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FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 ONLINE DAILY AT DUKECHRONICLE.COM
See Inside A look back at AD Kevin White’s tenure Page 3 ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEENTH YEAR, ISSUE 2
THE FIRST STEP OF A NEW BEGINNING By Matthew Griffin Staff Reporter
Matthew Griffin | Contributing Photographer First-year advisory counselors move students’ belongings into Giles dorm on Tuesday, move-in day for the Class of 2025. The air was filled with pop music, cheers from FACs and nervous excitement.
Soon Adar Schwarzbach’s college experience will begin. Right now, he’s waiting in a car. It’s Tuesday: move-in day for the Class of 2025. A line of cars snakes its way around the East Campus quad, from Giles dorm to Baldwin Auditorium and almost back to the Washington Duke statue. Schwarzbach, a first-year from Palo Alto, Calif., is waiting to move in to Giles. He’s on the wrestling team, and he plans to major in computer science. More than anything, though, he’s looking forward to meeting new people after a senior year of high school that took place online. He didn’t visit, so this is his first time at Duke. As he and his family wait in the line of cars, he says he’s almost overwhelmed with “how awesome everything seems.” “It’s almost, like, too much for me to have any emotion,” he says. Across the quad at the front door of Giles, first-year advisory counselors in pastel shirts pull boxes, bags and suitcases from cars and take them inside. A speaker blasts music: “Peaches” by Justin Bieber, “Can’t Hold Us”
by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. It’s a muggy afternoon, and partly full plastic water bottles litter the ground. FACs Abigail Ullendorff and Jack Fallon, both sophomores, have been working since 8 a.m. But they’re both having fun. “We’re very tired, but we’re powering through,” Fallon says. While Ullendorff came to Duke in 2019 and took last year off, Tuesday is Fallon’s first time experiencing a normal move-in day. Last year, first-year move-in was staggered across four days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were few people around when Fallon got to campus, and he felt almost lonely. Campus isn’t entirely back to normal. A sign outside Giles makes that clear, reminding the reader that masks are required in campus buildings. But Duke has rolled back many of its pandemic safety measures, and this year’s move-in day has the traditional celebratory feel. “It’s a very welcoming experience,” Fallon says. “And as a FAC, I’m really glad I’m able to do this because I’m able to almost See MOVE-IN on Page 6
Breakdown of tenured professors ‘KEEP ME UPLIFTED’ shows disparities in race, gender Beloved Pitchfork’s cashier not rehired for fall By Gautam Sirdeshmukh
professors in 2017 and 2018 were tenured.
Health and Science News Editor
In light of national discussions surrounding the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s decision to originally not offer tenure status to Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, The Chronicle analyzed the demographic makeup of Duke’s faculty to see how the University compares to peer institutions. Here are the results of the analysis, which comes from data collected by the United States Department of Education in 2019.
Tenure as a whole
Of the 4,059 full-time faculty members working at Duke in 2019, 1,353 were tenured, making up one-third of the University’s teaching staff. This figure is comparable to that of other private institutions: 27% of faculty members at Columbia University are tenured, while the University of Chicago sits at 34%. The percentage of tenured professors at Duke remained steady during the past few academic years prior to 2019. In 2017, 1,300 of 3,869 (34%) faculty members were tenured (34%) and 1,326 of 3,958 (34%) were tenured in 2018.
Tenure by gender
Of the 2,394 full-time male faculty members at Duke in 2019, 999 were tenured, or about 41%. Of the 1,665 female professors, however, just 354 were tenured, or 21%. These figures have also held form over time, as 42% of male professors and 22% of female
By Leah Boyd Editor-in-Chief
Tenure by race
Racial disparities are also evident in the demographics of Duke’s tenured professors. Just 48 of the 197 (24%) Black and African American faculty members in 2019 were tenured, compared to 1,075 of Duke’s 3,022 (36%) white faculty members. Just 29% of Black male professors and 20% of Black female professors were tenured, compared to 44% of white male professors and 22% of white female professors. In 2019, nearly 36% of Asian male professors and 19% of Asian female professors were tenured, along with 34% of Hispanic male professors and 18% of Hispanic female professors. These figures are all lower than the tenure rates of the faculty members’ white counterparts and are very similar to the rates in the years prior to 2019. Duke is not alone in these stark differences in tenure numbers between men and women and white and Black professors—the Department of Education’s data show that similar breakdowns exist at many other private research institutions around the nation. For example, in 2019, 65% of white male professors at Harvard University were tenured, compared to 45% of Black male professors. A disparity of a similar magnitude occurred at Johns Hopkins University, where 44% of white male faculty members were on tenure in 2019, in comparison to 20% of Black male faculty members. See TENURE on Page 7
All summer, Micheala Lee, the iconic Pitchfork’s cashier known at Duke for her joy and positivity, was expecting an exciting phone call from her manager about how things would run in the fall. They had told her in early May that circumstances at Pitchfork’s “would be okay through the summer, but during the fall, things may change,” according to Lee. When she finally got the phone call last week, the news was far from what she had imagined. “They told me they have to downsize, and with that, they’ll have to change their hours of operation as well,” Lee said. “And they just don’t have a spot for me anymore.” Her manager told her there was no hidden reason behind her being let go. “It was a really hard blow, especially when I was expecting a phone call with some very exciting news. It was really, really devastating,” Lee said. Lee posted on her Instagram story last Wednesday to announce the news. “To all my dear friends at Duke.. I regret to inform you that I was not elected to return to Pitchfork’s for the next semester … it really breaks my heart as I write this but I truly appreciate the love you all gave to me. Please keep in touch!”
‘This door was closed for a reason’
Lee said that she loved working at Duke so much because it gave her the chance to meet plenty of new people. “I love to have the chance to be able to
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make a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s with a smile to brighten your day,” Lee said. “I was given a multitude of opportunities to do that for you guys and I really do appreciate the love that you reciprocated.” Lee added that the outpouring of support and love she received while at Duke was unexpected and even “a bit overwhelming” at times. “I really don’t know what to do with all the love you guys pour out to me because I’m not used to so much being given back. I’m used to being the giver all the time and everything, so to actually get it back has been amazing.” When Lee first received the phone call from her manager, she described feeling unwanted, but the outpouring of support from students “really turned around that experience” for her. See MICHEALA on Page 7
INSIDE Meet the new trustees Varied in experience, age and University ties, seven new members have been named to Duke’s Board of Trustees. PAGE 5
Bus drivers denied benefits “It makes no sense. It was an error that Duke made that caused this in the first place.” PAGE 3
From the farmers’ market Missed the Durham Farmers’ Market this summer? We’ve got you covered with photos from the day. PAGE 6 @thedukechronicle | ©2021 The Chronicle
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Duke bus drivers denied unemployment benefits
The pups are back: Duke Puppy Kindergarten to reopen with new dorm program
By Milla Surjadi
BY MILLA SURJADI | 08/05/2021 Duke Canine Cognition Center’s puppy kindergarten will welcome five new puppies this fall, their first group open to visitors since the pandemic.
University News Editor
When Duke closed its campus last March due to the pandemic, Erika Jenkins, a yearround University bus driver for over 15 years, was laid off. According to Jenkins, Duke Transit management said she could file for unemployment benefits, so she filed an unemployment claim with the North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES). Two months later, she was surprised to find out that her claim was denied. Before unemployment benefits can be issued, DES verifies the claimant’s information through a request for separation information form sent to the employer. A DES agent informed Jenkins that the information provided by Duke claimed she only worked when school was in session, not year-round, causing her claim to be denied, according to Jenkins. Duke Transit did not respond to a request for comment. After more than a year, Jenkins, along with another year-round bus driver, Mark Mcdaniel, said that they still haven’t received several thousand dollars in benefits, even though most of their fellow bus drivers have. “We’re all doing the same jobs, but you have people that have been there less than five years and they received [unemployment benefits],” said Demoncio Akins, a Duke bus driver who did receive his unemployment benefits and is assisting Jenkins and Mcdaniel. “You’re talking about these veterans, and they haven’t been able to receive it. It makes no
sense. It was an error that Duke made that caused this in the first place.” Charles Kyles, director of Duke Workers’ Compensation, recommended that Jenkins appeal the determination through DES and said that Duke would not oppose her appeal in a hearing, according to a July 2020 email obtained by The Chronicle. Following Kyles’ email, Jenkins filed her appeal of denied benefits to DES in July. In September, Jenkins called Tommy Cocke, an unemployment specialist at Duke Workers’ Compensation, to ask if Duke could file another separation information form reflecting her year-round employment status. Cocke said he couldn’t discuss the matter with her. The Chronicle reached out to Kyles and Cocke for comment. Cocke referred The Chronicle to Kyles, who did not respond directly. Paul Grantham, assistant vice president of Duke’s Office of Communication Services, responded on Kyles’ behalf. Jenkins waited eight months for her appeal hearing in March 2021, during which Duke opposed her appeal, according to Akins. She lost the hearing and collected no benefits. Jenkins then filed a higher authority appeal, which is overseen by the North Carolina Board of Review. According to Akins, they have not heard back from the Board. “While the decision on the claim is at the sole discretion of the N.C. Department of Commerce Board of Review, Duke has notified the Board to indicate our support for [Jenkins’] claim for unemployment based on the work time lost,” Grantham wrote in an email. According to Grantham, the Board said that a decision is forthcoming.
‘Obstacles in voters’ way’: Three state bills could drastically change North Carolina’s election laws BY ANISHA REDDY | 07/12/2021 The bills target absentee voting access and private election donations. They have similar provisions to other laws being introduced in legislatures of at least 48 states. Mcdaniel said he filed his appeal in June 2020. He said DES kept changing the date of his hearing because they couldn’t find his appeal. In June 2021, they finalized his hearing date for later in the month. Jenkins’s and Mcdaniel’s appeals are two of the tens of thousands that were delayed due to the pandemic and increase in unemployment claims. Before the pandemic, an appeal would have been heard within 20 days. According to the DES website, current hearing dates are scheduled for three or more months after the date DES receives the appeal. “The sad thing is they shouldn’t be appealing anything. They should just be compensated the unemployment benefits,” Akins said. “For them to go through this is disgraceful and shameful.” Jenkins had no income until she went back to work in August when campus opened back up. She had just paid for a surgery before the pandemic, and after being laid off, she lost her car and her credit fell “all the way back down to where it was when I was a teenager,” she said. “My credit has never been that bad.” “It adds insult to injury after going
through COVID-19, the strengths of that, trying to figure out how to be safe, and then all of a sudden now you’re slapped with, ‘Oh by the way, even though we’re saying that we’re going to give you unemployment compensation for being out, we’re not going to,’” Akins said.
For them to go through this is disgraceful and shameful. demoncio akins duke bus driver
Even though Jenkins and Mcdaniel are working again, they said they aren’t working as much as they used to. “All [Duke] had to do is do the correct paperwork,” Mcdaniel said. “If they had done the correct paperwork, we would not be at this point. They can do better, so that’s why we’re going to fight until we can get something done.”
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From Apple to basketball: Who’s new on Duke’s Board of Trustees? By Preetha Ramachandran Senior Editor
Varied in experience, age and University ties, seven new members have been named to Duke’s Board of Trustees. The youngest members of the board, Doha Ali, Trinity ‘21, and Gerardo Párraga, Trinity ‘18, Law ‘21, were chosen in April as Duke’s next undergraduate and graduate Young Trustees, respectively. Ali will serve a three-year term and Párraga will serve a two-year term. Both Ali and Párraga will serve as observers their first year on the board, then as trustees with voting privileges for the remainder of their term. Ali majored in economics and sociology and volunteered with Student U and the Durham Community Land Trustees during her time at Duke. She also served as a member of the Center for Race Relations, a disciplinary advisor for the Office of Student Conduct and a resident assistant on West Campus, according to her Young Trustee biography. Párraga majored in political science and economics. At Duke, he has served as a member of the Latin American Law Student Association, Low-Income/First-Generation Engagement Committee, Duke Student Alumni Board and Next Generation Living and Learning Committee, according to his Young Trustee biography. He has also represented victims of domestic violence and eviction diversion in Durham via the Civil Justice Clinic. Vikas Patel, Trinity ‘96, Medicine ‘00, House Staff ‘04, is president-elect of the Duke Alumni Association. Patel will serve a six-year term; his first two years on the board will be as an observer and will be a trustee with voting privileges for the remainder of his term. Patel, a principal physician at North
Carolina Dermatology Associates (NCDA), is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and has memberships in the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the North Carolina Medical Society, according to NCDA’s website. He also serves on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Board of Trustees for the Triangle Chapter. Patel joined the Duke Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2016 and served as a member of the Executive Committee and co-chaired the Awards & Recognition Committee and the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion. Nancy-Ann DeParle is a director of CVS Health and HCA Healthcare and a co-founder and managing partner of Consonance Capital Partners, a “private equity manager focused exclusively on investing in the healthcare industry,” according to the firm’s website. DeParle was deputy chief of staff for policy in the Obama administration and architect of the Affordable Care Act. DeParle earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville after which she attended Oxford University—on the Rhodes Scholarship— and Harvard Law School. Prior to the 2020 presidential election, DeParle spoke to students at Duke about her background in politics and healthcare in the United States. Eddy Cue, Trinity ‘86, is senior vice president of internet software and services at Apple. Cue oversees Apple’s content stores, “including the iTunes Store and Apple Music, as well as Apple Pay, Maps, Search Ads, Apple’s innovative iCloud services, and Apple’s productivity and creativity apps,” according to Apple’s website. In 2014, Cue was recognized by City of Hope,
a cancer research center, with the Spirit of Life Award, an award that “recognizes an individual whose work has fundamentally impacted the music, film and entertainment industries,” according to the City of Hope website. Grant Hill, Trinity ‘94, a decorated collegiate and professional basketball player, is a public speaker, art collector, investor and
entrepreneur. Hill is the founder of Hill Ventures, a marketing and management company for “Hill’s marketing and promotional activities, community investment and foundation initiatives, web site content and design, real See TRUSTEES on Page 7
Courtesy of Duke Today Top row: Vikas J. Patel, Eddy H. Cue. Middle row: Doha Ali, Nancy-Anne DeParle, Grant Hill. Bottom row: Michael J. Bingle, Gerardo A. Párraga.
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MOVE-IN FROM PAGE 1 experience it myself too.” The same scene of hectic excitement plays out across East Campus on Tuesday. “We need one more!” shouts Head FAC Aria Beasley, a junior, outside Bell Tower. She tells a FAC to grab a container of almond milk from a nearby car. Almond milk retrieved, the car drives off. Another car pulls in, and FACs descend upon it. *** Henry Rome crosses the East Campus
We’re sad he’s going to be out of the house and off to his next step, but we’re really happy for him. brett rome
father of first-year henry rome
quad with his father and sister. The firstyear’s belongings are already in his room in Blackwell dorm, and the family is on their way to check out West Campus. Rome, who is from Boston, took a gap year after graduating from high school. He participated in a National Outdoor Leadership School program, spent time as a ski instructor and traveled to Israel. Now, he’s happy to be at Duke. “I’m excited to meet a lot of new people and get back into an academic environment,” he says. For his father, Brett, the day has brought a mix of emotions. “We’re sad he’s going to be out of the house and off to his next step, but we’re really, we’re really happy for him,” Brett Rome says. “And we’re happy that it looks like we’re going to have a close-to-normal fall term for
everybody, which is great.” Schwarzbach’s father, David, shared similar feelings as the family sat in line. He’s excited for his son to get to wrestle at Duke, and for Duke’s academics. “But, you know, there’s also sadness,” David Schwarzbach said, “because our little boy’s growing up and going off to college.” *** First-years Cia Varelas, Anna Tornatore and Sofia Rodriguez walk back to GilbertAddoms to finish moving in, talking about what they plan to major in at Duke. Tornatore and Rodriguez met each other in a Snapchat group chat. They met Varelas in line to get COVID-19 entry tests, when Rodriguez complimented her outfit. Rodriguez was nervous at first about moving in. “But then when I got here, everyone was so kind and very helpful,” she says. She’s excited to be at Duke, and she’s looking forward to basketball games most of all. Tornatore worries that the Delta variant will disrupt the semester. But Duke is the best place to be during the pandemic, she says, given the way the University has managed COVID-19. At the nearby Gilbert-Addoms bus stop, first-year students chat in groups. The sun has come out after a brief rain shower, and dragonflies hover in the air. A.J. Ficara talks to Maya Reeves and Reeves’ parents. The first-years went to the same high school in Weddington, N.C., and started talking on Instagram before coming to Duke. Ficara and Reeves chat about the colleges they applied to and the subjects they plan to study. They lament the lack of a Walmart or Target in walking distance. A bus pulls up, cutting the conversation off. Reeves and her parents get in. The bus pulls away, carrying the students toward the next step of this new beginning.
From the farmers’ market
Alison Korn | Contributing Photographer A vendor at the Durham Farmers’ Market sells cutting boards that he hopes last for generations.
It’s a dreary Saturday morning. Grey clouds fill the sky, and the pavement is covered in a thin layer of water from the previous night’s rainfall. My friend has just dropped me off outside the Durham Farmers’ Market. The Farmers’ Market, which boasts over 65 vendors, is located at the Pavilion at Durham Central Park on 501 Foster Street. During its main season, which lasts from April until November, it is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays. Read the full story on Alison Korn | Contributing Photographer dukechronicle.com.
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Lee’s feelings are still complicated, she said. “I feel, optimistically thinking, that this door was closed for a reason. Maybe there’s a bit of a better opportunity somewhere for me, whether it be on campus or maybe elsewhere,” she explained. She also described feeling “kind of a relief ” that she will no longer have to always hide behind a smile. Lee explained that even when she was feeling down, she felt like she had to brush it off and “be the happy person that you guys are used to seeing me be.” Lee asked for students to “keep [her] uplifted.” She requested that they keep her and her
Duke’s Academic Council met in April to discuss possible changes to the policies surrounding non-tenured professors. The committee’s discussion included talks of new avenues for regular-rank staff to become tenured and the establishment of larger contracts for non-tenured professors. Additionally, in October 2020, The University received a $16 million grant from The Duke Endowment for the purpose of “recruiting and retaining diverse faculty” as well as developing “programming that enhances an inclusive environment.”
Winnie Lu | Features Photography Editor Micheala Lee is best known around Duke for her joyful yet genuine personality.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 | 7
family in their thoughts, to let her know of any opportunities on campus and to reach out on social media if they want her to visit campus. Lee also wants students to let her know of any productions, like dance or music performances, going on so she can “just be there for you.” Lee started working in Pitchfork’s in February 2020. Since then, she has been named a “Dynamite Dining Devil” of the week by Duke Dining, a superlative “for going above and beyond in the workplace.” But it was not just Duke Dining that appreciated Lee’s work. She is adored by many for the joy and excitement she exudes whenever she interacts with people. Some students recalled going to Pitchfork’s just to see Lee when they needed their day to be brightened. Malini Narula, a junior, would sometimes wake up in the mornings unexcited for another day of classes and the stressful elements of college. She would go to Pitchfork’s and see Lee, who was “always so happy” and made Narula’s day better. “She knew every person’s name and she would remember little details about every student,” Narula said. Lee told The Chronicle previously that she would ask every student for their name and call out the student’s name to pick up their order instead of their order number—“I felt like people were more than numbers,” Lee said. Similarly, Morgan Biele, a junior, explained that on days when she was particularly tired, she would make an effort to go to Pitchfork’s and see Lee. Once, Biele introduced a friend to Lee and noticed how quickly she connected with him. She was “so delighted to meet a new face.” “The whole student body getting to experience her energy was the coolest thing because it was so tangible,” Biele said. “And right there in front of me, she was having such an easy, impactful interaction with the students.” For sophomore Tess DiMenna, Lee had
“come to be like [her] big sister.” “She was like my family on campus,” DiMenna wrote. “I am devastated to see her go and I know many others feel the same.” DiMenna noted that Lee was a “comforting and consistent presence in an otherwise chaotic and unpredictable year” and that she’s excited to see Lee and her three kids on campus when they come. Students feel that the environment of Pitchfork’s will not be the same without Lee. “I think the only way to describe her is a ray of sunshine,” Narula said. For Biele, “every single time I was there, it was a positive memory.”
TRUSTEES FROM PAGE 5 estate portfolio, personal art collection tour, and other off-the-court activities and initiatives,” according to the company’s About page. During his time at Duke, Hill won the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1991 and 1992 and was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Hill was a seventime NBA All-Star and in 2018, he was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Hill will become the managing director of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team after the Tokyo Olympics, announced earlier this year. Hill’s mother, Janet Hill, served on the Duke Board of Trustees from 2006-2021. Michael Bingle, Pratt ‘94, is the vice chairman of Silver Lake Group, a global technology investment firm, according to the firm’s website. Bingle has been a member of Duke’s Young Alumni Council and the Annual Fund Advisory Board. He received the Charles A. Dukes Award in 2004 for Outstanding Volunteer Service. Bingle is currently the vice chairman of the Pratt School of Engineering’s Board of Visitors.
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august 20, 2021
an inconvenient truth How “Kim’s Convenience” became a cautionary tale, page 13
supersonic, hypnotic Devinne Moses reviews Silk Sonic’s latest single, page 10
inside scoop A new local ice cream shop comes to Durham, page 12
10 | FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021
Skating through summer with Silk Sonic’s latest single By Devinne Moses Design Editor
Courtesy of Hypebeast ‘Skate’ is everything we should expect from two musicians at the top of their game.
Silk Sonic, a project bringing together the creative minds of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, is back with a new summer love song. “Skate” has the pair flexing their flirting capabilities in a more upbeat fashion compared to their monumental debut single “Leave the Door Open” that dropped earlier this year. At the time of writing, “Leave the Door Open” has over 350 million views on Youtube and climbed to the top of Billboard Hot 100 songs charts twice. With such a stellar debut, any follow-up single from the recentlyformed Silk Sonic would garner global attention. “Skate” however, holds its own thanks to its groove-filled production made for gliding through the summer heat. .Paak’s drumming is tight and almost melodic, which comes as no surprise to fans of his past tracks like “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” and “King James”. The additional percussion
comes in the form of opening tambourine rolls and conga drum runs performed by the multifaceted Mars. The electric guitar is bright, while the baseline is filled with complex but funky runs that don’t go unnoticed. All of this serves as a strong foundation for an outstanding orchestral section refreshing for a summer hit – complete with fast and clean strings, highpitched staccato hits and captivating runs. The appealing chord changes from “Door” are back on “Skate,” though faster and less dramatic. Add in vocals, and the track becomes a medley of smooth and dynamic sounds fit for Silk Sonic’s talented frontmen. Remarkably, each instrument is distinct, which is a credit to the group’s production team that also saw “Door” garner much deserved praise. Even with the added elements to fit the summer sounds, everything is clean and complex in ways that we should expect from
two musicians at the top of their game. The chemistry between .Paak and Mars is clear with distinct vocals that complement each other better than most duos. With two singles out now, fans can see the patterns in how .Paak and Mars interact. .Paak dishes out fast rhymes and maintains his smooth quips, all while keeping time on drums, while Mars uses his brilliant vocals on the chorus for the track’s highs, but also flexes with fast verses of his own. Whether harmonizing or countering one another, they sound comfortable and stylish throughout. While this single doesn’t hit the climactic height of their debut, it’s a steady summer tune that builds upon mid-1970s R&B roots to create something smooth and inviting. It’s fast and energetic, but bright instrumentation and suave singing from both Mars and .Paak make this song both a must for dance parties
and relaxing summer days. This single is a clear indication of where Silk Sonic is heading: worldwide success. Both artists have achieved superstardom on their own, with Mars winning several awards with every album he’s released and .Paak taking rap, R&B, and melodic rap Grammys year after year. Together, they have created a listening experience that harkens back to era-defining R&B and soul with a fresh layer of modern mixing and pop-like energy. Time will tell exactly where the duo will end up once their album “Evening with Silk Sonic” arrives, but for now these superstars are comfortably riding the buzz created by their recent releases. It’s safe to say that the rolling rinks have a classic on their hands, so grab a pair of skates (or stay in and kitchen-slide with slippery socks) and spend the evening with Silk Sonic’s summer jam.
What’s bringing you back to Duke this year? Tessa Delgo.............................div caf
Derek Deng............sophomore slump
Skyler Graham..............going abroad
Megan Li.........................ra training
Devinne Moses.......honestly unclear
on the cover: Still from “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, Courtesy of ABC/Peanuts Worldwide
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 | 11
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12 | FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021
Simons Says Dip This, downtown Durham’s newest summer treat By Meredith Cohen Staff Writer
Durham is home to a couple of ice cream mainstays that every local and Duke student knows and loves, including Pincho Loco, a few steps away from East Campus, and The Parlour, located in the heart of downtown Durham. These staples are tried and true; however, if you’re looking for something new to satisfy your sweet tooth this fall, Simons Says Dip This certainly has you covered. The concept alone is exciting; your basic ice cream cone is coated in a Belgian chocolate dip flavor of your choice and then coated with as many
toppings as you want. With 24 dip flavors and endless topping choices, you could go back a hundred times and still have more to try. Co-owners Audrey Simons and her husband Nathan grew up on dipped ice cream cones as kids. Simons explained that this was part of the inspiration behind Simons Says Dip This. “Both my husband and I grew up with dip cones at Dairy Queen. I really like the butterscotch dip and he likes the cherry. It was not always easy to find a location that would offer those three flavors ...it was usually just chocolate,” Simons said. “It was a real treat when you found ones that have the flavor that you like.”
The idea of dip cones resurfaced for the couple a few years ago when they were figuring out the next steps in Nathan’s career, but it remained just an idea. “[Nathan] was always focused on fine dining, so when I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do dip cones in any flavor, like peanut butter or coconut or fun flavors?’ we didn’t really take it seriously, it was just a silly idea,” Simons said. The real vision for the business, however, began materializing after both Audrey and Nathan spent a few years living abroad in Europe. “I lived in Germany for a couple
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years, he lived in Italy for a few years, and they have nut spreads like [Nutella] for just about every nut you can think of,” Simons said. “And they don’t all include chocolate, just the nut, it’s kind of a sweet spread.” Audrey and Nathan took a particular interest in these nut spreads, and they started making these spreads themselves and giving them out for people to try. “We bought the equipment, we started testing out some recipes, and of course then we would have friends and family taste it, and then they passed it along to their friends,” Simons said. “Eventually they were like, ‘You could turn this into a business. You really have something here.’” What could have remained just a fun hobby turned into a real business idea in 2017 due to the positive responses from loved ones about their creations. First, they called themselves Simons Says Spread This, selling their European-style nut butters around the Triangle. This venture again raised the idea of dip cones after experimenting with ice cream and their nut butter spreads. “‘You know that idea we had about dip cones years ago, do you think maybe we were onto something there?’” Simons recalled saying to her husband. “By that time he was getting tired of the fine dining scene, so we started taking that dip cone idea more seriously.” So, after many years of floating the idea and taking it in different directions, the dip cone dream started to become a reality. Starting a new business takes time, though, and it was further dragged out when the pandemic hit. “It took a while, especially with the delay of 2020, everything was put on hold,” Simons said. “But I think it all worked to our benefit because we opened at a time when everybody is ready to be out, the mask mandate is gone, the social distancing mandate is gone, businesses can be open at one hundred
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Courtesy of Simons Says Dip This The shop has a myriad of dips and toppings to combine.
percent capacity. It was the right time.” Simons Says Dip This came into the picture in May 2021, when North Carolinians were itching to get out and the pandemic restrictions were lifted. Even though there was still some unease for businesses as people slowly started trickling back out to restaurants, Audrey and Nathan felt particularly hopeful opening their shop in Durham because of the tremendous support that local businesses tend to receive from the Durham community. “We both have worked at M Sushi for a few years, and we kind of like the food scene in Durham,” Simons said. “We know that locals really support local businesses.” And there certainly has been an outpouring of support and excitement from the community this summer — the line can sometimes stretch out of the door and down the block. Everyone is happy to wait for the chance to customize their own cone. One of the best aspects of Simons Says Dip This is that there is bound to be a treat for everybody. Not only are there endless possibilities for dipped cones, but they also make cookie sandwiches and sell freeze-dried candies. Within the next few years, the couple hopes to open at least one more location in the Triangle, but luckily for Duke students and Durham locals, Simons Says Dip This is located in the center of downtown Durham, right across the street from Unscripted hotel. So, your sweet tooth should fear not this semester, with yet another addition to the list of sweet treats to find in Durham.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 | 13
On ‘Kim’s Convenience’ and flawed Asian representation campus voices By Megan Liu Campus Arts Editor
When the fifth season of Canadian television show “Kim’s Convenience,” which premiered on June 2, was announced to be the final season in the beloved show’s run, a wave of dismay and surprise spread across social media. The show had been green-lit for a sixth season, and for good reason; after Netflix acquired global redistribution rights, “Kim’s Convenience” gained an international fanbase due to its wholesome and heartwarming portrayal of a Korean-Canadian family running their corner shop in Toronto, hijinks and all. A slate of enthusiastic press releases and features accompanied the final season’s drop, such as Vanity Fair’s “Why ‘Kim’s Convenience’ Matters” and the New York Times’ “Why ‘Kim’s Convenience’ Is ‘Quietly Revolutionary.’” But claims of a racist writers’ room — by the stars of the show themselves — quickly extinguished the glowing reviews of “Kim’s Convenience,” and perhaps the warm comfort of the sitcom itself. Simu Liu, who played Jung, the son of the Kim family, penned an extensive post on Facebook that has since been deleted. Jean Yoon, who portrayed the “Umma,” or matriarch, shared a series of tweets in response to a critic’s commentary on Liu’s statements. The actors detailed the failures of “Kim’s Convenience” to honor the abilities and experiences of Asian immigrants, both on- and off-screen. “Kim’s Convenience” is based on playwright and actor Ins Choi’s play of the same name. According to Yoon’s tweets, Choi was the only Korean writer credited on the show
Courtesy of CBC
For the majority of its five-season run, “Kim’s Convenience” was one of the most successful and beloved mainstream Asian immigrant stories. for its first four seasons. Kevin White, the show’s white co-creator and showrunner, helmed an overwhelmingly white writer’s room. The first —and only— Korean female present in the writer’s room was Jean Kim, a story editor for the fifth season. Liu and Yoon revealed that, after Choi’s presence on set diminished, they began to feel increasing discomfort with proposed storylines that were everything from “culturally inaccurate” to “overtly racist.” The producers of the show remained largely silent, but the show’s Twitter account shared a tweet, ostensibly in response to the controversy. The tweet spotlighted Anita Kapila, a South Asian writer and producer of the show, taking care to note that Kapila had worked on “Kim’s Convenience” since the first season.
Although “Kim’s Convenience” has come to an abrupt halt, White has announced plans for a spin-off centered around Shannon — Jung’s white girlfriend. Many praised the show for treating the Kim family as just such: a family. The Kims’ Korean-Canadian identities never engender feelings of otherness in viewers. Rather, fans of any background can appreciate the familiar dynamics of a family that just so happens to be indisputably Korean-Canadian. Of course, with the spinoff aiming to feature a white character, the goal to capitalize on the success of “Kim’s Convenience” replaces the original intent of the show to share an authentic Asian-Canadian experience. This isn’t to deny the show’s emotional impact on its viewers, or that its joyful spirit, at first blush, could ever give way to insensi-
tive foundations. But treating “Kim’s Convenience” as a paragon of Asian immigrant representation ignores the difficulties that stemmed from a corporate denial of Asian immigrant autonomy and creativity. Why does “Kim’s Convenience” matter? It shows us how far we have to go in our understanding that representation can be shockingly insignificant in the face of larger systemic issues. Why is it “quiety revolutionary?” The show itself may have been one of the most successful mainstream Asian immigrant stories, but in the wake of its collapse, “Kim’s Convenience” sent a cautionary message, which is the first step to enact fundamental change in how we create and sustain culturally-sensitive media.
CONVENIENCE STARTS WITH US! The East Campus Store features a wide selection of food items. We carry the things needed for day-to-day living, such as frozen foods, breakfast foods, dairy products, soft drinks, cookies, candy, breads, and juices. Don’t forget to browse through our clothing section which provides you with a selection of top quality clothing. GROCERIES
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Lacrosse star joins football team Nakeie Montgomery has donned the blue and white for four years on the lacrosse field. Now it’s time to do it in Wallace Wade Stadium. By Evan Kolin Associate Sports Editor
school he truly would’ve considered going to instead was Stanford. However, the Cardinal (who do not have a Division I Varsity men’s lacrosse team) wanted him to walk onto their football team, and Montgomery ended up sticking with his commitment to the Blue Devils. “Who knows if I ever would’ve even come to Duke if [Stanford] had given me a football offer,” Montgomery said. Now, though, he gets to play both his childhood sports in Durham, a process that
began before he even stepped foot on campus.
‘When are you gonna be 22 again?’
Nakeie Montgomery’s talent on the Koskinen Montgomery said he’s been thinking Stadium grass is already well-established. about going out for the football team ever Over the past four years with the Duke since his freshman year. He initially came to men’s lacrosse team, he’s tallied two USILA Duke wanting to play both sports as a Blue All-America distinctions (third-team and first-team), an All-ACC nod and three trips See TWO-SPORT ATHLETE on Page 19 to the Final Four. Next spring, he’s set to use his extra year of eligibility for a fifth season of lacrosse. But before then, he’ll be taking his skills 500 feet east into Wallace Wade Stadium, spending the fall as a member of the Duke football program. “I’ve got that competitiveness in me that I just cannot escape,” Montgomery told The Chronicle. “I’m excited. I’m ready.” Football isn’t new to Montgomery. His Courtesy of Duke Athletics dad, Deandre, played the sport at Texas Nakeie Montgomery will get the chance to Southern alongside NFL Hall of Famer play both his childhood sports this year. Michael Strahan. In fact, Nakeie played football (first flag and later with pads) Duke men’s lacrosse when he was just 14 before he even learned what lacrosse was. years old. A couple years later, football according to a USA Lacrosse Magazine recruiting picked up. Montgomery article from 2018. He eventually starred in received nine total Division I offers to play both sports in high school at The Episcopal football, with several Ivy League schools School of Dallas, where he set the school offering him to play both sports. record with 31 rushing touchdowns. But with Duke, Montgomery valued Chronicle File Photo At that time, lacrosse recruitment came the combination of elite academics and Nakeie Montgomery has been named an All-American in lacrosse twice. earlier, so Montgomery committed to elite athletics. Hence, he said the only
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FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 | 17
Twenty for Church
A look back at White’s tenure By Micah Hurewitz
By Em Adler
Assistant Blue Zone Editor
associate Sports Editor
Twenty years, 256 wins, 18 NCAA tournaments, 3 College Cups, 2 regular-season ACC titles and at least 15 alumni in the pros. Robbie Church has been the head coach of Duke women’s soccer for two decades, inheriting a team known for solid consistency and developing it into an undisputed top-10 program in the nation. Under Bill Hempen, Church’s predecessor, the Blue Devils were the 1992 runners-up, and made it to the Sweet Sixteen just once in the four years after the tournament expanded to at least 32 teams in 1996. Church’s Blue Devils matched that in his first four years, and their 2009 and 2010 recruiting classes kicked off a decade that would see Duke suddenly vault itself into the elite tier of collegiate women’s soccer. Now, despite Church embarking on his third decade in Durham, he doesn’t see his coaching as having ever changed much. “I don’t think [my approach has changed],” Church said. “Maybe more duties I have to do as a head coach, or things pull me away from the soccer part that I used to do a little bit more of. [But] I don’t really think there’s been a lot more. I think we’ve delegated our duties better, I think we’ve split up our duties. And I think we’ve got really good people in there that are very knowledgeable, and we play to their strengths.” Church is nothing if not understated when talking about himself. The man former Chronicle women’s soccer beat and current Business Insider sports reporter Meredith Cash told the Chronicle is “the Ted Lasso of NCAA women’s soccer”—on account of his wholesomeness, not his knowledge
Chronicle File Photo
This is Church’s 21st year as head coach.
of the sport—always defers praise to his assistant coaches and roster. To himself, Robbie Church is simply a delegator. Others are less reserved in their praise. “Robbie sets the tone by having a deep care for every player on the roster. And I think that comes across in his recruiting, and I think the girls we end up getting on this team come from families that have deep value in having a coach that coaches the person first,” forward Tess Boade said. As with any good head coach, Church’s imprint on Duke is apparent. On the field, there’s the team’s lockdown backline and impenetrability on counters—though Church is quick to attribute that to assistant coach Carla Overbeck—and the emphasis on corner kicks and the constant shifting of formations. “Every game we ever have, before we even take See CHURCH on Page 19
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The Kevin White Era of Duke Athletics is finally coming to a close. What a ride it has been. On Sept. 1, Vice President and director of athletics Kevin White will officially retire and Nina King will take over the reins. White, who arrived at Duke in 2008, oversaw dramatic transformations from personnel to Blue Devil teams’ playing venues, with the underlying focus always being on the student-athletes’ success. He made impactful hires and the eight national championships and 23 conference titles during his tenure show that White was instrumental in earning Duke such a revered place in the college sports world. White previously served as the athletic director at Notre Dame, Arizona State, Tulane, Maine and Loras College, and came to Durham to succeed Joe Alleva in 2008. At his introductory press conference, then-Duke University President Richard Brodhead said to White, “You are an equally great leader of revenue sports and non-revenue sports, men’s sports and women’s sports, varsity sports and intramural sports.” Brodhead added that “[White’s] teams have completely enviable and admirable records as students and as athletes.” The former Notre Dame administrator, who had no prior ties to Duke, came on after amassing a massive revenue in South Bend, dwarfing that of Duke, according to a Chronicle article published in 2008. The hiring made clear that a main objective of the athletic department was to boost revenue through improving the football program. Just after Duke football went over two years without a win, the school brought on David Cutcliffe, who was then Tennessee’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. That hire
predated White’s arrival, but Cutcliffe’s hire made it clear that the athletic department was going to place an emphasis on building the Blue Devil football program. Over the next 13 seasons, Duke won its first ACC Coastal Division title, reached bowl games in six out of the seven seasons from 2012 to 2018 and had nine players drafted into the NFL, including two first rounders. White also oversaw a massive renovation and modernization of Wallace Wade Stadium and received a $13 million dollar donation from Duke alumnus Steve Brooks and his wife Eileen, whom the field is now named after. For White’s work in bringing Duke football to national prominence, he earned the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Under Armour AD of the Year Award in 2013. White’s legacy as an athletic director stretches far past football. The Amityville, N.Y., native oversaw two women’s golf championships (2014 See WHITE’S TENURE on Page 20
Chronicle File Photo
White’s retirement will take effect Sept. 1.
18 | FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021
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TWO-SPORT ATHLETE FROM PAGE 16 Devil, but didn’t think he was “mature enough at the time” to pull it off. This past winter, though, he finally decided he’d give it a shot and one of the first people to help turn his dream into a reality was none other than men’s lacrosse head coach John Danowski. When Montgomery told Danowski in February that he was thinking about playing football in the fall, the latter immediately asked how he could help. He eventually got Montgomery in touch with Kent McLeod, the director of player personnel for Duke football, who told the lacrosse star to reach back out after the lacrosse season ended. “They were very respectful of lacrosse season,” Montgomery said. “They were just like, ‘Hey, keep that thought. We’d love to have you. Hit us up after lacrosse season if you’re still interested, and we’ll talk then.’” A little over a week after Memorial Day weekend, Montgomery did just that. He later spoke with Duke football head coach David Cutcliffe, and the rest is history. However, perhaps none of that would’ve happened without Danowski. “He believed in me…. With guys like that around me, man, I just feel like I can do anything,” Montgomery said. Danowski himself comes “He believed in me.... With from a football guys like that around me, background. He man, I just feel like I can do was a backup quarterback anything.” at Rutgers in addition to Nakeie Montgomery starring on the Duke men’s lacrosse and football lacrosse team, players and his dad, Ed, was an All-Pro quarterback and two-time NFL champion for the New York Giants in the 1930s. But that’s not the only reason he supported Montgomery’s quest to get on the gridiron. “You have this opportunity to live your life, and to make an impact,” Danowski told The Chronicle. “And if there’s something that you love doing, you’re gonna regret it—five years from now, you’re gonna say, ‘Wow, could I have?’ Or ‘What would that have been like, if I had tried?’’ “[Danowski’s] thing is, if you don’t do it you’ll regret it,” Montgomery added. “Like when are you gonna be 22 again?”
‘Wants us to be All-Life’
Danowski didn’t need to go out of his way to connect Montgomery with the football program, especially as lacrosse season was just beginning. But in doing so, he was accomplishing another aspect of being a coach, a part of the job Montgomery has noticed in his short time playing for Cutcliffe as well. “They’re also just like life coaches,” Montgomery said. “Coach Danowski and Coach Cutcliffe alike, they don’t really explain things in just football talk. They explain things in life talk, like this is why we work hard, because one day, you’re gonna have a family—things like that to actually get us ready for life, and to groom young, 18-year-old men into the mature 22, 23-year-old men that we are when we leave. “That’s both of their missions, and that’s what both of them do at heart…. As much as [Cutcliffe] wants everyone to be great football players and be All-Americans and AllACC, he also wants us to be All-Life, like he wants us to be All-Family, All-Everything when we grow up.” Although Montgomery has spent less than two months with the football program, he says this similarity “couldn’t be more clear.” It’s a side of college coaching that people often forget, but one that stands out once you’ve gotten the rare opportunity to play for two of the most well-respected coaches in completely different sports. “First and foremost, coaches are educators,” Cutcliffe wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “We are teachers at our core. We have the opportunity “I think everyone kind of to help the wants to test out the water. young men in our program I think the people who become great do are just risk-takers and husbands, fathers, copeople who just believe in workers and themselves.” community leaders. One of our most significant Nakeie Montgomery Duke men’s lacroose and football responsibilities player as coaches is to prepare them
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 | 19
for life after Duke, and it is one I cherish and enjoy very Brendan Fowler played three seasons of football for the Blue much.” Devils while simultaneously earning first-team All-America and Defensive Player of the Year honors for Duke men’s ‘Do it the right way’ lacrosse. Former Maryland star Jared Bernhardt, last year’s A die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, Montgomery calls Dez Tewaaraton winner as the top player in college lacrosse, is Bryant his hero. In the personal narrative he wrote for set to play college football for Ferris State this fall. UNCUT Duke last fall, he emphasized the influence Emmitt “I think everyone kind of wants to test out the water. I think Smith has had on the people who do are just risk-takers and people who just his life. He said believe in themselves,” Montgomery said. “Like I don’t think “If I’m gonna do it, gotta do other NFL stars that anyone thinks Jared Bernhardt has a seed of self doubt in it the right way. Gotta do the he looks up to himself. It kinda makes sense that Jared Bernhardt would take include DeAndre a risk like that. It makes sense that Brendan Fowler, like such an whole thing.” Hopkins and alpha, would take a risk like that. And yeah, I mean, I wanted Marshawn Lynch. to take a risk like that.” However, Now that Montgomery’s taken the risk, his focus has turned Nakeie Montgomery they’re not the to making it count. Duke football is still in the midst of fall Duke men’s lacrosse and football player only ones who’ve camp, just a little more than two weeks away from its seasonpaved the way for opener against Charlotte Sept. 3. Until then, Montgomery says M o n t g o m e r y ’ s it’s all about putting in the work and getting better every day. shot at a lifelong dream. “If I’m gonna do it, gotta do it the right way,” Montgomery A few years before Montgomery came to Durham, said. “Gotta do the whole thing.”
20 | FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021
CHURCH FROM PAGE 17 off on the plane or start on the bus ride, every single one of our coaches has the film up, and I think they probably watch every game 10 times over, just because they’re so committed to, ‘How can we get better incrementally here and there,’” Boade said. Off the field, there’s a level of trust Church has in his players rarely found elsewhere. Last fall, in the height of collegiate teams across schools and across sports struggling to keep their players together and COVID-free, Church never established any specific team rules against parties or hanging out with other teams, according to Boade. He trusted the players cared enough about their season not to risk it. The 2020 team never had a player miss a game to COVIDrelated protocols. After losing to Florida State in the Elite Eight, Church had the option of keeping players in Durham for offseason training, as many top programs do. He opted to send them home, for a layoff Boade called “the perfect amount of break.” It was a decision that
required him believing everyone would be able to come back in shape. The 2021 team’s preseason fitness testing scores were the highest ever. “I think that our coaches were really great once the season ended, and they said ‘You know what, you guys need a break. You need at least, a couple weeks to a month off. And just don’t even think about soccer. Go have fun, go try to enjoy your summer,’” centre back Caitlin Cosme said. “They knew that if we had just kept going, we would have been totally burnt-out by the time preseason came.” At his core, that caring figure is who Robbie Church is. There’s different ways to see the man spearheading a staff that is, in his words, “on the cutting edge of soccer, of developments that are out there across the world.” He changes players’ positions and the team’s formations every year in order to win, but he and the assistant staff (including Overbeck, Kieran Hall and Lane Davis) put as much work as they do into research and developing new strategies because they know they need to earn their players’ trust first. But what stands out about Church is how he “puts his players first and that he’s like their goofy uncle or something,” as Cash put
it, and most importantly how that attitude extends to every player on the roster. “I think a lot of it is communication, trying to be upfront, and trying to be honest with them. It hurts sometimes, but you don’t want to see anybody disappointed,” said Church. “No matter if you’re playing, if you’re not playing—[the coaches] make sure you know that you are just as important and you always have a role and don’t you dare think that you don’t have a role, because you most certainly do,” said centre back Emily Royson. She likes playing for a coach that cares as much about his players on the field as whe does off. “[Church] gives us this feeling that we really are a family,” Royson said.
WHITE’S TENURE FROM PAGE 17 and 2019), three men’s lacrosse championships (2010, 2013, 2014), a women’s tennis championship (2009), and men’s basketball national championships in 2010 and 2015. The University’s 2008 plan to revitalize the athletics department, which included White’s hiring, also meant widespread change through improved connections to the campus and community, fundraising and an enormous facilities upgrade for many Duke sports teams. White has also kept academics at the forefront, as Duke’s athletics teams have been near the top nationally in terms of GPA, and several Blue Devils under White have gone on to win Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright scholarships. White’s lasting impact can be seen in the personnel he was instrumental in hiring—those who have already changed the trajectory of several non-revenue sports. The three hires that stand out are that of baseball head coach Chris Pollard, softball head coach Marissa Young, which coincided with the program’s inception in 2016, and women’s basketball head coach Kara Lawson. White hired Pollard in 2012 after the previous coach, Sean McNally, resigned following a 21-34 season and only one ACC tournament appearance over seven years. Pollard was the head coach at Appalachian State before, and the relatively unknown skipper quickly made a difference at Duke with White backing him. Pollard grew the baseball program into a contender, both within the conference and nationally, as the team made four NCAA tournaments over the last six years and has sent plenty of talent to play professional baseball. While the elusive national championship still awaits, Pollard and Duke claimed the ACC tournament title for the first time ever in 2021. Duke’s newest varsity sport was announced Dec. 13, 2013 as White launched an initiative to expand opportunities to women’s sports programs. The school’s 27th varsity sport, softball’s addition led to new athletic scholarships and followed White’s pattern of consistently seeking to create opportunities for student-athletes across all of Duke’s sports. In 2015, White and the athletics department chose Marissa Young to be the first head coach in the program’s history—Young was Big Ten player of the year in 2003 as a pitcher at Michigan and had coaching experience at North Carolina and at Eastern Michigan. Young’s hiring, recruiting and development of the softball program may be one of White’s most underappreciated accomplishments, as the non-revenue sport brought an ACC championship to Durham after only four seasons. The squad only figures to improve as the reputation develops, but White’s commitment to access for athletes to both compete at the highest level and gain an education has propped up the program for years to come. In July 2020, following the surprising resignation of women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie, Duke initiated a nationwide coaching search as the program was in need of a captain to take the helm entering the rough seas associated with a COVID-affected basketball season. Not even on the radar, as she was not listed on The Chronicle’s short-list of potential replacements, was Boston Celtics’ assistant coach Kara Lawson. As a former college and WNBA star, Lawson gained experience in the announcer’s booth and on the sidelines as a coach at 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and was well-respected in professional coaching circles. Though she has only coached 160 minutes of Duke basketball as the 2020-21 season was cancelled due to COVID-19, the former Tennessee star has already made an impact with her immense draw to recruits and transfers. White is the longest serving athletic director in the ACC and passes on the torch in a crucial moment for Duke athletics. The landscape for student-athletes and NCAAmember schools is rapidly shifting thanks to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and name-image-likeness rule changes. He has been in academics, coaching and higher education administration for 47 years and will remain at Duke as an adjunct professor at the Fuqua School of Business. His contributions to the school and athletics department are unmatched, and now it will be up to Nina King, his trusted colleague, to carry the school into a new era.
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How long will Duke stay at my house? Duke has been a guest at my house for over a year, using my study as an office during the day. I upgraded my home network to support
The first time Duke publicly said anything about future WFH considerations was in the April/May 2021 issue of the faculty/staff magazine Working@Duke. It announced that
CONAL HO GUEST COLUMN its video conferencing habit. That’s fine. We all needed to figure out how to get things done during the pandemic. Duke recently spoke about the situation, but we didn’t have a conversation. It made me wonder if they would be overstaying their welcome and whether I have a say, in my own home, about their visit. Can I speak? I’m talking about our Work From Home (WFH) status.
a Work-From-Home Committee made up of university and medical center leaders has been tasked to explore telecommuting strategies for the future of Duke. According to the article, some jobs “could primarily remain remote beyond the pandemic.” Some units are pilot testing 90-day WFH periods to “assess positions that could primarily remain remote beyond the pandemic.” Considerations are being made, we are led to believe. We’re told that Duke’s approach will
hot take of the week “I’m a big Mondays girl.”
—Anna Zolotor, News Editor, on August 19, 2021
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“require flexibility at the school, department, and unit level.” Given how publicly Duke is making these statements, I was shocked they would make them in the absence of the employee voice. Leaders are making decisions without employees being consulted or having say. A couple of months into the pandemic, Duke abruptly halted retirement contributions and merit pay increases for the 2021 fiscal year. Similarly, will my (our!) future working conditions at Duke change for better or worse without employee say in the matter? The recently formed Duke University Press Workers Union mentions on their website that they are concerned about the potential reduction of office space and normalization of long-term telecommuting. I wonder: will I even have an office to return to? Don’t mistake being surveyed for engaging in dialogue, being heard and having an influence. Surveys set the terms and identify interests a priori. But whose interests? Did employees have a say in identifying the frame and what should be asked? Who sets the terms of the conversation? In December 2020, an online poll of Duke staff and faculty titled “How is remote work going for you?” was conducted to “gauge how often employees would prefer to work remotely after COVID-19.” Framing it this way, it steers the conversation to a narrow aspect of employees’ relationship to Duke. It may even have primed respondents in particular ways. When we think of the pandemic, WFH may be positive because we may not realize that we have been working in a holding pattern with the assumption that the context is temporary. Both the survey and the WFH article focus on productivity, efficiency and the stated functions of an office. It approaches a singular dimension of a person forgetting that we are complex humans. WFH does not only affect my work; it also affects my home. With this morphing of home space into workspace, my husband lost full control of the space he uses to compose and perform as a professional musician, with privacy to practice and record. His music studio is next to my office. When he’s practicing or recording, we make a point of closing our doors as a veneer of privacy. But I hear what he’s doing. These are some of my particulars. WFH can more negatively or more positively affect someone else—the point is, employees need to have say. We bring to Duke not just our work selves. When I start my work day, I don’t become just a Duke employee whose role is only to fulfill the official description of my job. Offices have unstated functions including moral support and informal communication. Randomness and sometimes chaos can lead to identification of new interests, surprising successes and
new ventures. Some years ago, I happened on a Duke colleague’s advising session with a student, a chance encounter that led to a newfound interest in college advising. When I worked at the Franklin Humanities Institute, conversations among the staff propelled us to apply for and successfully find internal funding to host a two-day workshop on dismantling racism, a model that later spread to other parts of the university. None of this was in our job descriptions. It only happened through the synergistic energy that developed by being together in person. Without employees having a say about our working conditions, I fear the exploration of a WFH or hybrid work situation will overemphasize the work self to the detriment of our fuller selves at Duke. WFH may segregate this work self vs. non-work self even more. Returning to the survey, how would it look if the survey began from a different starting point with questions such as: What expectations did you have for your current job when you first began? How did you imagine your job and career at Duke unfolding? We need questions about the whole person. There are questions to ask before getting to the frame of WFH vs. in office vs. hybrid. Without that consideration, jobs and offices at Duke are narrowly framed around official functions and couched in the language of productivity and efficiency. To put it bluntly, we become work horses. If Duke really cares about diversity, equity and inclusion, it needs to be aware that Duke employees bring their complex, full selves to work. We are embedded in structural inequality that positions many at a disadvantage when arriving at Duke. Will WFH shift the cost of running an office from Duke to the private individual? For me, it already has. I can’t fit my Duke office equipment in my home (standing desk, two monitors, and a work laptop). I already have my home computer that now doubles as my work computer. Those less privileged will be absorbing a larger percentage of the cost of running a Duke office at home. Those already more privileged have other resources at Duke and elsewhere that they can tap into to dampen the cost-shifting aspect. For some, professional networking and finding opportunities at Duke will become harder without a base at Duke, contributing to greater inequality. I’m not necessarily against WFH, but I am concerned that without employee say, WFH could exacerbate the inequity experienced by many. Duke, shall we have a dialogue — on equal terms — where employees have a say? You are still a guest in my home. Conal Ho, PhD, holds a doctorate in anthropology, works in the Duke Health IRB, is a college advisor in Trinity and is a board member at the Duke Kunshan University IRB.
Horse an honorary Devil I appreciate the Sports section story “Five Blue Devils medal at Tokyo Olympics” of August 13th and big props to all our athletes on their accomplishments. Nonetheless, no mention of the horse ridden by Jessica Springsteen? As talented of a world-class equestrian as she is, she could not have won
and rider are an extension of one another and enjoy an incredible bond and total trust which requires understanding, patience, rigorous practice sessions, and countless hours together to develop and maintain. Don Juan van de Donkhoeve is as much a silver medalist as Jessica. Let’s make him an
LYNNE SNIERSON LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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a silver medal were it not for the equivalent honorary Blue Devil. excellence, athleticism, and dedication of- Lynne Snierson is a member of the Class of Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, her Belgian 1973. warmblood. In equestrian sports the horse
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021 | 23
The costs of nonrenewability in 'The apex of my every day': the Thompson Writing Program A tribute to Daniel Watt to students, faculty and the university
As Writing 101 instructors, we are writing to raise awareness about an issue that threatens our jobs at Duke, as well as our ability to provide our students with the high-quality education they expect. We care deeply about students’ experience in our classes, not only because of the writing instruction that we offer, but also because the small-group setting of Writing 101 allows first-year students to get to know professors, receive personal attention and feedback and build connections that often last their entire career at Duke.
semester, and students will have less opportunity to choose a course that matches their disciplinary interests. Additionally, the Writing 101 experience will be less individualized. Instructors will not be able to provide the same level of attention to each student, and they will not be able to get to know each student as deeply. The intimate setting of our classes is crucial to our ability to provide individualized feedback, responses, experiences, support and services to students. In the four years since most Lecturing Fel-
WRITING PROGRAM LECTURING FELLOWS GUEST COLUMN As Lecturing Fellows, we are not hired as tenure-track faculty. Rather, the Thompson Writing Program consists of faculty with a range of different job conditions. At present, some of us have three-year appointments that are renewable contingent on successful performance reviews, while others have non-renewable appointments that are term-limited. Those who have non-renewable appointments must leave the university at the end of their first appointment terms. They have no opportunity to continue teaching Writing 101 at Duke, regardless of the quality of their teaching or work at Duke. The Duke Faculty Union believes that all faculty should have the option to receive renewable three-year appointments. In the Thompson Writing Program, non-renewable faculty are experts in their subject areas, hold PhDs, have extensive prior teaching experience and maintain active research profiles. All of these contribute to their effectiveness in teaching Writing 101 at Duke. They also design unique courses that are not offered by others in the department, increasing the diversity of choices for firstyear students. Despite these qualifications and the quality of their work, these Lecturing Fellows will lose their positions as teachers of Writing 101 at the end of their appointment terms, even in the context of a global pandemic that has left the academic job market in shambles. This issue is not only a matter of justice; it also affects students, because teaching experience is directly related to positive student outcomes. When instructors have the option to stay at Duke long-term, they have the opportunity to build mentoring relationships that outlast the terms of a single semester. Writing 101 instructors provide letters of recommendation for Duke students to pursue not only study abroad and summer research experiences, but also graduate school, medical school, law school and competitive scholarships like the Fulbright and the Rhodes. As Writing 101 faculty with renewable appointments spend more time at Duke, they get to know the institution more deeply and are better able to guide students to university resources. They serve as House Course mentors and on honors thesis committees. They are active in advising, faculty working groups, collaborative research and publications and partnerships with the Durham community and other local universities. Beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, the university has planned further changes that will negatively impact student learning. In order to decrease the number of Writing 101 faculty, the university is implementing an increase in the size of all Writing 101 classes from 12 to 15 students beginning in Fall 2021. For students, we are concerned that this change will affect the quality of your education. Fewer Writing 101 faculty will decrease the number and diversity of course offerings for students. There will be fewer offerings to choose from each
lows won renewable contracts, the Thompson Writing Program has earned national and campus recognition for their exceptional classes. For the last two years, Duke has ranked in the top 3 in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of “Colleges with Great Writing Programs,” most recently finishing above Ivy League institutions like Harvard and Princeton. In 2019, students voted Writing 101 the top “Must-Take Class” at Duke. We want to keep our national standing as one of the best writing programs in the United States. Now, Duke is jeopardizing the quality of our program and the existence of our jobs. At present, the university plans to continue to restrict many instructors in our program to non-renewable appointments, giving those instructors no job security during a global pandemic. In addition, there is no plan to revert Writing 101 courses back to 12-student caps after the pandemic budgetary shortfalls have recovered. As undergraduate tuition remains at the same or higher levels than before the pandemic, we do not want our program to offer less to future students. We want to keep our current, excellent faculty, as well as what they have to offer. Our program touches every single undergraduate student at Duke. It is too important to jeopardize. We hear from many former students about what a difference their Writing 101 experience made to their first-year experience. We want to offer the same experience to future Duke undergraduates. Signed, Michael Accinno Lisa Andres Cole Brenda Baletti Paolo Bocci Jamie Browne Rene D. Caputo Kevin Casey Mike Dimpfl Nathan Kalman-Lamb Seth Stein LeJacq Leslie Maxwell Kerry Ossi-Lupo Emily Parks Sarah Parsons Marion Quirici Lindsey Smith Sandra Sotelo-Miller Margaret Swezey Susan Thananopavarn Andrew Tharler Sarah Town Matt Valnes Haleema Welji Miranda Welsh
Daniel Joseph Watt was everything to me. He was my partner, my best friend and the apex of my every day. He was so loved. I remember our exact conversation when he was offered the Residence Coordinator position at Duke University. He was so happy and beyond thrilled to join the Duke community. When he moved into Kilgo, he fell in love with his office and decorated it as soon as possible. He wanted his staff to be able to come in and feel welcomed. He wanted to cultivate a space where people felt like they belonged. Values he would
that and social justice into the work that he did and the life that he lived. To those of you reading this who would have been on his incoming Edens staff or living in Edens this year, I simply cannot explain how excited he was to be your RC. As his partner, he consistently shared his desire of making Edens the place to be. A place where each and every one of you would feel included and connected to Edens and the overall Duke community. I invite you to continue to build that sense of community he felt so passionately about creating. And
ELIZABETH GREENLEE TRIBUTE TO DANIEL WATT bring with him when he moved to Edens. He was so proud of his previous staff members in Kilgo, Hollows B and Edens. Whether you have graduated or moved to another area, he cared so much about you and your success. He loved working with his staff assistants in the main office, making it a point to stop by just to say hello. He talked so fondly of the facility and housekeeping staff in both Kilgo and Edens; he was thankful for you and all you do. He also had the opportunity to be an Academic Advisor at Duke and I remember just recently he told me they asked him to take another student and he was beyond excited. He really hoped he was making a difference at Duke, and from what I can tell, he was. Daniel was passionate about life. He loved basketball, cheese pizza, anime and gaming. His friends and family meant so much to him. He was an advocate for others and consistently challenged people to do better, be better. He relentlessly pursued knowledge and personal growth. He was committed to furthering racial justice and infusing
a final note to his staff, he selected each of you intentionally for the knowledge, talent, and gifts you would bring to the community. He believed in you and that you are going to continue to do great things. To his Duke colleagues, trust me when I say you would have had a lot of lunches on your calendar this year. Feeling connected to you all and creating a sense of belonging was important to him. He felt empowered to create change and appreciated the encouragement and trust he received from HRL and Student Affairs leadership. To his RC team, he cherished you. He believed in you. And he wanted nothing but the best for each of you. Thank you for the generosity and love you continue to show us. I look forward to staying connected with you and sharing stories about him. And to the entire Duke community, keep his light and love in all you do in this world. He would have wanted that. Rest in peace and in power, my love. Elizabeth Greenlee is the late Daniel Watt’s partner.
'He has made this campus feel like home': A tribute to Daniel Watt Dear Daniel, I remember being so nervous for our first Edens team meeting. I had just been offered the RA position a couple weeks prior, and
Time spent with you was always time well spent. I left every conversation with you feeling lighter, reaffirmed, and refreshed. You were someone I admired, trusted,
DOROTHY ZHAN TRIBUTE TO DANIEL WATT with the introduction of new RAs as well as an abrupt transition of RCs, there was apprehension of how the rest of the year would go. You popped up on screen with some wacky background and were leaning way back, resulting in your face looking like it was kind of floating, and I remember thinking, “That’s kind of weird." It took several weeks for me to realize that casually pushing back and reclining in your chair was just a Daniel thing. There was something about your quiet confidence and warm self-assuredness that drew us all in and melted away our uncertainties. You had the ability to assess a situation or group of people and identify the strengths, opportunities, and needs— and, more importantly, how to fit in as many LeBron references as possible. Everything you did had a purpose. At one team meeting, you decided this hour would be dedicated to career preparation, and one exercise was practice of our ‘elevator pitch.' I recall complaining about the activity in our breakout rooms and how it felt like a waste of time, but nevertheless obliging just because. Then, after being asked for my elevator pitch during a random coffee chat two days later, I realized that once again, you were right.
and appreciated. I was so excited to come back from studying abroad to tell you everything I had experienced and to show you how much I had grown. I was so excited to randomly pop into your office and bug you when I was back on campus. I was so excited for you to see me graduate, to tell me, “I’m proud of you.” I was so excited for our relationship to evolve from mentor/mentee to friendship. I was so excited to be able to catch up with you in another city many years down the road. I was so excited to see your Facebook updates of a wedding, of kids, of a family. I was so excited for you. To Elizabeth and the Watt family, thank you for sharing Daniel with us. Thank you for his kind-hearted, goofy, competitive, and loving nature. He has made this campus feel like home and has made me a better person for knowing him, and for that I will always be grateful. Duke will not be the same place without you, Daniel. Rest in peace and rest in power. Dorothy Zhan is a member of the Class of 2023.
24 | FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021
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Duke Chronicle August 20, 2021, Back-to-School Issue