Tell us about yourself, Sarah:
Earlier this month, the Class of 2017 officially joined the distinguished ranks of Duke alumni. To mark this occasion, Jewish Life at Duke hosted our annual Jewish Baccalaureate â a ceremony celebrating their intellectual, personal, and Jewish journeys at Duke. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends traveled from near and far to give a resounding âmazal tov!â to the new graduates and wish them well as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs, offered the opening remarks. Dr. Moneta spoke about the value of âdoing Jewish,â which he defined as: remembering the Holocaust, leading an ethical and moral life, working for justice and equality, being intellectually curious, and caring about Israel. In closing, he encouraged the students to âdo Jewishâ in their own unique ways.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I am a graduate student from the western part of India, and I moved to the US in January 2017. I am here as a Mechanical Engineer, and I will stay here for another two years at least. Before coming to the US, I worked as a mechanical design engineer for a German company back home for a year and a half.
What made you want to come to Duke?
Because I couldnât get into MIT or Stanford! Well, Duke has one of the top ten best Mechanical Engineering schools in the world.
Jewish Life at Duke strives to make Passover at Duke a special time by providing multiple options for Seders. Students are more than welcome to attend a traditional, communal seder at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, or they may elect to attend one of the many student hosted Seders held across campus. Students are kindly asked to register for all Passover celebrations.
Passover celebrations at the Freeman Center:
1st Seder: Monday, April 10th at 7:15pm
2nd Seder: Tuesday, April 11th at 8:15pm
Matzah Brie Brunch: Thursday, April 13th from 5:00 – 8:00pm
Passover Shabbat: Friday, April 14th at 7:00pm
As the Center for Multicultural Affairs celebrates its 45th Anniversary this year, it is important to acknowledge that the center has come a long way with the support of students.
What a great semester it has been so far! The Polished Pebbles mentorship program at Duke University kicked off this year with a wonderful group of women of color spanning all four years at Duke and from a variety of backgrounds, all coming together with one purpose in mind—success at Duke and beyond. In collaboration with the Duke Women’s Center, we were welcomed to this year’s cohort with a networking event featuring food from all of our cultural backgrounds.
Diversity and Inclusion are values critical to Duke University. We are a community of students, faculty and staff of different demographic backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, income level, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. As educators we understand the importance of preparing our students to become members of a global citizenry whose workforce becomes more interconnected and interdependent with each new generation. In Student Affairs, one of our four strategic goals is to provide education in cultural competency so that students gain a consciousness, information and knowledge about world-views and perspectives different from their own. The opportunity to develop what many refer to as cultural fluency enables students to communicate, interact and engage effectively with people different from themselves.
Central Campusâs theme for this year; our one-word call to action is: SOLIDARITY. The concept of standing together in opposition to threats to the well-being and progress of our collective community. My hope, and this is where you come in, is that we as a campus can promote solidarity, in it's multidimensional nature, to the larger Duke and Durham community, and most importantly, to each other.
Have you ever thought about your identity? Do you think you are often stereotyped as someone from a group that you are thought to belong to? I think many people do not notice these identity questions until they are out of their comfort zone and they feel they get misunderstood; at least I have been exploring these questions since I am away from home. I wish I would learn more about myself and the perspectives from others from the “Identity” workshop this Thursday. The workshop was hosted by Assistant Director Paige Vinson. Our guest host Mr. Tyrone Jean, Assistant Director of Duke Center of Multicultural Affairs, tried to guide us to understand identity through some group activities.