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Start-up Power
Jenkins leads entrepreneurship initiative

Innovator: Jenkins and a student at the Pratt School of Engineering.
Innovator: Jenkins and a student at the Pratt School of Engineering.
Chris Hildreth

Former Duke trustee Kimberly Jenkins is leading a new campus initiative to promote entrepreneurship. In November, she began serving as senior adviser to the president and provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, and she hopes to transform student ideas into viable businesses and expand Duke’s entrepreneurial network.

Jenkins ’76, M.Ed. ’77, Ph.D. ’80 has extensive experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She has worked for Microsoft and the computer company NeXT, in addition to founding two nonprofit organizations that have informed legislators about technology issues.

In a presentation to the board of trustees’ meeting in December, she laid out a plan in which entrepreneurship is broadly defined. “I think a lot of people gravitate toward an image of Mark Zuckerberg,” the founder of Facebook, she says. But entrepreneurship “is also about creating the next Teach For America.”

In the coming months, Jenkins will look to align the entrepreneurship activities that already exist, communicate those opportunities to people inside and outside the university, and begin raising funds to support the initiative.

Spike in Success

The Blue Devil volleyball team had a record year, advancing to the regional finals, or “elite eight,” of the NCAA
Tournament this winter for the first time in Duke’s history. The team also won the ACC championship and finished the season with a record of 27-7. Above, senior Becci Burling, left, and junior Sophia Dunworth block a shot by High Point University during the NCAA Volleyball Championship’s first round, held at Cameron Indoor Stadium December 3.

Women's Volleyball teamJon Gardiner

The King Speech
Robinson headlines MLK commemoration
Portrait of Randall Robinson Robinson: Human rights activist.
Courtesy Randall Robinson

Writer and social-justice advocate Randall Robinson, who led a nationwide campaign to end apartheid in South Africa and has pushed for human rights in African and Caribbean nations, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day program.

Robinson’s speech focused on the extent to which contributions by Africans or those of African descent are appreciated by the wider world. “What if you think you know your story when you really do not know your story? When you believe what you’ve been told, when most of what you’ve been told has been mistold to you, and most of your story has not even been told at all?” he said. “We will not be able to build a brotherhood until we can come to know and appreciate the full stories and histories of the world’s varied peoples.”

Robinson, who is a professor of law at the Pennsylvania State University, founded the policy organization TransAfrica, which promotes human rights in Africa and the Caribbean. In 1994, he led a campaign to end military rule in Haiti that resulted in the establishment of the country’s first democratically elected government. Robinson also has written several books, including Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to Kidnapping of a President, about his efforts in that country.

Other events during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration included an advance screening of the PBS documentary Freedom Riders, about the activists who attempted to integrate interstate bus lines in the early 1960s, and a service project involving collaboration between members of the Duke community and students, faculty, and staff members from North Carolina Central University and Southern High School. Altogether, the participants packaged 50,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger-relief organization.

Watch Robinson's full speech at the 2011 Service of Celebration.

Laurie Patton
Patton: Dooley to Devil.
Office of News and Communications
Humanist at the Helm
Emory’s Laurie Patton to become arts and sciences dean

Laurie L. Patton, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of religion at Emory University and director of Emory’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, will become the next dean of the faculty of arts and sciences beginning in July. She will oversee the university’s core academic units, which offer courses and degrees across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Patton, who received her B.A. from Harvard University in 1983 and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1991, is the author or editor of eight books on South Asian history, culture, and religion. She translated the classical Sanskrit text The Bhagavad Gita for the Penguin Classics Series and also has written two books of poetry. Her current research for two forthcoming books focuses on religion in the public sphere and on women and Sanskrit in contemporary India.

Patton will succeed Alvin L. Crumbliss, a chemistry professor and former dean of natural sciences who was appointed interim arts and sciences dean in May 2010, after former dean George McLendon left to become the provost of Rice University.

Speaker Roundup
Winter talks by public policy players
Duke President Emerita Nannerl O. Koehane
Keohane: What a leader looks like.
Megan Morr
  • Nannerl O. Keohane, president emerita of Duke, at the Sanford School of Public Policy. She spoke about her new book, Thinking About Leadership, and discussed the traits shared by effective leaders.
  • Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in the Geneen Auditorium at the Fuqua School of Business. During her appearance, she blamed the 2008 financial crisis on “a systematic breakdown in accountability.”
  • Peter Baker, White House correspondent for The New York Times, at the Sanford School of Public Policy. In a conversation with Duke political scientist Peter Feaver, he spoke about his experiences covering the Obama administration, including the workings of the White House press operation and the President’s record in communicating his ideas to the public.
  • Edwidge Danticat, Haitian fiction writer, in Smith Warehouse. She read from her recent work and spoke about the ways writers both in Haiti and in the Haitian diaspora have responded creatively to last year’s earthquake.
  • William K. Reilly, co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, in Reynolds Industries Theater. He spoke about the commission’s procedures and findings.