Duke leaders are the ones who stand up for the college community in good times and bad, inspiring others with a focus on values ââand progress.
The leaders on this year’s Chron15 list are educators, administrators and coaches who used their power for good as they held the community together during the pandemic, encouraged others to speak out, and worked tirelessly. to improve educational policies and outcomes.
Nolan Smith is the People’s Champion for more than just helping Duke to a national championship in 2010.
Smith cemented his legacy at Durham long before he was promoted to assistant coach this offseason, but his recent social justice work has taken him to a whole new level. The Maryland native held a Black Lives Matter protest in Krzyzewskiville in August, saying “it’s not a moment, it’s a movement” during his speech to a socially distant crowd.
The protest was perhaps his most notable social justice action, but Smith has been a tireless advocate for change, spreading his message of love for all and equality across multiple platforms. From voter registration efforts in North Carolina to his public appearances alongside other community leaders in Durham, Smith has made it clear that he will use his position for good, and The Chronicle is one of many media outlets now to recognize Smith for his work in making Durham and the world a better place.
– Jake Piazza, Vol. 117 sports editor
Among this year’s graduates were many students who, in the fall of 2017, participated in the pilot of a new course for the Pratt School of Engineering: EGR 190L, Engineering Design and Communication. Fifty students took the pilot version and by the following fall all of Pratt’s degree programs determined where they could make adjustments so that every first-year engineering student could take EGR 101L (renumbered). The class gives first year engineers experience in the technical design process and allows them to work on real projects with real clients. The heart, soul, chief mentor and leader of this transformative and ambitious project is Ann Saterbak, Practice Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of Duke Engineering First Year Experience.
She works tirelessly with the team of staff, faculty, and teaching assistants for the course to deliver what she makes sure to be “genuine and meaningful projects” for undergraduate engineers. have a better understanding of the design process and a better appreciation of the need for communication. And yet, this is only part of his nationally recognized contributions to engineering education! For example, she is also a co-author of the book Bioengineering Fundamentals, the first editor-in-chief of the journal Biomedical Engineering Education of the BME Society and a fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Education. In short, she is a role model for anyone who wants to make a significant impact in the classroom, at university and in the engineering profession.
– Michael Gustafson, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Practice
Gary Bennett and Mary Pat McMahon
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Gary Bennett, Vice-President, Undergraduate Studies, and Mary Pat McMahon, Vice-President and Vice-President, Student Affairs, were instrumental in the Duke community during the 2020-21 academic year.
Individually, the two vice-presidents have their own businesses – McMahon has led student affairs in various initiatives including anti-racism efforts and the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Committee. Bennett maintains the weekly Short List newsletter, which features upcoming opportunities for students, and oversees several offices and programs on campus.
Together, they are leading efforts to reconfigure the undergraduate life experience, in addition to keeping students up to date with campus operations during COVID-19. While some of their posts took on a serious tone, others were related to GIFs and humor infused. The newsletters also gave updates on university programs, study abroad, town halls and other activities that have shaped the undergraduate experience over the past year.
– Nadia Bey, Vol. 117 editor
Thomas Denny is the Director of Operations of the Duke Vaccine Institute, Professor of Medicine and Affiliate Member of the Duke Global Health Institute.
Denny brings invaluable and unique insights to his roles stemming from a variety of past experiences. He has spent the past two decades on various committees of the National Institutes of Health, as well as many years in various parts of the world, presenting research, opening laboratories and providing operational advice to several biotechnology companies. Denny was even elected to two public office while living in New Jersey in 2000.
In addition to his roles at the University, Denny is currently an advisor for a Durham-based microfluidics company known as Advanced Liquid Logic, Inc. and was recently selected to serve on the Healthcare Sector Advisory Board of Duke University Fuqua School of Business, a group that includes members of Congress and business leaders, among others.
Like so many of Duke’s talented teachers, Denny is both a teacher and a Renaissance man. His commitment to improving global health efforts around the world has prepared him to lead, and it is fitting that he has had the opportunity to do so at Duke.
– Gautam Sirdeshmukh, Vol. 117 editor of health and science news
Edgar is a devoted Christian, exemplary husband, lovable father, and dog owner. He dreams of transforming higher education into an inclusive sector. If you’ve been around him, you’ve probably heard him preach about how universities should provide environments where all members can thrive, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any other personal affiliation.
Since starting his Duke journey in 2016, he has been a leader working to create an inclusive community and promote an enhanced educational experience for all students. In 2021, he was named the recipient of the Forever Duke Student Leadership Award, the Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Duke’s International Awards Graduate / Professional Academic Wizard of the Year.
Drawing on his racial and ethnic background, he expanded Duke’s educational environments. By launching innovative classrooms, he connected his students to marginalized communities in Latin America, creating a role model for others. Last year, recognizing his potential for change in the field of higher education, he was honored as the winner of the K. Patricia Cross Future Leader Award by the Association of American Colleges & Universities.
– Temis Coral Castellanos, Nicolas ’19
To view the rest of this year’s Chron15 selections, Click here.