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Candidate column: Uwa Ihionkhan

My  name is Uwa Ihionkhan, and I’m a sophomore psychology major from Longview, Texas. I’m thrilled to run for Vice President of Duke Student Government’s Durham & Regional Affairs Committee. I care deeply about engaging students in the Durham community, increasing  collaboration between Duke and partner institutions, and working with students to enact change on and off campus. My two years of vast experience in Senate makes me confident that I can fulfill the role of Vice President. Since I stepped foot on campus, I’ve  been passionately working to better the Duke experience on and off campus. I take time to critically assess Duke and its dynamic relationship with Durham, North Carolina, and the world, and use this reflection to inform my projects.

During my time as a Senator, I’ve been involved in projects to increase early voter turnout, to promote cross-institutional collaboration with our peer institutions, and to premiere a text subscription service that updates Duke students on all things Durham. Also,  I’ve participated in various Duke programs that have helped me gain insight into the diverse facets of the Duke experience and strengthen my leadership capability, including Common Ground, Dukes & Duchesses, tutoring Durham high school students, P.R.I.D.E.  training by the CGSD, the Young Trustee Nominating Committee and the President’s Council on Black Affairs. In each of these capacities, I’ve strengthened my understanding of the various stakeholders involved in any decision made at Duke. Next year, with the  hiring of a new Vice president of Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs there is a great opportunity for innovation in the way that Duke engages with Durham and the world. I hope to collaborate with students on campus particularly through working with  various racial/ethnic affinity associations and speaking to advocacy groups for marginalized groups. I’m excited for what next year holds, and in the meantime please contact me uoi@duke.edu  because student input is essential component of progress.

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