be able to recognize that there are services available on campus for students who have stress and anxiety issues, depression, or even body image issues. What my job is, and with the help of the incredible True Blue cast, is to showcase the many programs and services that Duke provides for all the students at Duke.  I believe that you can’t function efficiently at an academically demanding school like Duke without being healthy first. Balance is also key and can be difficult to find at Duke. However, with a lot of planning and time, you can ultimately have the best college experience at Duke.

Here are some cool facts about me:
- I was once three feet away from First Lady Michelle Obama and even closer to Joseph     Gordon Levitt. First Lady Michelle Obama made eye contact with me, and it still gives me the     chills.
-  My brother and I are first-degree black belts. HIYAAAA!
-  I am the first person in my entire family to be born in the good ‘ole USA
-  I come from a dual-faith household

Here’s one piece of advice I have for you all: do not be afraid of change. You may change your career path, your friendships, or your interests. It’s all a part of life, so make sure you are willing to be flexible. In the end, everything always works out.
If you ever have any questions about life at Duke or just want to chat, feel free to contact me!

So excited to meet all of you!
Hanan Awel