2023-24 Chron15: Pioneers

<p>Top (Left to Right): Paul Jones; Scott Huettel; Sara Campbell. Bottom: Keohane Quad Council (Arthur Powell II, Mariana Meza, Ranjan Jindal, Tara Singh, Austin Brown and Sophie Yost. Not pictured: Jill Solomon); John Board.</p>

Top (Left to Right): Paul Jones; Scott Huettel; Sara Campbell. Bottom: Keohane Quad Council (Arthur Powell II, Mariana Meza, Ranjan Jindal, Tara Singh, Austin Brown and Sophie Yost. Not pictured: Jill Solomon); John Board.

Duke’s pioneers are the people and organizations who push the University forward, relentlessly reimagining every aspect of our community with boundless energy and passion. They question the status quo and refuse to accept anything that is unjust or unsatisfactory. 

The pioneers of this year’s Chron15 list trekked through uncharted territories, revolutionizing academic programs, facilitating safe community building and blazing literal and metaphorical trails across our campus.

Scott Huettel

In 2024, Duke faculty approved a new curriculum for all undergraduate students in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences — the college’s first new curriculum since 2000. Scott Huettel, professor of psychology and neuroscience, was the driving force behind the new curriculum’s development.

Described as an “amazing leader with vision, rigor and love for Duke,” Huettel served as the chair of the Trinity Curriculum Development Committee, a group of 23 Duke faculty members that worked for over two years to “think big” and modernize the Trinity curriculum to better serve students in the coming decades. This appointment is the most recent way that Huettel has dedicated himself to serving Duke in his almost 30-year career at the University.

In his role as chair of the committee, Huettel has aimed to create a curriculum that “when implemented, will act to create positive feedback loops” and “over time, incentivize students to do good things.”

The new Trinity curriculum reflects these goals through a simplified six-category requirement structure that aims to prevent gamification and detangle graduation requirements for students. It also introduces “Constellations” — sets of three interconnected courses that aim to build curiosity and community among first-year students — and provides an increased focus on the humanities that, according to Dean of Trinity College Gary Bennett, is “the balm [Duke] students need right now.”

From proposing completely new ideas for the curriculum, to gathering feedback from students and faculty members and finally revising and finalizing the new curriculum, Huettel led its development at every step along the way. The result of his hard work and dedication is a reimagined way of providing a liberal arts education and creating curious and impactful leaders that will shape the experiences of Duke undergraduates for decades to come.

-Holly Keegan, Vol. 120 senior editor

Sara Campbell

Following an overdose incident in March 2023, Duke brought on Associate Director for DuWell Sara Campbell to make an impact. She has far exceeded the expectations of her role, adapting to several crises and making significant strides in improving student health at Duke.

In addition to being the friendly, counseling face that students see when they struggle with substances, Campbell revolutionized alcohol awareness and training programs at Duke. Notably, she pioneered the first program at Duke tailored to combat overdoses, addressing a critical need in the face of today's opioid crisis. She enlisted several students to help create and deliver overdose education and prevention trainings, and she directed the effort to place ONEboxes containing Narcan, an over-the-counter overdose reversal drug, in student dorms.

Campbell is a dedicated advocate for students, constantly collaborating with them to ensure their safety and enhance their quality of life. She is the adviser to the Duke Overdose Prevention Efforts, or DOPE, a student group working to create a safer environment for Duke students on and off campus. Campbell leads DOPE trainings on the dangers of fentanyl poisoning and how to use Narcan. She also teaches DOPE members how to lead their own Narcan training sessions, encouraging rapid and widespread dissemination of life-saving knowledge.

Always proactive, Campbell is continually creating new initiatives. A recent example is the launch of a program last month that allows students to check out a Narcan emergency travel kit from DuWell for use at off-campus events.

Campbell’s work has directly impacted the lives of Duke undergraduates. Above all, she actively engages with students, supporting them through substance-related challenges and showcasing exemplary leadership, teaching and role-modeling qualities.

-Eddie Scott, Pratt ‘25, and Pranav Mukund, Pratt ‘26

Keohane Quad Council

Keohane Quad Council has been revolutionary in the success of student belonging for students, particularly in Keohane Quad.

The members of this council work tirelessly to plan and execute large-scale events for the students. They do this with great flair, and the students love it. Managing their school, part-time jobs and research opportunities with Keohane Quad Council looks like a breeze for these students who continually go above and beyond expectations and set the standard for other HRL House and Quad Councils. 

One of the council’s many accomplishments was partnering with Sustainable Duke to create a thrifting brunch event within the Keohane and Wannamaker communities. One of their most recent memorable events was curating an immersive experience for not only Keohane residents, but their future residents in sister dorms Blackwell and Randolph: “Keochella.” This was a week-long event with a different theme everyday designed to get folks excited for the culmination of their quad party at Bricks to Stone.

As recognition for their hard work and dedication to enhancing a sense of community and student belonging at Duke this year, Keohane Quad Council was named the winner of the inaugural Quad Cup in April. Their residents were treated to an LDOC party courtesy of Duke Housing and Residence Life in celebration of the accolade, where the Quad Cup Trophy was on full display.

Keohane Quad Council embodies the spirit of creativity and student belonging in everything that they do. They continue to promote student buy-in, getting folks involved in their community and just having fun.

Keohane Quad Council is QuadEx.

-Anaija Lapaix, residence coordinator

Paul Jones

Paul Jones has served Duke University with distinction for the past 40 years, taking a 20-acre woodland around a newly formed retention pond on his arrival in 1984 and developing it into what we now know and enjoy as the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum in Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

His work is a large part of the development of Duke Gardens over the years from a small university garden into one of the most visited public gardens in the Southeast and one of the best university gardens in America.

Paul’s accomplishments encompass a combination of botany, horticulture, conservation, research and education. He has traveled to China on 10 occasions over the years, introducing dozens of wild collected species into the arboretum’s collections. Paul is known among his peers around the world as an accomplished botanist and collector, and his eye for design has resulted in the arboretum becoming one the most beautiful garden spaces anywhere.

Of particular note is his development, since 2007, of the Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Tea Pavilion and the surrounding Ruth Mary Meyer Japanese Garden. In recent years, in collaboration with Sadafumi Uchiyama of the Portland Japanese Garden, he expanded the Japanese Garden with the addition of Pine Clouds Mountain Stream, placing the Japanese Garden at Duke University among the most authentic and outstanding Japanese Gardens in America.

Paul’s dedication to the Duke Gardens reflects his lifelong appreciation for learning and educating others, something he emulates daily in his work at the arboretum.

-Bill LeFevre, executive director of Sarah P. Duke Gardens

John Board

John Board, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is a Duke lifer. From his time as a student in the 1970s and ‘80s to his return as a professor after earning his doctorate at Oxford, Board has pioneered advances in computing technology and education that have set Duke apart from its peer institutions.

Board’s contributions to computing at Duke began when he operated Duke’s first large-scale computer as an electrical engineering graduate student in the 1980s.

In addition to being the owner of Duke’s oldest email address, Board has also heavily influenced the University’s core computer engineering curriculum at a high level. He is responsible for the original versions of the current ECE250: Computer Architecture and ECE350: Digital Systems classes and has taught eight other courses across departments over the years. 

In 2018, Board created the Shared Threat Intelligent for Network Gatekeeping and Automated Response (STINGAR) alongside Tracy Futhey, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. STINGAR aims to prevent cyberintrusions by establishing a threat detection system for universities, allowing them to share intelligence safely. 

Throughout his lengthy career, Board has inspired students in the classroom through his passion for the subject matter and overseen innovation in the University technology space. In 2008, he was awarded the title of Distinguished Young Alumnus from the University in addition to the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Pratt School of Engineering.

-Ava Littman, Vol. 120 associate news editor


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