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Humans of Duke Sanford

Stories from the people who make up the community at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

@duke_sanford | @dukeuniversity | #HumansofDukeSanford

This summer, I did Duke Engage through the Kenan Institute of Ethics in Chicago. The theme was connecting hip hop to community activism. Hip hop is critical for the Black and Brown movement and a way they're able to overcome social political issues. It was transformative experience for me because Read more
I’m a Visual Media Studies major going into my senior year of undergrad, so I'll graduate this spring. I've taken a bunch of classes through the DeWitt Wallace center, and I spend a lot of time in the hallways of the Sanford building. The summer after my freshman year I Read more
I'm currently interning in Washington, D.C., with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and with Rep. Yadira Caraveo from Colorado District eight. I spend 4 days a week with the representative and one day with CHCI doing activities like leadership development. The cohort is amazing. We have individuals from Dominican Read more
A lot of people are surprised to learn that many clubs advertised primarily to undergrads are open to grad students. I am really happy to be involved in the Duke Chorale – as an MPP student! I'm blessed to have a musical family. Growing up my parents would have different Read more
I went to an event hosted by the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy when Ambassador Katherine Tai came to campus. (She serves in President Biden’s cabinet as the United States Trade Representative.) I loved the event, loved the dinner afterwards. She spoke so candidly, and I really admire that. Read more
Growing up in a conflict zone, (Indian-Administered Kashmir) had a profound impact on the way I view the world and my perspective on life. In 2018, my work led me to #Afghanistan, where I contributed to developing educational reforms and fostering inclusive communities. During my time there, I had the Read more
I went to West Point and commissioned as an U.S. Army officer in 2012. Sanford was my first break from the Army world, and I loved every moment of being at Sanford. I’m patriotic, which is the main reason why I joined the Army. My grandpa was in the Navy Read more
I started my career at another business but I knew Duke was bigger and I thought to myself, "I need to get to Duke so I can have opportunity for advancement in my career.” So, I ended up applying for a few positions at Duke and got a call back Read more
I was born in California, but I spent most of my life living in China, in a city called Dalian. I moved there when I was about six. I went to an American school, and I was surrounded by American, Canadian, and English-speaking friends, which is why I don't have Read more
Hello friends! Are you a member of the Sanford community? Do you have an interesting summer job/internship? What's your hobby? Why did you choose Sanford? We have Humans of Duke Sanford interviewers standing by this summer! Email us at - we'd like to hear your story! Read more
I didn't really start playing baseball until late elementary school. But I always just thought, like, you know -- the lights are on you, the grass, the dirt, the baseball pants, the crack of the bat - just the atmosphere of baseball, I just fell in love with it. I Read more
  “As a kid, I always wanted to be president. But my real political awakening was the Trayvon Martin case. I‘ll never forget, me, my twin brother, and this guy I consider my brother were in the basement watching the verdict; it came back, [and we were] stunned. That was Read more
“I came to Sanford and was the founding director in 1971 but I actually started teaching here in the Sanford school, I think in 1967, and I’ve taught every year since then. I’m not retiring now, I’m just downsizing. At some point, everybody’s got to stop doing things. My birthday, Read more
Both of my parents were just really good whistlers growing up. They would always be whistling around the house. And then my dad, at some point got these two pet cockatiels; little ones with the orange cheeks and little crowns that go up. And they would listen to my parents Read more
I never grew up where I saw an injustice and I just sat on my hands and did nothing. Because I didn’t grow up in that type of household. So, I got involved [in the environmental justice movement] myself as a very young person. As time went on, I saw Read more
I’m a second-generation Durham-ite. My parents were born and raised here, and my grandparents came from the surrounding counties, because there was work. I feel my connection to this town is deep. It’s real. Liggett & Myers was the company my grandma and later my momma worked for. I remember Read more
Abuja, Nigeria, is home. So much of who I am and why I care about investing in communities stems from my experience living through conflict at home. I watched as my community became a shadow of itself post-war and through that experience, I developed an unrelenting passion for social impact Read more
DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) inundated my life from my earthly beginning, as my parents encouraged their children to taste of the world’s bountiful array, a buffet of artistry and science created by people just as arrayed as what they yielded. Yes, born in Korea, graduating high school in Germany, Read more
I always had a passion for policy, but Sanford has really helped me like hone in. Like -- I know in theory something's right, but I’ve learned to be able to back my beliefs. This summer I wanted to do something a little bit different. I’m interested in immigration policy, Read more
“Inequality at the international level was visible to me early in life. I grew up in Singapore. It’s a unique country, considered a beacon in Southeast Asia because it’s a rapidly developed country surrounded by countries experiencing significant poverty and much slower development. Also, several generations of my family chose Read more