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Duke’s QuadEx Faculty Fellows program looks to bring the classroom to the dorms

With its new QuadEx Faculty Fellows program, Duke hopes to promote academic engagement by strengthening relationships between students and faculty through residential life.
With its new QuadEx Faculty Fellows program, Duke hopes to promote academic engagement by strengthening relationships between students and faculty through residential life.

Learning doesn’t have to be confined to lecture halls. With its new QuadEx Faculty Fellows program, Duke hopes to promote academic engagement by strengthening relationships between students and faculty through residential life. 

As part of Duke’s QuadEx living/learning initiative, each faculty member, called a fellow, is paired with one of Duke’s seven quad communities based on their academic interests. They will not reside in the quad but rather be “closely associated” with the quad community, according to a release. This new role is intended to bridge the gap between the classroom and community, and to match students with a mentor that fosters intellectual and social development.

The pairings are as follows: 

  • Edens Quad: Abdullah Antepli, associate professor of the practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Keohane Quad: Lee Baker, professor of cultural anthropology, sociology and African and African American Studies
  • Craven Quad: Shani Daily, professor of the practice in electrical and computer engineering and computer science
    Wannamaker Quad: Didem Havlioglu, associate professor of the practice of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Few Quad: Yue Jiang, assistant professor of the practice of statistical science
  • Kilgo Quad: Greg Samanez-Larkin, Jack H. Neely Associate Professor, psychology and neuroscience
  • Crowell Quad: Deondra Rose, Kevin D. Gorter, associate professor of public policy

Faculties in Residence perform a similar role for first-years on East Campus as the West Campus faculty fellows do.

The seven fellows were selected to pioneer the program through a competitive application process. Rose said that the main job of faculty fellows is to help “decrease the distance between intellectual life and broader sort of residential experience on campus.” Students will be able to connect with professors through social programming at the quads, including meals and special events. 

Rose selected Crowell because the Visions of Freedom FOCUS cluster in Giles, one of the East Campus dorms, is linked with Crowell, which houses the Visions of Freedom Living Learning Community. Although she does not teach any of the Visions of Freedom classes, she was interested because the cluster connects to the work she does at POLIS: Center for Politics, and she is interested in talking about freedom of speech and discourse on campus.

Baker believes the QuadEx Faculty Fellow program will further intellectual enrichment at Duke. 

“This will make sure that the academic experience is the foundation of the college experience,” he said. 

Beyond academics, the faculty fellows will help bring a sense of community to their respective quads as they compete through different activities and earn points for the President’s Cup, a trophy awarded at the end of the year to the quad with the most points. 

As an anthropology professor, Baker is well versed in the development of culture and identity.

“I am excited to play a role in crafting an identity for each quad,” he said. “I want the life of the mind integrated into the community.”

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