During Family Weekend, the Division of Student Affairs hosted its fall semester Duke Parents Advisory Council (DPAC) meeting. This group of dedicated and diverse parents gathers twice a year to provide Student Affairs leadership with feedback and counsel on a variety of topics. This semester’s topic was Faith, Spirituality, and the Academy.
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.
Every day on Duke’s campus, we are faced with a subconscious decision –the red pill or the blue pill?
Every semester, 56 Duke students take the red pill. They embark on a journey about which they know nothing besides the many controversial Chronicle articles and Facebook posts. This journey ‘Common Ground,’ is formally described as “a student-led diversity immersion retreat program dedicated to exploring human relations in personal and powerful ways. “
Life on East is different. These people are strange! They do crazy things like park in front of the building they work at. Boy, they are missing out on the half-mile hike some of us would take to the office back on West to the Bryan Center. I moved into the Duke Student Wellness Center (or DUWELL, for short.) in the Crowell Building on East Campus where I occupy the temporary satellite location that we’ve come to call CMA East. It is an interesting change. I work right alongside Tom Szigethy who is the Director of DUWELL along with Michelle Johnson, Maralis Mercado, Brittany O’Malley, and Dan Perry, the newest member of the DUWELL family.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009:
Today is the day of all days. Today is the day I find out if I got accepted into Duke University. What a rush! It is 8 a.m., and I run to my computer. As I open my email, I see that I have ONE message in my inbox: the senderâDUKE UNIVERSITY. Should I open it? I was bombarded with a flux of emotions. I was torn between the possible excitement of being accepted and the potential disappointment of being rejected. But I HAD to check. Here goes nothing: click... YES!!!!!! The email read:
"Dear Stephanie Amador,
Congratulations! The Admissions Committee and I take great pleasure in offering you a place in the Duke University Class of 2013â¦"
My name is Jason and I am a rising junior who is a Neuroscience major and Chemistry minor, but have always had a passion for wellness and healthy living, especially in the Duke community. This fall, I will once again be a part of the True Blue cast, though I am currently in Beirut, Lebanon with DukeEngage accomplishing some great strides in tobacco regulation and smoking cessation in the Middle East. The city here is absolutely beautiful and the food is delicious! I encourage all of you to apply to DukeEngage in the future; it’s a very enlightening, challenging, and eye-opening experience.