Sophomore women can apply by emailing a resume and cover letter to Justine Okerson, The one-page cover letter should address why you are interested in becoming an ASCEND Women Scholar. Due November 30, 5pm.

Description: ASCEND Women Scholars will contribute to a community of ambitious, supportive academic thinkers through lunch discussions with esteemed academic guests. 

Format: 7 Lunch seminars on Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm during the 2019 Spring semester on the following dates: 1/16, 1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/20, 4/10, 4/17.

Because we continue to live and work in a world where women’s voices are undervalued and often silenced, the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows seeks to create a non-competitive space where female students can become academically engaged in a wide array of subjects. We intend to create this space by providing students who are not otherwise affiliated with a scholarship program the opportunity to meet and eat with esteemed faculty from Duke and beyond. Students will explore new ideas with some of the top minds at Duke and explore ways to involve themselves in academic work outside the classroom. Upon completion of the program, participants will be named ASCEND Women Scholars in recognition of their engagement and growth as academic leaders.

Research conducted by the Asher Lab has shown that academically engaged Duke undergraduate students often have rewarding social relationships, are more involved in activities and leadership, have lower social anxiety and alcohol use, and have a stronger sense of belonging at Duke (2012). Using a faculty seminar model that has been proven with OUSF scholars, we will create a safe space where academic leadership among women is valued and developed. By holding seminars with faculty members and women students, we will foster connections between these individuals and provide opportunities for these participants to develop relationships with faculty members, one another, and OUSF staff. These female scholars will consider what leadership looks like in an academic setting, practice holding respectful and challenging academic conversations, and learn how to interact with faculty on a professional level. 

ASCEND Women Scholars will contribute to and benefit from being part of a community of ambitious, supportive academic thinkers. Through personal interactions with Duke professors, visiting scholars, distinguished alumni, and one another, scholars will gain early exposure to top faculty, discover opportunities to receive professional mentoring, and secure research positions as early in their undergraduate career. 

Definition of Success: Our program seeks to create a noncompetitive environment where Duke women can develop themselves as leaders within the classroom and larger Duke academic community. We hope to hear that women feel more confident within the classroom and in their relationships with professors, take academic risks, enjoy classes and develop as individuals. 

Reflection Component: Scholars will be asked to think critically about their experiences inside and outside the classroom, interactions with faculty members, and goals as academic leaders.