The Black Student Alliance had the pleasure to meet with the Young Trustee candidates to hear more about their vision for Duke and how they believe they will best serve the university. After long deliberations it became evident that each candidate was extremely qualified and possessed a diversity of experience.

Anya Ranganathan demonstrated a wide range of institutional knowledge and diverse involvement while at Duke. Her history of advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and accessibility of resources indicate her ability to think broadly about issues affecting various communities.

Tanner Lockhead possessed a strong connection to Durham and vast experience on the Institutional Advancement committee. His views on institutional accountability showed that he is cognizant of Duke’s impact in Durham and in low-income communities.

Steven Soto offered a broad view on the importance of intersectionality and diverse faculty recruitment. His involvement in the founding of Project Arts and scholarships for first generation students reaffirmed his commitment to making Duke a place where all students feel welcome.

The BSA executive board decided to endorse Uzoma Ayogu for Young Trustee because he proved to be an authority on Duke’s history, priorities and goals and gave concrete strategies on how Duke can outcompete peer institutions based on his experience on other boards. We were impressed with his work as Chair of Pratt’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee in laying the foundation for an initiative to increase female mentorship in STEM fields. Additionally, his on the ground approach to problem-solving issues that individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds face at Duke coupled with his active role in university advancement demonstrated his ability to reimagine a Duke that all students can call home. 

The Black Student Alliance is proud to endorse Uzoma Ayogu for Young Trustee and believe that he will serve exceptionally well as a steward of the university.

Signed:

Tiana Horn, President of Duke BSA, T‘17