7 Cups of Tea takes listening to the web

7 Cups of Tea is a site and app for anyone seeking emotional support for any issue they may be facing.

“It’s a place where anyone can either open the app or go online and receive support from a kind, active listener,” said 7 Cups of Tea founder Glen Moriarty.

Moriarty was inspired to create 7 Cups of Tea when he thought about behaviors that existed offline but not online, citing dating as an example of a behavior that has already made the transition. He often found himself speaking to his wife who is a professional counselor when he had problems, but wondered how people could work through their personal challenges without a therapist in their family. He decided to create a platform for people to connect with someone who was willing to listen.

The vast majority of people using 7 Cups of Tea are young adults, Moriarty says. Visitors to the site can match themselves with a listener based on language, country, age group, or issue... Read more

Duke students create Android app SMSmart

If you’re tired of relying on spotty wifi or paying for a few extra megabytes of data, SMSmart may be the app you need.

Seniors Alan Ni, Ben Schwab and Jay Wang have designed a mobile application for people who are concerned about their data usage. SMSmart uses texts instead of data to search for directions, locations, stocks and more.

“SMSmart is an app for people who are data-conscious or potentially people in countries with limited access to high-speed data," senior Ben Schwab said. "It lets you access information on the Internet via SMS instead of your traditional 4G data."

The company's mission, similar to Google’s Project Loon and, is to help provide universal Internet access.

The idea for the app came while they were studying abroad and had text messaging but no data plans as they traveled around. As computer science majors, the three of them had a basic understanding of how application program interfaces and mobile apps worked... Read more

#SB2015: What will you do?

Spring break is fast approaching. If you haven’t finalized plans yet, here’s a list of alternative Spring Break ideas for Duke students looking for service opportunities, fun or a little bit of both.

1. Get to know Durham and North Carolina a little bit better:

If you’re feeling outdoorsy, you can go for a hike on the Eno River and swim in the Quarry—the weather will be beautiful in March. Also consider attending the 3rd Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience at DPAC on March 8. The event will showcase 30 Durham restaurants and 30 premier breweries.

2. Complete a service project abroad for a week:

Many non-profits offer short volunteer opportunities for college students during break, with chances to contribute to public health and infrastructure campaigns in countries like Ghana, Jamaica and Mexico. This could be a great chance to give back to a different community. Check out nonprofit organization websites like projects-abroad... Read more

Students sound off on State of the Union

Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

President Obama spoke to several million Americans on the rebirth of the economy, the necessity of equal opportunity and the value of diplomacy at his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Duke's chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society hosted a watch party for students interested in the speech. Here's what some of them had to say afterward:

“President Obama laid out a clear agenda for what he wants to see in the next two years of his presidency. The biggest highlights were the later remarks on what better politics should look like in this country, both for his political agenda and for how national politics should be run, and it was nice to see that.” —junior Jay Sullivan.

“I loved that [Obama] brought up marriage equality as a civil right.” —junior Shreya Vora.

“I thought the president was really sassy, which I guess was a hallmark of it being his last term, but he was also really firm that if congress wants to push things through that he doesn’t like, he’s going to veto... Read more

ICYMI: Winter break headlines

Danielle Muoio / Chronicle File Photo

Mourning Vincent Davis

The Duke community mourned the loss of bus driver Vincent Davis after he was killed in a crash at the intersection of Erwin and Morreene roads Dec. 22.

"This was as horrific as an accident could be, and we’re still working our way through supporting both the family and the coworkers within Parking and Transportation," said Vice President of Administration Kyle Cavanaugh in an earlier interview with The Chronicle.

Davis, 52, was driving a Duke passenger van at the intersection when Jacob Samuels, 18, ran a red light and struck the van. The van flipped onto its side, and Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had worked at Duke for nearly two years.

Samuels has been charged with running a red light and death by vehicle. He was taken to Duke Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries... Read more

Stories to watch in 2015

Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

Want to know what to look out for as Duke enters the new year? Take a look below for some storylines to keep an eye on.

Philip Catterall / The Chronicle

Strategic planning: Eight years after the University launched its last strategic plan, Duke kicked off "pre-planning" for a new edition in 2014. This Spring will see continued work toward developing general themes and a structure, and the Fall will see the beginning of the actual planning process. Read more

Chronicle Top 10 for 2014: Part II

The Chronicle continues its look at the biggest news stories of 2014. Catch up on numbers ten through six here, and take a look at the top picks below.

5) Sexual assault guidelines and cases: sexual assault on college campuses continued to be a topic of national conversation in 2014, and Duke was no different. Following the University's 2013 decision to recommend expulsion as the preferred disciplinary sanction for sexual assault, Duke further adjusted its policies this year—launching a new website to improve access to information on campus sexual assault and including graduate and professional students in the campus disciplinary process for the first time. In December, the University hired its first fulltime Title IX coordinator... Read more

Chronicle Top 10 for 2014: Part I

As 2014 draws to a close, The Chronicle is taking a look at the 10 biggest news storylines of the year. Stay tuned for the top five tomorrow, but for now take a look at numbers ten through six.

10) 40 percent and 4 candidates: the 2014 Duke Student Government election saw the most student engagement in recent memory–with four contenders in the race for president and significant debate around the 40 Percent Plan, a ballot measure which would have allowed students to allocate a portion of their activities fees to the groups of their choosing. As discussion over the plan lit up social media, the presidential race grew tighter. Nikolai Doytchinov, then a junior, Read more

BOT Chair Rubenstein shows off a new talent—rapping

Darbi Griffith / Chronicle File Photo

Board of Trustees Chair David Rubenstein is often lauded for his savvy as a financial executive and his philanthropic work—and now his rapping skills?

Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, stars in a holiday video the private equity firm sent to investors Monday evening. Pairing his suit and tie with red Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, Rubenstein lays down the following track:

"It takes a lot of brains to do what we do,Looking for a way to make some dough for you.
Energy, commodity, we do it all,
So pick up the phone and give us a call.
Corporate mezzanine, private equity,
Carlyle Group is the place to be.
We’re global, we’re mobile, we’re aiming to please.
Only goal in mind: serve the LPs."

Read more

November headlines in review

Lemur Star of Zoboomafoo Dies at the Age of 20

Photo Courtesy of Duke Lemur Center

Jovian, a Coquerel’s sifaka and star of the children's show Zoboomafoo, passed away Nov. 10 after 20 years at the Duke Lemur Center. The star lemur died of kidney failure earlier this month but leaves behind a legacy as a playful friend and caring father. His death led to an outpouring of sympathy on social media—with many teens and twentysomethings sharing fond memories of the lemur's days in the spotlight during their childhood... Read more