One Who Looks at the Mountain

After a 9-year journey through Tanzania, Yahya Jongintaba—formerly known as Jon Michael Spencer in a past life— has returned for a pit stop at Duke.

In 2005, Jongintaba decided to leave behind everything he owned in order to lead a nomadic life in Africa.

“I had a very nice home, a very nice car. I had a lot of art I had collected in my world travels and a library of a couple thousand books—a significant portion of which I had gotten abroad—books I could never get here,” he explained.

In fact, some of those books like Blues and Evil, Theological Music, and Protest and Praise were his own publications. From 1986 to 1987, Dr. Spencer settled at Duke as a post-doctoral scholar then spent 3 additional years as a visiting professor in the Divinity School. In his 23 years as a professor, he held positions at North Carolina Central University, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Richmond, Bowling Green State and the University of South Carolina teaching topics that include but are not limited to theology, American studies, the blues and African-American studies... Read more

Duke Global Education Fair 2014

The Global Education Fair presented a series of options through which students can extend their learning beyond Duke.

The fair was held in the Bryan Center Tuesday, with representatives from over 70 programs tabling and disseminating information about the study abroad opportunities available to students. The purpose of these global education programs is to help students explore fields with a new perspective without feeling confined to Duke's campus, said Amanda Kelso, the assistant vice provost for undergraduate education and executive director of the Global Education Office.

"[These programs can] make the world your classroom," Kelso said.

Kelso recommended that applicants be intentional about how they choose programs, especially since Duke offers a selection of programs from a variety of disciplines like public policy, foreign language learning, neuroscience and many others.

When choosing the most suitable program, students should consider "what's right for [them]" and "what comes to [their] mind [when they picture themselves studying abroad]," Kelso said... Read more

Introducing Cafe Edens and Cafe DeNovo

In the midst of all the renovations, some dining venues on campus have also started fresh.

Pitchfork Provisions—the popular dining spot near the Keohane and Edens dorms, was renovated and renamed to Café Edens this past summer. Although the Pitchforks menu remained the same, the dining area was renovated, wrote Rick Johnson, assistant vice president of student affairs, in an email Wednesday.

“The food has always been great since Pitchfork Provisions took over,” Johnson said. “The interior of the restaurant was old and did not match the quality of the food served.”

The food and proximity of Café Edens make it a popular option for late night snacks, said sophomore Kevin He, a Keohane resident.

“Overall, the atmosphere is definitely nicer,” he said. “The booths are great for eating with friends and the red chairs give a retro feel."

In addition to renovating the dining area, the name of the restaurant was changed as an effort to connect Edens with the rest of campus, Johnson said... Read more

ChronYourRadar: September 15th-21st

Need to know what's going on this week? Check out ChronYourRadar, the Chronicle news blog's weekly round-up of events on campus and in Durham.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Week: Duke is holding its first I&E week since launching its certificate program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship this Fall. The week will include panel discussions, an entrepreneurship fair and more. Full schedule of events here.

Wednesday, Sept. 17th: Learn more about Duke's newest campus at the year's first info session for Duke Kunshan University. DKU opened its doors this August after years of planning and delays, and applications have now opened for both Spring and Fall 2015. Allen Building boardroom, 5:30 p.m.

Later Wednesday evening, check out traveling photography exhibit "Hard Art, D.C. 1979" at the Center for Documentary Studies' reception and discussion with the artist... Read more

In case you missed it

Haven't had a chance to read those newsletters flooding your inbox? Feeling unconnected with the world outside those stone brick walls? Not to worry. The Chronicle's Big Blog is excited to introduce a weekly roundup of news stories about the University and Durham that may have slipped through your radar.

A swamp creature recently uncovered in Africa has been named Jaggermeryx naida in honor of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger by a team of researchers including Greg Gunnell, a paleontologist at the Duke Lemur Center. The crooner and creature both share the trait of luscious lips. Angelina jolie was another potential namesake but ultimately Jagger’s lips won out.

Female baboons that exhibit overall more sociable behavior, particularly those that have male friends also tend to live longer, according to study of more than 200 baboons in Kenya that biology professors Susan Alberts and Jenny Tung... Read more

The best of Duke Dining

If there is one thing that almost all undergraduates at Duke get fired up about besides basketball and LDOC, it’s food. Food website The Daily Meal has ranked Duke Dining as No. 9 in the “75 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2014,” which may come as a surprise to some students who are limited by the meal plan to stay on campus for food.

While Durham has indeed been named “The South’s Tastiest Town” by Southern Living magazine, the food on Duke’s campus itself has been criticized for its lack of dining options since the closing of West Union in July 2013, a dining hall that served as the former home to The Loop, Alpine Bagels, Subway, and other dining venues. The Read more

Overheard at the Marketplace

Integral to the first-year experience, the Marketplace is filled during meal times with freshmen taking advantage of one of their weekly food swipes. Whether it’s the specialty dinner of the day, the playlist that day or the Marketplace employee singing “Ayy Ladies, if you think you bad,” you never know what you'll find when you walk through those wooden doors. The epitome of this uncertainty can be found in the conversations of students as they eat and talk with friends. At any given moment, you can hear conversations with topics varying from Saturday night Shooters adventures to questioning the Marketplace food descriptions. Here’s a snippet of conversations in the last few days at the Marketplace.

“I didn’t pregame because I’m in Jarvis. I didn’t even signup for Jarvis. I was sent there.”

“I ran out of swipes this week so I’m trying to eat up the whole Marketplace.”

“It’s not pessimistic if it’s real.”

“This is called a vegan blueberry... Read more

ChronYourRadar: September 8th-14th

Need to know what's going on this week? Check out ChronYourRadar, the Chronicle news blog's new weekly round-up of events on campus and in Durham.

Wednesday, Sept. 10: Come to Wilson Rec Center between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm for some quality time with more than 100 companies and scores of classmates clad in business casual—it's the Fall Career Fair.

Wednesday afternoon, head over to Sanford to catch two high-profile counterterrorism experts discussing ISIS and changing terrorist threats. Fran Townsend, chair of the Homeland Security Council during the Bush administration, and Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, principal counterterrorism advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will begin at 5:00 pm in Fleishmann Commons.

Thursday, Sept. 11: Follow up the Career Fair with an event that's a little less self-serving—the Volunteer Fair will be held in the Bryan Center from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Check out ways to give back in Durham and beyond.

Friday, Sept... Read more

The Fairview Dining Room, a Four-Star Award winner

The Fairview Dining Room in the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club was named Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award 2014 winner at an awards ceremony at the ARIA Resort & Casio in Las Vegas yesterday. As a new Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award winner, the Fairview Dining Room brings home another milestone achievement for its seasonally inspired contemporary cuisine, exceptional service and extensive wine list. The honored restaurant consecutively wins the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and the AAA Four Diamond Award year after year but the esteemed Forbes Travel Guide award celebrates the Fairview Dining Room as an outstanding establishment—and one of only two restaurants in the state to receive both the AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award—offering guests a truly exceptional level of luxury and service in the Triangle’s upscale dining scene.

"The Fairview Dining Room is patronized by a variety of clientele, from Duke students and faculty to alumni, Durham locals and visitors from around the world... Read more

Most underrated places on campus

Are you a freshman who just moved in? Do you spend the majority of your time in Perkins? Are you what the hipsters would call “mainstream”? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you probably roam campus in some of the more obvious and populated spaces. Nothing wrong with that, as Duke is filled with nifty places to study, sleep, live and play, but here’s a handy list of the most underrated places on campus compiled by a highly scientific crowd sourcing and general asking-around methodology.

Most Underrated Places to Study – tie, Divinity Library and Thomas Reading Room in Lilly Library

The Divinity Library, located on the ground level of the Divinity School, is one of several graduate and professional school libraries on campus that undergrads don’t frequent the way they do Perkins and Bostock. Part of it is currently closed for renovations until August 2015 (big surprise here), but the Div School library is multiple levels with various study spaces, including the spacious York Room on the second floor... Read more