Jonah Perrin’s interest in politics began when he was in middle school. At 13, he recognized the financial inequities that plagued his and other teachers in North Carolina. They were dipping into their own pockets to pay for school supplies. To help them, he began making bracelets using his younger brother’s Rainbow Loom kit and sold them for $10 each. He raised about $720. The proceeds went to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools PTA Council. His story made the local paper. But his interest didn’t stop there: In high… read more about Class of 2023: Jonah Perrin on Four Years of Helping Duke Votes »

Ritika Saligram can be heard across campus and beyond, as a senior studying Political Science, History and Markets & Management Studies. Saligram helped plan an educational trip to Pearl Harbor for more than 30 Duke student and alumni in her role as co-chair of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy. She is president of Duke’s oldest, most award-winning female acappella group, Out of the Blue. Her interests include security and conflict studies in Asia,… read more about Class of 2023: Ritika Saligram gives her voice to a senior year filled with challenges and hope »

When Curtis Bram was working in investment banking in Tokyo, he was not particularly focused on the trustworthiness of political institutions. But when he began his Ph.D. studies in the Duke Department of Political Science, he started thinking about what changes people expect politicians to deliver, where those expectations come from, and how they might be different. One theme in his research is the idea that people exaggerate the differences between themselves and their political opponents because of a psychological bias… read more about Class of 2023: Curtis Bram and Trustworthiness »

This year’s student commencement speakers will be Trinity senior Kyle-Brandon “KB” Denis and M.D./Ph.D. candidate Dylan Eiger. They will deliver welcome remarks at the university-wide ceremony at 9.a.m. Sunday, May 14, in Wallace Wade Stadium. Denis and Eiger were chosen from among more than 350 nominees. The selection committee reviewed nominations for students who have facilitated a welcoming community for their peers through seen and unseen leadership roles, impacted the greater Durham area through engagement with… read more about Student Speakers Selected for Commencement Ceremony »

Three exceptional ways of building a stronger community at Duke: Rabbi Elana Friedman heard from students that they wanted to have a single service that joined the traditions of the Reform, Conservative and other various movements of Judaism into shared religious celebrations. She helped bridge the differences to bring Duke’s diverse population of Jewish people together in spiritual community. Bijan Abar made mentorship and advising a core part of his work as a M.D./Ph.D. candidate in the School of Medicine and Pratt… read more about From the Moment They Arrived on Campus, Sullivan Award Winners Have Strengthened Community »

Senior Adam Israelevitz is the first Duke University student to be selected for the James C. Gaither Junior Fellowship at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Each year, the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program offers approximately 14 one-year fellowships to qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to Carnegie’s senior scholars. A political science major who is minoring in Arabic with a certificate in… read more about Senior First Duke Recipient of Gaither Fellowship »

For most students, Spring Break is when they take a break from academic rigors by taking a quiet (or loud) week away from Duke and its classes. But some students spent their week learning about subjects possibly far outside their normal areas of study. Spring Breakthrough is an annual set of courses offered during Spring Break that aren't graded, instead meant to be learning experiences that students otherwise wouldn't have access to. The 2023 Spring Breakthrough courses included: Motorcycle Revival: Repairing and… read more about Learning New Subjects During Spring Breakthrough 2023  »

April Elliot Mamet (Ph.D. '22) and Cameron DeHart. 2023. "Do Reserved Seats Work? Evidence from Tribal Representatives in Maine." State Politics & Policy Quarterly. Trent Ollerenshaw has been awarded a grant for the research project, "Politics and Polarization in the United Methodist Church: A Text Analysis of Sermons," from the Institute for Humane Studies March Michael Munger is named an Institute for Humane Studies 2023 Distinguished Fellow David Paletz has edited more than fifteen books as the series… read more about Recent Scholarship and Milestones »

Governor Ron DeSantis announced a statewide ban on the College Board’s new Advanced Placement course for high school students in African American Studies. Professor Kerry Haynie, a member of the College Board committee that developed the framework for the course, denounced DeSantis’s claims the content indoctrinates students or that political pressures have wielded any influence on the materials in the framework, which was published Feb. 1. “We’ve been concerned to see the work of more than 300 college professors… read more about Kerry Haynie: Developer of AP Course Calls Ban Dishonest Political Stunt »

John Aldrich is a professor of political science at Duke, where he specializes in American politics and behavior. He has written and contributed to several books, the most recent being “Change and Continuity in the 2020 Elections.” We asked him about changes in how the U.S. House of Representatives might operate after a contentious battle to elect a Republican speaker and related concessions Rep. Kevin McCarthy made to hardline Republicans in the House. Q: Just how impactful will be the new rule about a single member… read more about Explaining What the House’s New Rules Mean for This Congress »

Candis Watts Smith has been appointed to an 18-month term as interim vice provost for undergraduate education. In this role, she will provide strategic vision and leadership for the many facets of Duke’s undergraduate educational experience, and will lead the Office of Undergraduate Education and its initiatives to support student success, foster intellectual community, and facilitate experiential education for undergraduates. Smith begins her service this month, working alongside outgoing Vice Provost for Undergraduate… read more about Candis Watts Smith Appointed Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education »

With California Republican Kevin McCarthy losing multiple votes Tuesday to become speaker of the House, a final outcome may not come until Wednesday – and may result in a new candidate, a veteran political scientist said Tuesday. Until then, the work of the People’s House will mostly remain on hold. “The focus is now on Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) with no votes cast (these last two rounds) for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana). This suggests that Jordan will be the second major figure for a while. He'd have to have a way to… read more about Historic House Speaker Contest 'More Uncertain Than Ever' »

December Curtis Bram (Ph.D. '24) has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Texas at Dallas Curtis Bram. 2022. "The Most Important Election of Our Lifetime: Focalism and Political Participation." Political Psychology. Alexander Kirshner. 2022. Legitimate Opposition. Yale University Press. Zeren Li and Melanie Manion. 2022. “The Decline of Factions: The Impact of a Broad Purge on Political Decision Making in China.” British Journal of Political Science. Hannah Ridge (Ph.D. '21)… read more about Scholarship and Milestones, 2022 »