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2022-23 Chron15: Icons

<p>Top row: Chloe Beck; Il Forno's 'Speedy'; Drew Flanagan. Bottom row: The Loop; Center for Documentary Studies&nbsp;</p>

Top row: Chloe Beck; Il Forno's 'Speedy'; Drew Flanagan. Bottom row: The Loop; Center for Documentary Studies 

Duke’s icons are the people everyone knows — for their kindness, passion, talent or intellect. They are the people who make your meals in the Brodhead Center or who you see plastered across the television in Krafthouse. The icons on this year’s Chron15 list are beloved by the University community. They are people and places that spread joy, knowledge and Blue Devil pride.

Il Forno's 'Speedy'

For Il Forno’s Joquann Jones, more commonly known by students as “Speedy,” his time at Duke can be characterized by a singular phrase — interactions with guests. 

Speedy has been an icon in the Brodhead Center since 2018 and has created countless memories with students and faculty members who stop by the Italian dining hall staple. His heart, passion and infectious personality are the secret ingredient in every Il Forno pasta bowl that he makes, not the breadsticks.  

Speedy was originally drawn to Duke Dining because of its open kitchen layout and opportunities to connect with students, a stark contrast to his previous position at a barbecue kitchen with a closed kitchen format. He stayed with Duke for 2.5 years before leaving to work as a sous chef, where he made his way up the chain only to realize that Duke was the place for him.

“I’m not gonna lie to you, it was the students, faculty members, the professors and the interactions,” he said. 

“Students come by, they ask how your day is, you have a quick four- or five-minute conversation, you find out what they’re doing in class, little talks about music or anime — it really got in touch with my soul,” he added.  

Speedy strongly hopes students understand the impact they have on his experience, as much as he has on theirs, from checking up on him daily to writing appreciation letters. Seeing the Duke community supporting and valuing the work he does pushes him to “keep going no matter what.” 

“Personally, there will be no Speedy without you guys,” he said. “You guys make me whole.”

-Andrew Bae, Vol. 119 associate news editor

Chloe Beck

Incoming graduate student Chloe Beck has been a crucial part of the Duke women’s tennis team for four years. 

The Watkinsville, Ga., native represents Duke’s cross-section of academics and athletics. While also qualifying for the 2023 NCAA Singles Tournament in May, Beck finished her undergraduate career, graduating summa cum laude with a major in psychology, a minor in neuroscience and a certificate in sustainability engagement. 

In addition, Beck earned All District Academic honors this spring, along with fellow teammates Ellie Coleman and Brianna Shvets, allowing her to be placed on the All-American ballot later this summer and was an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2022, 2021 and 2020. 

As the No. 1 singles player in the lineup this season for Duke, Chloe Beck collected her 100th career singles win on March 24, and was ranked No. 6 nationally in singles at the close of the season. But despite tennis being an individual sport, Beck is the ultimate team player, according to women’s tennis head coach Jamie Ashworth.

“She’s a firm believer in team first. She would set aside most individual goals for the team,” Ashworth said in 2021. “In our sport, that’s not a common thing, because at the end of the day it is an individual sport.”

Beck competed in the NCAA singles tournament, where she advanced to the Sweet 16 on May 23, continuing to embody the ideals that Duke represents. 

-Anna Newberry, Vol. 119 sports staff writer

Drew Flanagan

Over his four years at Duke, Drew Flanagan, Trinity ‘23, embodied a selfless commitment to improving the lives of undergraduate students and to making the University a more equitable and representative institution.

Flanagan, a Montclair, N.J., native, recently graduated with a major in statistical science and a minor in economics. He translated his passion for bettering the student experience into action by devoting his time to strategic and community-focused work.

In his senior year, Flanagan served as an undergraduate representative for the Racial Equity Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees External Engagement Standing Committee. Through these roles, Flanagan collaborated with administration to help Duke live out its commitments to anti-racism and to building long-lasting relationships with alumni and donors.

Flanagan also served as senior class president and chaired the Student Organization Finance Committee for two years. He worked with cultural and identity leaders to make SOFC more transparent and to increase diversity-related programming and was awarded the Distinguished Leadership and Service Award for Demonstration of Integrity for this work.

As student director of belonging for Duke Student Affairs, Flanagan facilitated the building of community on campus by spearheading the Fun @ Duke initiative. He was awarded the Forever Duke Student Leadership Award and the Cornerstone Award at the end of his senior year, fitting accolades for a Duke student who tirelessly dedicated himself to the betterment of the University over his undergraduate career.

-Holly Keegan, Vol. 119 university news editor

Center for Documentary Studies Staff

In April, Duke announced that it was launching a review into the Center for Documentary Studies, a nationally-recognized nonprofit affiliated with the University.

The CDS has a unique relationship with Duke. As a support corporation, the center’s director and board manages the spending from its own quasi-endowment, while the investment decisions are handled by the Duke University Management Company. A review from Duke into the CDS marks an unprecedented move by University administrators. 

So why did it happen?

Over the last year and a half, most of the work at the CDS came to a stop. Staff were prohibited from doing their work. The CDS no longer offers its signature continuing education courses, exhibitions and financial awards for filmmakers. The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival it ran — a qualifying event for nominations for the Academy Awards — was canceled in November for the first time since 1998.

Several staff members have been laid off, and many others voluntarily left the center this past year. Four members of the center’s board also left in response to these changes.

Some have pointed towards the leadership style of the center’s director, while others including the director, cited financial reasons for these programmatic and personnel changes. 

Now, the CDS undergoing a formal shift in direction from traditional documentary work to “applicable media,” according to the center’s director Opeyemi Olukemi. Faculty and staff are unable to pinpoint exactly what that means for their future work, calling the vision that was presented vague, not reflective of true documentary work and more commercial.

Regardless of what the changes to the CDS might look like in the future, for the past 34 years, the CDS and the people that have made it run have been a Duke icon. 

They’ve impacted thousands of students, teaching them not only the practice of documentary but also its theory, including ethical considerations. They’ve tackled complex societal issues in their work, from exploring race in the United States to culture in the South. They’ve done it in all forms, from films to books to radio to photographs, pushing the boundaries of what documentary work can look like.

And it is the center’s iconic staff who have put Durham on the map as a place to be for documentarians to present and create.

-Adway Wadekar, Vol. 119 news editor

The Loop

Loyally serving salads, burgers, pizzas and milkshakes to Duke students since 2000, The Loop’s long-established reign came to an end this year when it ceased operations on May 5. Next fall, a new dining venue by Thrive Kitchen and Catering will replace its spot in the Bryan Center. 

Fortunately for the restaurant’s enthusiasts, The Loop is a franchise which includes restaurants across North Carolina and Florida, including another location in Durham on Broad Street.

The Loop won The Chronicle’s “Best Place To Eat On Campus” Award in 2015, highlighting the establishment’s popularity amongst Duke students across the years. Its expansive space, groovy music and chic bar setting made it the go-to spot for game-day watch parties or casual meetups with friends.

With its life coming to an abrupt end and its space to see renovations in the coming months, perhaps the Duke community has taken The Loop and all it has provided for granted. Having been there through all the twists and turns that the University has experienced in the 21st century, the iconic eatery will be sorely missed.

-Jazper Lu, Vol. 119 managing editor


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