Duke Digest — October 7, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Duke Elections Discussion Series: Part 3 Wrap-Up and What’s Next
  • Duke U Librarian Named to Presidential Commission
  • Duke U Experts Brief Congressional Staff on State of Ebola
  • Humanities Grant has Widespread Impact at Duke
  • New Faculty Profile: Making Sense of Race and Politics
  • Duke Joins Launch of Durham ‘Innovation District”


DUKE ELECTIONS DISCUSSION SERIES: PART 3 WRAP-UP AND WHAT’S NEXT

Weren’t able to join us for last week’s Duke election discussion series focused on education?  Read a recap of the conversation between Barbara Jentleson, assistant professor of the practice of education, Jenni Owen, lecturer in public policy and director of policy initiatives at the Center for Child & Family Policy, and Mike Lamb (T ’05), a former Department of Education official.

Join us this week for the next installment of the series, a conversation on the impact of international issues on the midterm elections featuring education experts at Duke and in DC.

Read More:
Education: A Complex but Universal Campaign Issue (governmentrelations.duke.edu)


DUKE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN NAMED TO PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION

Naomi Nelson (T ’88), the Duke University assistant university librarian and director of the Rubenstein Library, was named to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, President Obama announced Friday, October 3. Nelson’s current research interests center on managing and providing access to born-digital materials and on leveraging the new avenues for humanities research opened by digital formats. She has previously participated in a multi-institution NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up grant exploring approaches to collecting and managing born-digital literary materials.

Read more:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts (www.whitehouse.gov)


DUKE U EXPERTS BRIEF CONGRESSIONAL STAFF ON STATE OF EBOLA

Last week two Duke University experts in global heath and infectious diseases shared updates on the current state of the Ebola epidemic with Congressional staff and other policymakers in Washington, D.C. via a conference call. Dr. Michael Merson, the founding director of the Duke University Global Health Institute, and Dr. Chris Woods, co-director of the Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health and Chief of Infectious Diseases and hospital epidemiologist for the Durham VA Medical Center, discussed the state of the disease globally, and addressed concerns over transportation and airline safety, as well as the military’s role in responding to the ongoing outbreak. The call took place after Tuesday’s announcement of the first case diagnosed within the United States.

Interested in receiving notifications for future conference calls with Duke University experts? Please email landy.elliott@duke.edu to receive future announcements.

Read More:
Ebola resource page (Global Health Institute)


HUMANITIES GRANT HAS WIDESPREAD IMPACT AT DUKE

Now in the fourth year of a five-year, $6 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Humanities Writ Large has become a source of seed funding for dozens of projects, courses, seminars and other academic exercises that professors and students might not otherwise be able to take on. The breadth and depth of the initiative’s reach is impressive: Thus far, it has underwritten more than 40 new courses, 18 visiting fellows and myriad lab projects, class trips and other ventures that faculty members simply wouldn’t otherwise have the funds for.

To learn more about the campaign and specific examples of the HWL in action, check out this article from Duke Today.


NEW FACULTY PROFILE: MAKING SENSE OF RACE AND POLITICS

Ashley Jardina, newly appointed assistant professor of political science, had a case of research serendipity. Growing up in Richmond, Va., where racial conflict and politics have a long history, she knew she wanted to explore those subjects in college. But Jardinia had no idea that while during her studies, the United States would elect its first black president, the citizenry would become more diverse and the mostly white tea party would emerge as a powerful political movement.

Jardina’s research focuses on understanding racial attitudes in U.S. politics, and how groups form attitudes and identities that influence their political preferences. Her expertise on these questions brings new insights to Duke’s research of American politics, says Jack Knight, department chair.

“We think that students will be interested in what Ashley brings to classroom discussions of timely policy debates, including race relations and immigration, just to name two,” Knight says.

Read More:
Ashley Jardina: Making Sense of Race and Politics (DukeToday)


DUKE JOINS LAUNCH OF DURHAM ‘INNOVATION DISTRICT’

Duke researchers and administrators joined Durham community members earlier this week to launch the Durham Innovation District, or Durham.ID, a major development project that seeks to create a vibrant neighborhood of research space, residences and commercial activity. Durham.ID will bring together university scientists with an array of entrepreneurs and companies, especially in the life sciences.

The launch took place at Duke’s newest biomedical research facility, the Carmichael building, a former tobacco warehouse that has been renovated for the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute (DMPI), whose researchers are using new techniques to study diabetes, obesity and other chronic metabolic disorders. Duke researchers there provide “a new model of collaborative science” that brings together “all aspects of players to enable us to address a range of chronic illnesses,” said Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth.

Read More:
Duke Joins Launch of Durham ‘Innovation District’ (DukeToday)