February 2017

A Thread of Gold

I didn’t think I was ready to write about the election.  In fact, I had written a column about something banal and given it to my colleague to edit.  That was a few weeks ago.  I never made the changes she suggested. 
How could I not write about it?  The future of our country occupies my thoughts and conversations every waking moment.
The day after Election Day, the tenor on campus could be best described as if a President had been assassinated, not as if we had just elected a President.  Waves of shock, confusion, and fear continue to ripple through campus with each executive order and cabinet nominee.
I recently watched Duke’s MLK Commemoration Ceremony live-streamed from the Chapel.  In Duke Hospital President Kevin Sowers’ welcoming remarks, I was able to latch on to hope.  He used a beautiful metaphor, likening our country to Japanese pottery.  Broken pottery that has been reassembled is actually stronger and more valuable because of the seams of gold cementing the pieces back together.  He said, “As we look back at this current time, we will be able to admit that we were fractured.  We will decide that what past generations fought so hard to lovingly construct is worth repair.  Love is the thread of liquid gold that will mend our future.  It is the answer, and it also will be.”
Those who know me will confirm that I am not an optimist.  I would prefer to have low expectations and walk around being pleasantly surprised all day.  I have yet to be pleasantly surprised by the new administration.  What do I have to lose by giving love a chance?
So while I fight the good fight and “nevertheless persist,” I will act with compassion and a true heart.  I will be a thread of gold.

Colleen Scott
Baldwin Scholars from the Class of 2020 represent at the Women's March in D.C.

(L to R): Alethea Toh, Phoebe Kiburi, and
Ema Klugman

We invited foreign policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter to be the 2016-17 Jean Fox O'Barr Distinguished speaker.  She spoke about global hot spots and blind spots to a large crowd in Page Auditorium in October. 

We are grateful for co-sponsorship from the Muglia Family, the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows, Political Science, the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and the Penny Pilgrim George Women's Leadership Initiative.
Gifts to Baldwin

We thank the following individuals and corporations for believing in our mission and financially supporting our efforts.

Chaele Arkfeld, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2012
Benevity Community Impact Fund
Shari (Baker) Berga, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2010
Caroline Brecker, T’87, B’89
Eric and Barbara Corwin Giving Fund
Rae Dong, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2011
N. Allison Haltom, WC‘72, in honor of Dr. Kimberly Jenkins
Illinois Tool Works Foundation (matching gift)
Rebekah Johnston, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2014
Kristen Stortz Keyes, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2009, in honor of Debra Stortz
Roger and Sonja Klein, parents of Lizzie Klein, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2017
Anna Koelsch, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2014
Sarah Gordon Komisarow, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2008
Manjusha Kulkarni, T’91
Ji-Hyeun Kwon-Min, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2011
Andrea LaRue, T’87
Courtney Liu, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2013
Leo and Gertrude Marantz Family Foundation
Meredith Metcalf, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2009
Emily Pinnes, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2015
Peter and Rosamaria Stafford, parents of Sofia Stafford, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2017
Tammy Tieu, T’06
Edward and Diane Wright, parents of Emma Wright, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2017
Meng Zhou, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2008

Class of 2020 Baldwin Scholars

Meet the thirteenth class of Baldwin Scholars!  The class includes 16 Trinity students and two Pratt engineers.  The new Baldwin Scholars hail from ten states and five foreign countries.  Their interests include medicine, the arts, writing, finance, social justice, technology, and engineering.

Daisy Almonte is a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar from Turkey, North Carolina.  She is active with Student Action with Farmworkers and tutors ESL.  Daisy wrote to President Obama when she was not allowed to apply to the North Carolina School of Science and Math because of her parents’ tax status.
Mannat Bakshi grew up in India, Hong Kong, and England.  She is interested in economics, math, and finance and is a member of Smart Woman Securities and the Investment Club.  When she was assigned to a project in the library of London Business School for her internship, she politely declined and requested the opportunity to conduct private equity research.
Arianna Carr is a Pratt engineer from Sugar Land, Texas.  She belongs to the National Society of Black Engineers, performs hip hop dance with Street Med, and is addicted to cooking shows!  She has connected with the Durham community through her Seventh-day Adventist religious community.
Cyan DeVeaux hails from Airmont, New York.  She is a Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholar who enjoys tennis, playing the viola, and animation.  She participated in the Knowledge in the Service of Society Focus program is considering majors in computer science and Visual and Media Studies.
Megan Dorogi, from Fairview Park, Ohio, is a Baldwin sibling!  Intellectually, she is interested in economics, business, and entrepreneurship.  She sings, dances, and is an avid golfer.
Ceren Ebrem, also a Pratt engineer, is from Istanbul, Turkey.  She played volleyball professionally before arriving at Duke.  In her interview, she described true teamwork: her team gave her the courage that she could, in turn, return to them.
Elizabeth Edel, from Pacific Palisades, California, is a self-described “music nerd.”  She sings jazz, opera, and musical theater.  Having studied the music of the Third Reich in high school, she is curious about the intersection between music and public policy.
Chinonyelum “Nonnie” Egbuna, a Robertson Scholar, hails from Clemmons, North Carolina.  When asked what gets her fired up, she recites a simple but powerful list: “Social justice.  The societal progression of racial minorities.  Women’s empowerment.  Art.”  She is a writer, filmmaker, and spoken word artist.
Lauren Hadley came to Duke from Plainfield, New Hampshire.  She is potentially interested in cultural anthropology and wants to do humanitarian work.  Lauren was selected as the opening speaker for Bernie Sanders’ campaign visit during the New Hampshire primary.
Kala Juett, from Round Lake, Illinois, moved a lot as a child in a military family.  She is passionate about structure, both of words and buildings.  She is considering a transfer from Trinity to Pratt to study architecture.  Kala performs slam poetry.
Phoebe Kiburi, from Gatundu, Kenya, is also a Mastercard Scholar at Duke.  She is expected to pursue medicine but is interested in sustainability and the environment.  As a leader, she wants to make people want to listen to her.
Ema Klugman, is a D.C. native and Australian citizen.  She took a gap year to travel and volunteer before coming to Duke.  She loves piano and competitive horse riding.
Jinkyoung (May) Lee considers herself a “third culture kid,” with roots in Thailand and South Korea.  She is a thrill-seeker who wants an unconventional career in biochemistry, computer science, or economics.
Sujal Manohar, from Irving, Texas, is passionate about the arts, particularly drawing photography, and painting.  Her high school IB extended essay was devoted to cultural influences on playing card design.  She is interested in an interdisciplinary course of study in the arts and sciences.
Leila Milanfar is from Menlo Park, California.  She has her heart set on becoming a doctor.  She is trying piece together her identities as Iranian and Mexican and her interests in theater and pre-med.  Leila auditioned for the Me Too monologues and joined Mi Gente. 
Alethea Toh, from Singapore, attended high school in Thailand on a competitive swimming scholarship.  Intellectually, she is interested in Public Policy and psychology.  Alethea writes for the Chronicle and is active with the Catholic Center.
Victoria (Tori) Williams, hails from Athens, Georgia.  She is an avid Ultimate Frisbee team member and participates in CRU and community service.
Camara Wooten, from Irvington, New Jersey, thinks of herself as a dream chaser.  She has people depending on her to succeed at Duke.  She writes for The Bridge, an on-line platform for Latina and Black women, writes music, and is passionate about community development.

Baldwin Alumna Spotlight

Hi! I'm Shari Berga (formerly Baker) and I'm a proud member of the 2010 Baldwins! For the past seven years, I have been a public school teacher in Prince George's County, a Maryland school district located on eastern border of DC.

She offers her reflections below.
I have taught in diverse, urban schools and have loved every minute of it! I am certified to teach social studies and dance, and I have taught both content areas in the high school where I work. This school year, I am teaching AP Psychology, Women's Studies, and Comparative Religion.

For the past six years, I have coached two dance teams at my school and have helped every senior apply for and get admitted into college. This is very exciting for me because many of my students are first generation college students and/or first generation high school graduates. Since I am not a mother (yet), I basically treat my dance teams like my children and dote on them constantly.

Educationally, I am currently pursuing my EdD through the University of Florida in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education. In about two weeks, I will fly to Florida for my qualifying exams.  If all goes well, I will pass and officially be a doctoral candidate, which means I am allowed to begin my dissertation research. By May 2018, I will be Dr. Berga!

Thanks to Baldwin, I have never doubted my capacity for leadership, but opportunities can be scarce in a large bureaucratic public school system. However, from lessons learned through Baldwin (especially our senior capstone), I learned to create my own opportunities. For example, in my third year of teaching, I was hired by my district to write social studies curricula (to be used by every teacher in the county) simply because I sent an email to a district coordinator inquiring about summer work. Because of my work writing curricula, I was selected to be on a committee that vetted and ultimately purchased social studies textbooks for the entire district. Since beginning my doctoral program, I have become a teacher leader within my school. I am now the Building Representative for our teachers' union (which is needed in traditional public schools, as they function in the present, but I digress). I also meet biweekly with my school principal as part of a management team that addresses faculty concerns and oversees school policies.

While I love (I mean LOVE) teaching, in the long-term I do not plan to stay in the classroom because public school teachers are not respected (except during Teacher Appreciation Week which then becomes insulting), we are not paid a living wage (most public school teachers-including myself- have multiple side jobs to make ends meet), and we are not given the opportunities and resources to become better teachers (adequate school supplies, high-quality professional development, enough planning time to actually collaborate with colleagues, to name a few).  We are constantly demonized and punished when students do not meet (insert host of acronyms here) standards. So, although I love being in the classroom and I promise you there is nothing better than seeing a senior who didn't think college was "for" him open a college acceptance email, I cannot stay. I literally feel as though I am being pushed out and away from my passion.

But like any Baldwin, we find a way to follow our passion down a different path. I am now looking into the business side of education, and I have been offered a job with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a major education corporation that develops and delivers programs, products, and services for educators. I think I will be able to make a bigger impact, if a less intimate one, on student success by helping connecting more teachers and administrators to the tools that they need to further excellence in their schools and classrooms. Of course, I still have to negotiate my pay (also learned that from Baldwin!) and settle on the details of my transition (if they will let me start in six weeks, then I can keep teaching my kids right up until their AP exam). No matter what I decide to do with my life, I am grateful for the support network that is the Baldwin Scholars. I know that I can always check in with our group for perspective, honesty, and encouragement. 

The Sheroes Project

My name is Anika Ayyar, and I am a junior Baldwin majoring in computer science. I recently started The Sheroes Project, an interactive, online, video talk-show to showcase inspirational stories of women in technology. The goal of The Sheroes Project is to enable young women who are interested in computer science and engineering to interact with role models whose career paths they can aspire to follow in - to SHOW them who they can be in the future. 


Each month, I interview 1-2 women leaders over Google hangouts as part of the online talk show. The interviews consist of ~15 minutes of me asking questions, and about ~15 minutes of questions from other viewers who have tuned into the hangout. Viewers are usually college and high school students, a majority of whom are female. For more details about the project itself, please take a look at my website ( 


I would love to feature Duke alumnae (or women you would recommend) as Sheroes for the episodes! If interested, please contact me (Anika Ayyar) at, and I will be happy to provide any further details or answer any questions! Thanks so much. 

HOW TO: Conduct a Diversity Audit of Curriculum
by Estefany Noria, Baldwin Scholar Class of 2013
Contemporary urban planning issues demand intersectional and diverse leadership. In order to properly address housing needs for LGBTQ youth, the adverse effects of nuisance laws on domestic violence, disparate racial vulnerabilities to natural hazards, and many more concerns, planning students need curricula that appropriately address marginalized communities.
During the Fall 2015 semester, I joined a group of graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) at UNC-Chapel Hill to conduct a “diversity audit” of required and elective courses. We nicknamed our committee “Guerilla Girls” as a nod towards the activist group known for creating public visuals exposing gender and ethnic bias.
The committee aimed to answer the question, “Does our education adequately address diversity and inclusion within its curriculum?” We reviewed syllabi for core and introductory courses to gauge how assigned readings reflect diversity in terms of authorship and content.
We reviewed syllabi for 17 classes and determined the number of readings: 1) written by at least one female author and 2) whose topics specifically concerned women, people of color, LGBTQ people, poverty or equity, and international issues.
The results signaled a need for change. Among other findings, the audit found that the percentage of class readings written by women ranged from 10%-42%. The percentage of readings concerning people of color ranged from 0%-22%, with the exception of one class specifically dedicated to examining race and poverty in planning.
The Committee’s audit was a valuable exercise that allowed us to provide feedback to faculty and spur greater conversations about how the department incorporates diverse topics in its curriculum. For example, while not every class can include the same degree of diversity in its readings (it is particularly difficult for math and software-based courses), professors may choose to complement syllabi with class discussions or examples related to diverse topics.
If you have any questions about the diversity audit or would like to see the Committee’s final report please do not hesitate to contact me at
Estefany Noria graduated from Duke University in 2013 with a B.A. in Environmental Sciences and Policy. She is currently a Master’s Candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill. 
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