Blog

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Thumbnail Shortly after the World Trade Center complex was completed, acrobat Philippe Petit tight-roped across the gap between the two buildings, a quarter mile above the New York City streets.

By Alex Shapanka

I’ve felt lost and overwhelmed countless times in college. Never because of academics. And rarely to the point of mental unraveling. You know those moments of frustration from the Orwellian Duke system, the backward social norms on campus, or just life in general. Pretty sticky stuff to navigate.

It gets exhausting constantly trudging through the muck. There were moments when I wanted to stop and just give up. Yet I’m still going, thanks in large part because of two individuals, Jordan Hale and Janicanne Shane. Both have had a profound impact on my Duke career and development as a person.

I met them early on in my freshman year. It was probably around late September 2009. Though my acquaintance with both came through my involvement in Duke University Union, they each impacted me in unique capacities.

Thumbnail On April 18, more than 60 students, faculty, staff, and alumni were recognized at the annual Duke University Student Leadership and Service Awards, the university’s most prestigious awards for leadership and engagement, recognizing individuals and organizations who have made a significant impact at Duke and beyond.