Christopher Paul was selected as Duke’s next graduate Young Trustee last Tuesday.
Paul was chosen through a parliamentary selection composed of more than 150 student-voted representatives in which every graduate school was represented at last week’s Graduate and Professional Student Council meeting. A Ph.D. student in the University Program in Environmental Policy, he will serve a three-year term on the Board of Trustees, although he will be a non-voting member during his first year. Having been an undergraduate and graduate student at Duke, Paul has held many leadership roles and has a passion for the University, he explained.
“I’m honored to be selected by my peers to apply my broad and interdisciplinary experience at Duke to advancing the future of the University as a whole,” Paul wrote in an email.
He noted that he has high hopes for Duke’s future and only wants to see the University flourish more.
“Universities represent the best of society, and Duke represents the best of universities,” Paul wrote.
The four major themes Paul hopes the Board will focus on are maintaining core strengths in education and research, ensuring and promoting diversity, enhancing the University’s global reach and using the work and research generated at Duke as a service to society.
Despite graduating with the first class of Robertson Scholars in 2005 and now studying as a Ph.D. candidate in the Sanford School of Public Policy and Nicholas School of Environment, Paul noted that Duke has never stopped challenging him and that is why he loves the University so much.
“It isn’t just about studying what is known, but also discovering the new, and this is something that Duke does so well through research,” he said.
Born and raised in Durham, Paul decided to attend Duke as an undergraduate student after learning about the “incredible research opportunities Duke had to offer.”
As an undergraduate, he was a leader with an environmental education group affiliated with Project Wild and a leader of LEAPS Service Learning. During his time as a graduate student, Paul has continued his service by holding a position on the Duke Graduate School Board of Visitors. In addition, he has served as the leader of GradParents—a group designed to provide support for graduate students with children—as well as the Society of Duke Fellows and the Duke Global Health Student Council.
Next year, Paul plans to stay at Duke as a postdoctoral student researching environmental policy, in addition to serving as the graduate Young Trustee.
“I look forward to working with all of the Trustees to advance Duke’s excellent future,” he said.
Claire Ballentine contributed reporting. The Chronicle communicated with Paul via email and on the phone.