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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

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
“My parents immigrated here from Nigeria, and for most of my life, they were undocumented. Even though we experienced daily challenges, they always emphasized the importance of education. So, education policy is really important to me. I understand the value of offering quality and accessible education for all people. Also, I’m Read more
“I've been interested in politics for as long as I can remember. I think it began with having a sense of how things get done, and who gets the opportunity to solve problems or take a crack at creating innovative solutions. A lot of that came from being involved in Read more
“Back in high school, I used to want to be a politician. I was elected the head of my house. Now I don’t really like elections, because it can be very fake, and I learned in a course last semester, elections are more complicated, in terms of resulting in change, Read more
Everyone says it’s hard to teach middle schoolers, but something about meeting the challenge and opportunity of their constant state of “figuring-it-out” pulled me right in. After graduating from Harvard in 2014, I joined Teach for America and spent three years teaching middle school math and science in and around Read more
“As a high school freshman, my life plan was: go to Duke, have a good time, watch good basketball, probably become a lawyer. I was always curious about the military because my grandfather served in World War 2 with the Tuskegee Airmen, but I didn’t heavily consider it until I Read more
“I’m from the state of Paraná in Brazil. When I was a teenager, I went to a Catholic school, and for a field trip, we visited poor communities – favelas – and I started to wonder: ‘I get to study at this good school and these people are struggling to Read more
In the spirit of Carnival season: “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” ⚜️ ⚜️ I’m from Mobile, Alabama, the birthplace of Mardi Gras. I grew up going to parades and watching my parents prepare for the ball of the week. The season was filled with family gatherings and parties. Extended family Read more
I was born and raised in Murphy, N.C. Being from North Carolina, Duke was always a sort of school that was very elite and academically rigorous. I had the chance to tour Duke the summer before my junior year school, when I went to a couple other schools in the Read more
I’m a senior captain in the Chilean army. I have been in the army for 18 years until this past August when I got a two-year leave to come to Duke. My wife is a student at Fuqua doing a full-time MBA. We have two children, one age five, and Read more
Since middle school, I had a dream to be a part of John F. Kennedy's dream of having Americans serve abroad and learn about different cultures, so this was a big vocation for me to achieve. I learned about Madagascar when I was an undergrad at James Madison University. I Read more
I was very good at numbers when I was little. It just made sense to me. In China, finance was super popular 20 years ago because you could easily find a decent well-paid job. I worked as a finance manager at a large state-owned enterprise, Beijing Urban Construction Group Co., Read more
Recently my sister reminded me my interest in national security really came to light because of my love for the show The West Wing. President Bartlet will do that to you. My husband is active-duty Army which brought us to Fort Bragg, NC. While there I worked for a military Read more
I grew up in Northern California, which has been hit by wildfires pretty hard recently, but it was kind of a cyclical thing growing up. Every summer was fire season. We grew up knowing how to evacuate and had to evacuate every year basically. Through climate change, we've seen these Read more
I always knew that I look like my grandmother, but she does not look like a typical Armenian. I am Polish by birth but Armenian by heritage. My parents originally moved to Poland because of the collapse of Soviet Union. There was also war and after living in Poland for Read more
My name is Kyipyar. I am from Myanmar (formerly called Burma) which is situated between India and Thailand. I got a scholarship from Open Society Foundations to study in the MIDP program at Duke. For a decade or so, my professional experience has been in the humanitarian or international development Read more
My career goal is to make sure that people are ok; my purpose is to focus on marginalized communities to improve the lived experience. I am a native North Carolinian from Charlotte. I grew up in what society would term as the ‘ghetto’ – a marginalized community, a Black niche Read more
I was born to a conservative Muslim family in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. My father dropped out of college and started a hardware and paints business to make ends meet, and my mother never put her college education to use and settled to be a stay-at-home parent instead due to societal Read more
This job was created in part by students for students. My official title is Student Wellness and Engagement Coordinator, and my role serves students in the MPP and the MIDP program. On the wellness side I work one on one with students. I do personal sessions for mental health concerns, Read more