Undergraduate Young Trustee finalist Shrey Majmudar hopes to join the Board of Trustees in order to keep serving the Duke community even after graduating.
“I have truly given the past three plus years to this institution, not only to serving my fellow peers but to serving our university as a whole. I think it’s very gratifying work, it’s very important work, and it’s work that I’d love to continue,” Majmudar said.
A senior from Austin, Texas, Majmudar is majoring in public policy, minoring in computer science and pursuing a certificate in science and society. He is a first generation Indian American, and he is passionate about STEM education and mental health advocacy.
At Duke, Majmudar has invested much of his time in Duke Student Government, where he currently works as chief of staff. He previously served as vice president of academic affairs and founded DSG’s mental health caucus. He said that his work in DSG has not only enabled him to serve the undergraduate community but also given him exposure to the administrative side of the University.
Majmudar helped lead the Duke’s undergraduate COVID-19 response, chairing the Student Advisory Board and putting in 60 to 80 hours of work a week during the summer of 2020.
“That was an opportunity for me not only to bring the student perspective in but as a part of that experience, I and our entire board met directly with most of our identity and affinity organizations on campus … We were able to partner very effectively to bring those underrepresented voices into the decision-making,” Majmudar said.
Majmudar also helped found Blue Devil Buddies, the popular mentorship program that pairs incoming first-years with upperclassmen. He also helped revamp the University’s incapacitation form to acknowledge mental health issues.
Majmudar said his DSG work has prepared him to be a Young Trustee by training him in empathy, which he describes as the ability to put himself in another person’s shoes.
“I have personally met with hundreds and hundreds of students over my time through DSG … I think that’s important because even though you’re not representing students on the board as a Young Trustee, you know that this is what Duke is made up of and these are all the different student perspectives that make up the student body, and when you provide the Young Trustee perspective, I think that’s crucial,” Majmudar said.
Beyond his DSG work, Majmudar has served on two standing committees of the Board of Trustees, an experience he says has been “ been pivotal to [his] undergraduate experience and has given [him] a firsthand view of what it means to be a good fiduciary.” Last year, he served on the Board’s resources committee, which oversees the University’s finances, information technology and human capital. This year, he serves on the Board’s external engagement committee, which oversees alumni affairs and development, donor relations, government relations, public relations and community affairs.
Majmudar said that his experience with DSG and his role on the Board’s standing committees has prepared him to be an effective member of the Board by giving him an “on-the-ground perspective” regarding the University.
“Part of the Board’s responsibility is accountability and the ways that the Trustees often exercise their accountability is by asking the exact right questions by ‘knowing where the bodies are buried.’ And what I can say unequivocally is that I do know where the bodies are buried,” Majmudar said. “I have been involved with the University, I’ve seen all of the different sides of this institution. I’ve worked with most of the individuals that make up our senior leadership.”
If selected as Young Trustee, Majmudar hopes to help provide oversight and accountability regarding the University’s racial justice goals. He would also work on shaping Duke’s upcoming multibillion dollar campaign to direct more resources to financial aid. Finally, he hopes to plan for Duke’s centennial and help shape Duke’s mission and vision for the next hundred years.
Shruti Desai, associate vice president of student affairs for campus life, said Majmudar has a “fair and deep understanding” of the University.
“He knows the politics of higher education and Duke … He has worked really hard to build relationships with trustees, students, administrators and faculty. So when he sees a problem, he’s really good at navigating the bureaucracy and politics at Duke,” Desai said.
Senior Meghna Mahadevan, who worked with Majmudar on DSG’s academic affairs committee, described Majmudar as “selfless and tireless.”
“He’s done so much to make sure that student voices are put at the forefront,” she said. “He has such a passion for Duke and making it better … You don’t have to know him to ask him for help. He would do anything for anyone regardless of how well he knows them or not.”
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
Chris Kuo is a Trinity senior and a staff reporter for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously enterprise editor for Volume 117.