Amy Hafez was elected to a three-year term as Duke’s graduate young trustee Tuesday night.

Hafez is a sixth-year Ph.D. student in molecular genetics and microbiology, with a research focus on cancer. She’s been a member of the Graduate and Professional Student Council through its executive board and general assembly. 

"I feel really great," Hafez said. "I'm very excited to go to work for the graduate and professional students, and to be a representative for them."

Her vision for the position is to modernize graduate and professional education and to create stronger interdisciplinary networks on campus, she said in her presentation before GPSC's General Assembly. Hafez earned her undergraduate degree at Salisbury University and her master's of science at Johns Hopkins University. She plans to pursue a science policy career after wrapping up her Ph.D., and she's expected to defend her thesis in March 2018.

The GPSC GA held an instant runoff vote—in which voters rank their preferences and a candidate has to amass a majority of votes to win, and if needed the candidate that garners the fewest votes is eliminated and their voters' second-choice votes are counted.

After the votes were initially counted, there was a tie between the top two vote-getters. Following the third place candidate being eliminated and their voters' second choices being counted, there was again a tie that was broken by a secret ballot as per GPSC's bylaws, president Rashmi Joglekar explained.

The Young Trustee Election Committee had 15 applications, of which they interviewed seven people and chose three finalists. The other two finalists for the position were William Brody, a graduate student in the Fuqua School of Business, and Kristin Wainwright, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Nursing.

The new young trustee will spend her first year on the board as an observer, then gain voting rights for the second and third year.