Page 1



NEW S YOU C AN USE • F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 1 8

Duke at



Editor’s Note



Hobbies Make a Healthy Blue Devil When I was a kid, I collected postage stamps. I also liked to build and launch Estes model rockets with my neighborhood friends. And I dabbled in audio production, recording interviews and conversations on a clunky Panasonic cassette recorder. My hobbies evolved in later years, and as an adult, journalism became my all-consuming passion. In recent months, with the launch of Healthy Duke, I’ve given a lot of thought to the connection between hobbies and mental and emotional well-being. Mental and emotional well-being is a core theme of Healthy Duke, the campus wellness campaign aimed at helping us make changes to live healthier, improve our quality of life and meet our full potential. In this issue, we address emotional well-being with the story, “Power Your Mood with a Passion,” which starts on page 8. Six employees share their hobbies and how the activities help them. Hobbies help us disconnect from work and rebuild our mental energy, says Dr. Jon Bae, Assistant Professor of Medicine and a co-convener for the Mental and Emotional Well-being arm of Healthy Duke. “We are constantly inundated with new demands on our brain wave capacity,” he says. “There’s all of this multitasking that happens throughout the day and that’s exhausting. Your brain needs time to recharge from that.” A hobby is a gateway into shared experience with others, which is a powerful way to cultivate community and define a personal identity for yourself, Bae explains. “Having hobbies allows you to grow and share those social connections,” he says. Bae recharges by exploring music and reading something unrelated to work for 20 minutes every night. A Stephen King fan, he's currently in a Western fiction phase. I no longer collect stamps or build model rockets. These days, I consider all of the activities associated with learning to be a passion – everything from exploring near and faraway places on foot to combing through archival papers and photographs as part of my master’s degree studies at Duke. Your hobby doesn’t need to be complicated; I love walking in Durham and took this it just needs to picture of One City Center with the 21c be something Museum Hotel in January. you love to do. “It has to be organic,” Bae says. “It just has to be something you like doing a little bit each day.”






4  Duke at Night Over the course of a recent night, Working@Duke shadowed some staff

members whose work unfolds in the darkness of night. From a police officer to a sterile processing tech, learn more about the colleagues who help the university and health system run 24/7.

8  Power Your Mood Starting or keeping a hobby can improve your overall mental and emotional well-being, a core area for the Healthy Duke initiative.

10  Head of the Class In this Career Tools installment, find out how you can earn an “Excellence Certificate” through Duke’s Learning & Organization Development. Tracks are offered in seven disciplines, including leadership.

11  How disability insurance can protect you 12 From podcasts to Instagram, 14 15

digital media showcases work at Duke

Save on tee times at Hillandale Golf Course Duke Research Drive Garage goes solar

Contact us Editor/Communications Director: Leanora Minai (919) 681-4533 Assistant Vice President: Paul S. Grantham (919) 681-4534 Graphic Design & Layout: Paul Figuerado (919) 684-2107

Stephen Schramm Senior Writer (919) 684-4639 Jonathan Black Writer (919) 681-9965 Photography: Duke University Photography and Stephen Schramm of Communication Services.

Working@Duke is published every other month by Duke’s Office of Communication Services. We invite your feedback and story ideas. Send email to or call (919) 681-4533. Visit Working@Duke daily on Duke Today:

Cover photo: Josh Speas, a Duke Facilities Management utility operator, monitors the functions of the West Campus Steam Plant.

2017, 2014 Gold, 2015, 2013, Silver, 2016, 2009, 2007 Bronze, Print Internal Audience Publications and 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007 Gold Medal, Internal Periodical Staff Writing

BRIEFLY Step into spring with the Run/Walk Club Lace up your sneakers – the Duke Run/Walk Club returns March 12. Sessions are at 5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday on East and West campuses and at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Employees who cannot make the sessions can track workouts online and receive credit for participating. The free 12-week program, which is organized by LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program, is open to Duke employees at all fitness levels. Participants also have access to free yoga and strength sessions. Lee Landis, a clinical laboratory scientist for Clinical Microbiology, joined the Run/Walk Club for the first time last fall. Landis fell out of the habit of running but wanted to return to doing it regularly. “I like that you can exercise at your pace,” said Landis, who plans to participate with the club this spring. “Ever since the program ended, I’ve been running at least twice a week.” Register at and share your exercise photos on social media using #HealthyDuke.

Save on Carolina Hurricanes games Hockey has always been part of Jay Collins’ life. He’s been a coach, a player and, for the last 20 years, a Carolina Hurricanes fan. Collins, an administrative manager for Child and Family Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience, has cheered on the team from its first two seasons all the way to now. Along the way, he’s saved money using the Duke employee discount. “I remember one of the first games I went to was to see the Hurricanes play the New York Rangers, when Wayne Gretzky was still playing,” Collins said. “The ‘Canes came back from behind and Gretzky was ejected from the game.” Duke employees can buy discounted tickets to select games in February and March for $25, $65 and $90. The regular season runs through April with home games at PNC Arena in Raleigh. To access the discount, visit and select "Sporting Events" for the discount. Your NetID and password are needed to get the discount.

Get free tax help Volunteers from Duke Law School are offering free state and federal income tax assistance to Duke employees and Durham community members. Employees and members of the public with a household income of $54,000 or less can take advantage of full-service, drop-off and online self-assisted tax preparation, which ends on April 10. Households with income under $66,000 can use an online facilitated self-assisted service.

The service is offered by volunteers from the Duke Law VITA student organization. There are sessions scheduled at the Duke Credit Union and the Duke Law School’s Blue Lounge. There are also services available for foreign students or scholars affiliated with Duke University. Last year, the organization completed roughly 380 returns and netted around $466,000 in federal and state refunds and $139,000 in tax credits. “In providing free income tax preparation Duke Law VITA provides a valuable service to both the Duke and the greater Durham communities,” said Kim Burrucker, director of public interest and pro bono for the Duke Law School. Appointments are strongly recommended, but walk-ins are accepted if time permits. Participants must bring their tax documents to appointments. For a full schedule, visit

Sharpen tech skills over lunch Bring a brown bag lunch and hear from technology experts about tools and tips that can simplify a workday, help you navigate travel with your laptop and more. Learn IT @ Lunch, a free series of workshops organized by Duke’s Office of Information Technology, continues its spring offerings with sessions in February, March and April. Upcoming sessions include “Traveling with Technology” on Feb. 28, “Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft” on March 28, and “Augmented Reality in Higher Education” on April 11. Registration is not required; however, seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Sessions are held in Perkins Library, Room 217, from 12-1 p.m. Learn more at

Bike sharing comes to Durham Duke community members can take advantage of a 50 percent discount with two bike-sharing programs in Durham. LimeBike and Spin, which launched late last year in Durham, are dockless bike-sharing programs that allow users to download a smartphone app and rent a bike at any time. The discount, which is available to anyone with an “.edu” email, decreases rides to 50 cents for every half hour. To get the savings, download the Spin and LimeBike mobile apps and use your Duke email when registering. “We’re hoping this encourages alternative transportation for short trips,” said Carl DePinto, director of Duke Parking and Transportation Services. About 50 bikes will be stationed around East, West and Central campuses, the medical center and Swift Apartments. When rides are finished at Duke, bikes must be parked at designated campus racks to keep them secure and ease congestion, according to Duke policy.


Jeff Best, left, an officer with the Duke University Police Department, speaks with Durham Firefighter Adrian Medina after a fire alarm went off at a campus building.

Duke at Night How employees keep campus running 24/7


n Jeff Best’s rare daytime campus visits, the 27-year Duke University Police veteran jokes that everything feels off. It’s too loud, too bright, too busy. “My first indicator that I’m here at the wrong time is that I can’t find a parking space near headquarters,” Best said. Best works the night shift, meaning his idea of Duke’s campus is the one he patrols from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. While Best’s version of Duke is quiet, it’s far from still. Every night across the University and Health System, employees do jobs that keep Duke running. Last year, an average of 10,300 of Duke’s employees worked the night shift each month. Over the course of one recent night, Working@Duke shadowed some of these staff members whose work unfolds in the darkness of night.



12 a.m.

Snaking down Campus Drive as midnight approaches, the C1 East-West bus seems like the only sign of life in an otherwise empty campus. A Duke bus driver for 13 years, William Hester has been behind the wheel on both day and night shifts. He enjoys the energy of the day time, when the C1 bus ferries students between East and West campuses, but he understands the allure of the night shift, when the flow of passengers dwindles. “You cherish the moments when it’s quiet,” Hester says. “You enjoy that time.” As the bus moves toward West Campus, headlights shine on desolate roadway. On either side there are pitch black woods or darkened buildings. There’s little traffic going at this hour. Once the bus reaches the Duke University Chapel stop, the loneliness is broken. Outside, students seen only in silhouette walk hurriedly under a dim amber glow of Abele Quad’s streetlights. William Hester, a Duke bus driver, talks to students on the C1 East-West route. With the bus idling, Hester steps off. “Anyone want a free ride to East Campus?” he asks. A naturally sociable person, Hester savors the chance to engage with the passengers he sees at this hour. “Alright!” Hester says as a student walks into the blueish light of the bus. “Jump on. Let’s go.”

Around 1 a.m., Louis Walton, a technician in the sterile processing unit in the belly of Duke Medicine Pavilion, studies printouts taped to metal carts arranged against a wall. He’s making sure every item on the sheet of paper is somewhere in the cart. “Gauze, large blanket, suction tubes, a plastic cover for a scope, catheter kits in case they need to drain something,” Walton says, going through a cart. “It’s everything they could think of.” As the work of saving lives goes on at Duke Health, the work of providing the necessary sterile tools never ceases. This unit is where utensils come to be washed, organized, sterilized and readied to be used again. Tonight, the utensils will end up in the hands of technician Laura

1 a.m.

>> continued on page 6 Sterile Processing Technician Laura Velazquez organizes instruments.


Velazquez. Closely studying a screen filled with numbers and lists, she packs washed tools into metal shoebox-sized containers organized by procedure. The containers then get “cooked,” or run through massive steam sterilizers. Once cool, Walton loads items into carts based on the numbers used to describe each type of procedure. A deep abdominal injury is 211. Head trauma, 319. Puncture wounds, 240. “If they pull a 240, it’s more than likely that they’re going to need another one because there are probably two people involved,” Walton says. When needed, the carts are loaded onto an elevator and whisked up one floor to the operating rooms, where each number is a life in need of saving.

From her perch at Perkins Library’s main service desk, Annette Tillery sees five students studying quietly. For 2 a.m., this, she says, is somewhat lively. “There’s probably a test,” says Tillery, a senior library assistant. She figures the turnout has something to do with Organic Chemistry. That textbook, kept on the shelves behind her, has been requested often tonight. During her 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shift, Tillery ensures patrons who use the library – open 24 hours most days during the academic year – have what they need, whether it be functioning printers, help finding a book or directions to the restroom. While quiet, the library is far from deserted as students breeze in and out. During final exams, Tillery says, the scene Senior Library Assistant Annette Tillery organizes books in Perkins Library. will be different. That’s when the overnight population of the library swells. “It gets pretty interesting,” she says. She’s seen students break the exam season tension with rap battles or hide-and-go-seek. “Oh gosh,” Tillery says when asked for the strangest thing she’s seen during that time. “I would have to say the 18 holes of golf.” During finals in 2012, a student turned the library into his own miniature golf course. “He had his caddie, his entourage, somebody holding the flag,” Tillery said. “He wasn’t really disturbing anybody. Even his entourage, they just did a nice, quiet clap. Everybody was sitting back just laughing at them. No one complained.”

2 a.m. 

The noise never stops at the West Campus Steam Plant, where a tangle of tanks, pipes and boilers creates the steam that heats campus buildings and water systems. With compressors whining, valves hissing and the constant low roar of natural gas-fed fires raging in the boilers, standing inside the former coal power plant feels like being in the churning belly of a red-brick monster. Utility operator Josh Speas watches it all from an office just off the plant’s floor. Speas and the rest of the Facilities Management Department employees who care for the systems that produce and distribute steam and chilled water, alternate working day and night shifts every four months. While there isn’t much difference in the duties performed during the shifts, the overnight work features plenty of solitude. At 3 a.m., with the plant’s towering windows looking out onto darkness, Speas watches computer screens showing how the plant is functioning. The diagrams all glow green and readings that pop up are all where they need to be. 6


Utility operator Josh Speas alternates between day and night shift every four months.

3 a.m.

“For the most part, everything runs well,” Speas said. In another corner of campus, there’s a control room with more diagnostics. Should one of the technicians see something amiss, they’ll alert Speas. But tonight, the phone isn’t ringing. Amid the noise, heat and contained fury, this is a quiet night.

Driving slowly through a parking lot off Towerview Drive sometime after 4 a.m., the headlights on Jeff Best’s police cruiser shine on cars that have been still for hours. The sidewalks are empty and windows of the nearby dorms are dark. Best scans the parking lot, looking for glowing dome lights. He studies the fence around a construction site. He shines a light where the parking lot transitions into woods. He sees nothing but trees and underbrush. For nearly a decade, Best has worked overnight. On most nights, he’s one of about 10 officers who join security guards to keep watch over campus. His shift begins with students going to and from evening events. That’s also when he’s at his busiest, checking on alerts for propped doors or responding to calls about minor emergencies. After midnight things slow down. This time of night – with dawn still a few hours away – campus is at its quietest. “This is what it should look like at this time of the night,” Best says.

It’s dark when Duke Dining Executive Chef Mark

4 a.m.

Pho buil

Duke University Police Officer Jeff Best has been working the overnight shift for nearly a decade.

Turner pulls his white SUV into the parking lot behind East Campus Union. As he enters the kitchen in the Marketplace, it’s clear that the day has already begun. Breakfast service is fast approaching. Food Service Manager Valerie Williams and staff member Renee Jones prep dining areas, while Gloria Daniels, who helps run the kitchen during the day, lights burners and fills hulking pots with water for grits and oatmeal. “Gloria is the heart and soul of our kitchen in the morning,” Turner says while unlocking the walk-in coolers. The kitchen will feed around 750 diners between continental breakfast, which begins in an hour, and the full breakfast service at 7:30 a.m. There’s little time to waste. Trays of bacon go into ovens while a pot of sausage gravy bubbles on the stove. Every few minutes, a new face appears in the kitchen, ready to tackle a different job. Shortly before 6:30 a.m., the first cups of coffee are brewed. As the dark sky over East Campus goes from purple to dim blue, the first student emerges and walks into the Marketplace. Another day at Duke begins while, for many, the work is done. 

6 a.m.

By Stephen Schramm

Mark Turner, Duke Dining executive chef, prepares fruit trays in the Marketplace on East Campus.


Power Your Mood V

onne Morgan whips up Italian cream cake, buttermilk pie and cream cheese balls, but her favorite thing to make is peanut butter fudge. Her fudge is so legendary that loved ones submit mail-order requests. While the baking takes hours, especially around the holidays, it’s when Morgan is happiest. “My mom made a cake every Saturday and candies around Christmas to give to people,” Vonne Morgan said Morgan, a compliance office auditor at Duke Health. “I just took over what my mom did. I love sharing all my desserts.” Starting or keeping a hobby improves overall mental and emotional well-being, a core area for the Healthy Duke initiative, says Jonathan Bae, assistant professor of medicine and a mental and emotional health advocate for Healthy Duke. “When we work so hard, we can lose sight of aspects that make us unique and who we are,” Bae said. “Having a hobby is a great outlet to improve mental well-being and reminds us of what makes us happy.” Here’s how these Duke employees use hobbies.



Debbe Geiger

Hunter Spotts

Marketing Communications Director Duke Health

Clinical Associate Department of Community and Family Medicine

Hobby: Sewing

Hobby: Running

How often: Daily

How often: Five days a week

Why this passion: Geiger sewed clothes as a

Why this passion: Spotts began running in a

child but lost interest until five years ago when she didn’t know what to do with a dozen shirts her son never wore. “A friend suggested making a quilt out of them,” Geiger said. “It snowballed from there to making my own bags, skirts and shirts.”

How the hobby helps her: “I get to use my

brain in a different way than when I’m sitting at work on a computer,” Geiger said. “Sewing is very satisfying when you’ve taken a bunch of different fabric and stitched it together to create something new. It’s a real confidence builder when you wear something you make and nobody can tell.”

Proudest accomplishment: Geiger made a quilt in the shape of an elephant and is working on a wall hanging in the shape of a lion. “I really like elephants,” she said. “My son is using the quilt while he’s in college.”

physical education class as a student at Furman University. “I realized I could run faster than most of the people in the class,” he said. “I started entering a few races and found it addicting.”

How the hobby helps him: Spotts runs 40 to 50 miles each week. For him, it’s as much a social activity as it is physical. “A buddy and I often go running on the American Tobacco Trail early in the morning,” he said. “We keep each other motivated and working toward a common goal. It really lets off steam.” Proudest accomplishment: Spotts qualified for the Boston Marathon twice, in 1994 and 2007. “That’s a fun race because there are just so many people along the course yelling and cheering,” he said.

d with a


William Hanley III

Amanda Kolman

Emeka Johnson

Electronic Resources Management Specialist Duke University Libraries

Customer Relations Manager Duke University Press

Medicaid Eligibility Analyst Medicaid Eligibility

Hobby: Photography

Hobby: Geocaching, which is when people use GPS to hide containers, called “geocaches,” at specific locations for others to find.

Hobby: Digital art

How often: Daily

Why this passion: Hanley began taking

How often: Every weekend

Why this passion: As a child, Johnson drew

pictures after a film studies class at North Carolina State University in 2004. “I’ve always been interested in shapes, lines and shadows,” he said. “Since that class, I’ve basically seen the world in frames. I had to start taking pictures.”

How the hobby helps him: Hanley takes about 300 photos a week on his Sony Alpha 58. “Whenever I take photos and anyone asks me what I’m doing, I just say I’m painting,” Hanley said. “I use it as mindfulness meditation. I pay close attention to light, shadow, shapes and lines. So, as I walk along viewing this beauty, I feel happy and healed.” Proudest accomplishment: Hanley’s

photos were displayed in the fall at Lilly Library on East Campus. “I came up with the theme, ‘A Perspective of Duke,’” he said. “It’s my perspective of what I see walking around campus. It’s really special knowing people see it as they walk through the library.”

Why this passion: Kolman and her husband

started geocaching in Tallahassee, Florida, with their 10-year-old son, Aaron, as a family-friendly activity. “I wanted to show my son there are things in this world that you’ll miss unless you stop and look for them.”

How the hobby helps her: “As a family, it

helps bring us together,” Kolman said. “We can all be doing separate things, but the minute someone suggests geocaching, we’ll go. It lets us decompress by taking our mind off the world.”

Proudest accomplishment: Kolman and her family spent two hours finding a geocache hidden inside a tree in Chapel Hill. “I’m from New Jersey and my husband is from New York,” she said. “We are not country people, so we’ve had a lot of great laughs in the woods.”

How often: Daily photos from fashion magazines, but she wasn’t proud of her work. She had trouble drawing straight lines. About six years ago, a friend mentioned Adobe Illustrator, and Johnson started creating posters and T-shirt designs. “I started teaching myself by clicking around and using YouTube tutorials,” Johnson said. “I fell in love with creating on the computer.”

How the hobby helps her: Johnson

immediately feels better when surrounded by bright colors. “It relaxes me because I create beautiful, colorful things,” she said. “Color makes me happy.”

Proudest accomplishment: A poster filled with sailboats, which Johnson made for her mother’s birthday. It was selected for the Durham Art Walk Spring Market in 2016. “It really shows that giving myself time for my passion pays off,” she said. By Jonathan Black

Got a passion?

Write or share your pictures on social media with #HealthyDuke.


Head of the Class Duke employees celebrate receiving their Excellence certificates through Duke’s Learning & Organization Development in 2016.


Certificate program teaches leadership, technology skills

n the middle of a workday a few years ago, Regina Leak was blindfolded with a bandanna as part of an assignment. A participant in a “Guide to Managing at Duke” class offered by Duke’s Learning & Organization Development (L&OD), she was then instructed to listen to a classmate who provided instructions on how to untie 10 strings. “It reinforced my listening skills,” said Leak, a Duke Health Technology Solutions analyst who’s been at Duke 43 years. “Being blindfolded, you really have to tune into what the other person is saying.” A “Guide to Managing at Duke” is a course offered as part of L&OD’s Excellence Certificate programs. L&OD offers University and Duke Health employees certificate tracks in seven disciplines: Administrative Assistant of Excellence, Executive Assistant of Excellence, Training Excellence, Customer Service Excellence, Supervisory Excellence, Leadership Excellence, and Technical Excellence. To earn a certificate, employees take three to four core courses and two to four



electives. Last year, 80 employees received certificates, up from 50 in 2016. “Duke employees have a desire to show improvement,” said Keisha Williams, assistant vice president of L&OD, which is part of Duke Human Resources. “We’ve provided designated paths for people where they can selectively say they want to focus on their performance.” L&OD has released its course catalog through June with about 126 offerings, including the certificate tracks. Leak, the Duke Health Technology Solutions analyst, earned her first certificate, in Supervisory Excellence, in 2016. She enjoyed it so much she earned a second certificate the following year in Leadership Excellence. But the most important lesson Leak learned was to be an active listener for the six employees she supervises. “By showing I’m listening and reaffirming what my employees are saying, it makes them feel valued,” Leak said. Tracey Madrid, a staff assistant for the Duke Clinical Research Institute, enrolled in the Technical Excellence track to update her computer skills. In L&OD’s

technology classes, Madrid learned computer shortcuts like hitting F12, which opens a new document in Microsoft Word. “I came back from the classes feeling refreshed with my job,” Madrid said. “It makes you feel like you can handle anything.” Madrid also earned a second certificate in 2017 in Customer Service Excellence. Michele L. Jones, an administrative assistant in Undergraduate Education, also earned the Customer Service Excellence certificate last year. She enrolled in the L&OD program because her job expanded to include more interactions with students. “You don’t have to go outside of Duke to get what you need to do your job effectively,” Jones said. “It’s good to have an employer who’s concerned about the continued learning of their employees.” 

By Jonathan Black

Learn more about the L&OD certificate program:

S Susan Johnson with her Goldendoodle, Sherlock.

Down but

Not Out Disability insurance protects you when sick or injured

usan Johnson was writing an email about three years ago when the words for her message escaped her. In the following weeks, she forgot words in the middle of conversations and struggled with comprehending what she read. The situation worsened for Johnson, a compensation analyst for Rewards and Recognition in Duke Human Resources. She struggled to walk and speak coherently and took an indefinite leave to determine what was wrong. “It led to a lot of anxiety,” Johnson said. “My daughter would have me pick out a recipe and try to complete it. I couldn’t figure out what to do. The words just didn’t make sense.” After multiple doctor’s visits and an MRI, Johnson was diagnosed with cystic meningioma, a noncancerous brain tumor. The tumor, which had a cyst attached, forms around the brain and spinal cord. In June 2015, she underwent surgery to remove it. During her recovery, Johnson had income protection with Duke’s disability program. The program, offered by Duke, provides up to 60 percent of an employee’s base salary if an employee is unable to work due to illness or injury. “Duke’s disability benefit helped me focus on my health,” said Johnson, who has worked at Duke 11 years. “It came through when I didn’t know what the next day was going to bring.” Employees like Johnson with at least three years of full-time continuous service are eligible to participate in the Duke provided benefit plan. Employees with under three years of continuous service can enroll in voluntary disability plans; the cost for that coverage is based on age and annual base salary. Several exceptions and specific eligibility criteria apply for the plans; all details are in plan descriptions at Sonya Stewart, senior analyst for Duke Benefits, said voluntary disability insurance is an important benefit for new hires to consider for income protection before becoming eligible for the Duke paid coverage. “If you become disabled, how would you pay for groceries, your house payment or other necessities?” she asked. “We have this in place to help cover those expenses.” While Johnson was out of work for five months in 2015, she used a combination of sick and vacation time before the disability benefit took effect. During recovery, Johnson went on daily walks with her Goldendoodle, Sherlock, to build up her strength. After she returned to work, she participated in the “Gallop and Gorge 8K” in Carrboro with her grandson, Drew. Johnson kept a steady walking pace for the first two miles. That’s when Drew, who had finished the race, circled back to her. He told Johnson to lift her head up, move her arms, focus on the people in front of her and start running. She crossed the finish line only five months after surgery. 

By Jonathan Black

Get Financial Security Eligible full-time employees who have worked at Duke for three continuous years are generally covered by Duke’s disability insurance. Employees with under three years of service may enroll in a voluntary disability plan. Several exceptions and specific eligibility criteria apply. For eligibility and full program details, visit


New Ways to

Tell a Story

From podcasts to Instagram, digital media showcases work at Duke


t wasn’t until Sarah Burdick sat down to watch a Duke men’s basketball game on a snowy Saturday last winter that she saw the moment that spurred the creation of her department’s Instagram account. Snow and ice from a winter storm blanketed Duke’s campus and, in order for the game to go on, Facilities Management Department staff members had to clear roads and sidewalks. Television cameras captured the crews at work and showed that footage during the game intro. Burdick, the department’s communications specialist, grabbed her phone and snapped a picture of her TV screen. Within minutes, she set up an Instagram account for Duke Facilities Management and published its first post. “It’s a great way to reach the Duke community about what we do,” said Burdick, who runs the account. From Duke’s main online channels to the men’s basketball program’s Twitter account with 2.2 million followers, Duke uses innovative methods to get its story out. Dig deeper and you’ll find that there are other departments embracing new ways – both simple and sophisticated – to showcase their corner of Duke.

Duke's history A large part of Amy McDonald’s job as assistant university archivist consists of digging through the documents and artifacts in the Duke University Archives to fish out materials requested by researchers. Along the way, she comes across quirky,



illuminating or fun pieces of Duke’s history. She’ll stumble onto decades-old party fliers, grainy photos of Duke’s early days and writings that show more intimate sides of some of the university’s most important figures. Previously, these discoveries might make for interesting chatter with co-workers or a post on the archives’ blog. But since the summer of 2014, the historic photos and documents that comprise McDonald’s everyday discoveries have a home on the Duke Archives Twitter account. “There’s just so much that we find as we’re doing our work, we really wanted to share it with the community,” McDonald said. The account is a must-follow for people who are curious about Duke’s history. One of the account’s most popular posts came from something that never became part of Duke. While looking through a box of former Duke President Terry Sanford’s papers last June, McDonald came across a file labeled “Mar-A-Lago.” It contained correspondences showing that, in the 1980s, Duke briefly considered buying the Florida estate, now owned by President Donald J. Trump, and using it as a conference center.

McDonald snapped a picture and sent a tweet that got picked up by a handful of prominent political journalists, giving the account a dose of buzz. “This wasn’t what I was looking for at all, but it was fun,” McDonald said.

40,000 downloads With earphones on and a computer screen filled with dancing audio level readings, Carol Jackson is in her element. Jackson, a digital communications strategist with the Sanford School of Public Policy, is part of the team behind Sanford’s Ways & Means podcast.

From left, Digital Communications Strategist Carol Jackson, Assistant Dean for Communications Karen Kemp and Producer Alison Jones are behind the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Ways & Means podcast.

Now in its third season, the podcast combines faculty research, compelling human stories and nuanced sound design, to give Sanford’s scholarly output a new, approachable platform. With around 40,000 downloads, people have noticed. “A graduate student, before she enrolled, reached out to me and said ‘Hey, I’ve really enjoyed listening to this, can I work on the project when I get there?’” Jackson said. “That’s pretty cool.” The challenge of turning potentially dense or specialized research into something that resonates with the public is what communications staffs throughout higher education constantly grapple with. In 2015, Karen Kemp, Sanford’s assistant dean of communications, explored the creation of a podcast that would bring a human element to the work at Sanford. After getting help from Sanford’s Innovation & Impact Fund, Kemp’s idea was bolstered when Jackson, a public radio producer, joined the staff. Soon after, the first episode, focusing on fact checkers, was released.

Since then, Ways & Means has showcased the faculty’s work on such topics as end of life healthcare decisions, human trafficking, redistricting and more. It’s also helped spur the development of other Sanford podcasts, such as the interviewstyle Policy 360 and the student-led Devils’ Discourse. “There’s 24/7, 365 news coming from many, many, sources now,” Kemp said. “To get people’s attention, storytelling is important. It has changed the way I think about our work.”

Caring for the campus In the year since Burdick started the Instagram account for Facilities, she’s continued filling the feed with photos and stories showcasing the wide range of work of her colleagues. With a few hundred followers, the account has succeeded in showing off potentially overlooked sides of a department whose staff cares for Duke’s campus. She admits that when she started the account, she didn’t know much about Instagram other than that it was popular with her college-age children. But now, she’s constantly on the hunt for photos and stories that make for fun posts. She’s gotten photos on a range of activities for the Instagram feed - from employees welding in Cameron Indoor Stadium to the circle a Landscape Services employee drew on Craven Quad before a basketball showdown with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill marking where a celebratory bonfire was allowed to go. Co-workers even get into the act, occasionally sending photos her way. “I think it’s great when they send me pictures of the work they do,” Burdick said. “When the grounds guys send me pictures of the straight lines they’ve mowed, it totally warms my heart. I love that.” 

By Stephen Schramm

Follow Along

Duke Facilities Management on Instagram @dukefacilities Duke University Archives on Twitter @dukeuarchives Listen to the Ways and Means podcast



Hillandale Golf Course in Durham features 18 public holes, a practice green and driving range.

Save on Tee Times at Hillandale


fter a long week of work, there is nothing Casey Norris enjoys more than grabbing his golf clubs and a few friends and heading to Hillandale Golf Course to unwind. Whether hitting nine holes or taking on 18 at the public course, Norris saves a few dollars with the Duke employee discount while on the green. “Hillandale is so convenient to Duke,” said Norris, a clinical trials project leader for Duke Clinical Research Institute. “Everyone there is super nice and friendly. They have patience if you aren’t the best golfer.” Duke staff and faculty get 10 percent off every round at Hillandale Golf Course in 2018. The discount saves employees anywhere from $1 to $4 for a round of nine or 18 holes. The golf course is open all year, weather permitting. Hillandale, which dates to 1911, has been at its current location in Durham since 1961. The course, about one and a half miles from Duke, is a par 71 and stretches across 6,339 yards of Bermuda grass. Hillandale is home to a driving range and putting green, and the course hosts the annual Durham Amateur Tournament.



“It’s always a fun way to break away from the grind of the workweek,” Norris said. “The fact I got a discount was just an added bonus.” Since 2008, Hillandale has run the H.E.A.R.T.S. Club, which stands for “Hillandale Embracing a Really Tough Situation.” H.E.A.R.T.S. provides patients in Duke Hospital’s Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, and their families, a free experience at the golf course. H.E.A.R.T.S. also assists families financially by offering donations for house payments, insurance, travel and more. “Families can get out of the hospital to play a few rounds, go to the putting green, have a ride in a golf cart or just experience some fresh air,” said Karl Kimball, director of golf at Hillandale. “We want to support families fighting the good fight.”  By Jonathan Black

Hit the Links Hillandale Golf Course, which is open to the public, is at 1600 Hillandale Rd. in Durham. Learn more at To get the discount, show your DukeCard ID. Visit discounts, select “Sports” and search for Hillandale Golf Course to learn more.


Research Drive Garage Goes Solar Decisions made a decade ago help solar project come together


This artist’s rendering shows the solar panel system that will soon sit atop the seven-story Research Drive Parking Garage.

ater this year, Duke’s Research Drive Garage will be getting its power from the sun. While construction will begin in the coming months on the solar panel system that will sit atop the seven-story parking garage, a good portion of the work has already been done. The panels, which will sit on a canopy above the deck’s top level, will provide 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Not only will that easily cover the needs of the garage, thus putting excess energy back into the grid to power other buildings, it will also knock off 430 metric tons of carbon from Duke’s footprint. That’s equivalent to 92 passenger cars being taken off the road. “It’s a visual indicator of our sustainability commitment,” said Casey Collins, energy manager with Duke

Facilities Management. The LEED-certified deck, which holds around 1,900 cars, was built a decade ago with sustainability in mind. It uses efficient LED lights, captures rainwater and reuses it for irrigation and has digital displays that direct drivers to areas with open spots. Solar panels on the roof were part of the initial design, thanks in large part to the deck’s close proximity to a highvoltage substation. As the deck was coming together, Duke installed the infrastructure necessary to support solar power in the design, hopeful that one day it could be of use. With solar power systems becoming more efficient and affordable, Duke revisited the plans last year and greenlit the $2.3-million project to add panels to the top of the garage. The top level of the garage already has canopies on which panels can be attached.

For more about Duke’s sustainability efforts, visit

It also has concrete support columns strong enough to hold additional support structures. “There’s no real structural reinforcement of the parking garage that has to go on,” said Tilden Hagan a Duke alum and CEO of Green State Power, the Greensboro-based company that will install and maintain the panels. “… A lot of projects wouldn’t happen if that had to be done. Luckily, none of that is the case here.” While Duke has small solar arrays on campus already, the one on top of the Research Drive Garage, also known as Parking Garage No. 9, will be by far the largest, making the decade long wait to bring it to life well worth it. “There was some forethought and planning,” Collins said. “It just took a little bit longer to execute.” 

By Stephen Schramm




What you’re sharing online Go online to discover more

Duke Raleigh

News You Can Use:

@dukeraleigh • January 18

It’s a beautiful day at Duke Raleigh! Thank you to our Engineering and grounds crews who have kept the roads and sidewalks around campus clear for our patients, visitors and staff. #Dukesnowday @WorkingatDuke Carrie Bonfante Endara January 15 • Houston, TX

#getmovingduke it’s race weekend! Representing team DUKE at the Houston Half Marathon

Views from the top For some Duke employees, enjoying a nice view in the office is part of the job. Have some P.R.I.D.E. Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity offers LGBTQIA+ workshops.

Duke University OIT @DukeOIT • January 23

What a throwback! Mac history event @DukeOIT now @WorkingatDuke

Become a student again Coursera for Duke offers free online courses for staff, faculty and students.

Come chat with us Facebook

Twitter @WorkingatDuke


Share story ideas by emailing Duke University  Office of Communication Services  705 Broad St., Durham, N.C. 27708

February/March, 2018 Working@Duke  
February/March, 2018 Working@Duke