Meet the 2019-2020 Graduate Fellows at the Kenan Institute for Ethics

Kenan graduate fellows.
Bobby Bingle, Danbee Chon, Ajenai Clemmons, Rachel Gevlin, Nathan Hershberger, Alberto La Rosa Rojas, Elliot Mamet, Songyao Ren, Hannah Ridge, Elia Romera Figueroa, Muye Ru, Elizabeth Schrader, Brian Spisiak, Adam Stanaland, Matthew Stanley

As Fellows at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, they share a common interest in understanding how the world works, and will explore ways in which it can be reformed and improved. The aim of the ongoing discussions throughout the year, among the Fellows and Kenan faculty members, is to enhance everyone’s ability to contribute to debates involving ethical issues, and to do so in ways that engage scholars and others within and outside of their own academic disciplines.

As part of their fellowship with Kenan, the group will meet for seminars and workshops in the fall and spring semesters to share dissertation research and provide each other with fresh interdisciplinary feedback. These seminars are organized and facilitated by Wayne Norman, Mike & Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics, and Amber Díaz Pearson, Research Scholar at the Kenan Institute. The seminars often feature visiting speakers drawn from the current Fellows’ suggestions.

Bobby Bingle

Bobby is a PhD student in the Philosophy department. His research concerns theories of agency, moral responsibility, and their link to the reactive attitudes. He is especially interested in the moral status of anger as a response to wrongdoing. As part of his research, Bobby seeks to address the challenge raised by some philosophers that anger is never a morally appropriate response to injustice. Bobby received a BA in mathematics from Saginaw Valley State University, and an MA in philosophy from Georgia State University.

Danbee Chon

Danbee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Management & Organizations department at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northwestern University. As a doctoral candidate, Chon is interested in phenomena related to the self in the context of organizations. In particular, her primary stream of research considers the theoretical and empirical examination of self-awareness in order to better understand how individuals recognize themselves, especially in the context of power and leadership. Within this stream, Chon has explored achieving a better understanding of the construct of self-awareness through facets of review, theory, and measurement projects. A related, second stream of her research examines self- and other-interest as distinct constructs and in interaction with each other. Current projects within this stream focuses on the theoretical and empirical consideration of self- and other-interest through the dual process model lens, as well as potential interventions that could be developed through this framework. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and exploring new restaurants in RTP area with her friends!

Ajenai Clemmons

Ajenai is a Ph.D. Candidate in public policy with a concentration in political science at Duke University. Her academic research focuses on the most important factors that help and harm the police-community relationship, focusing especially on African Americans and European Muslims. Ajenai’s dissertation uses comparative in-depth interviews between young Black men in the U.S. and young Muslim men of Bangladeshi background in the U.K. to answer research questions about civilian preferences in policing, civilian assessment of police performance, and civilian responses to policing. In her other research, she has conducted a national survey experiment to test the effect of perceptions of African Americans on civilian preferences for police reforms, and she has examined police fatalities of civilians in the United States and systemic barriers to accurate reporting of deaths.

Rachel Gevlin

Rachel is a Ph.D. candidate in English as well as a candidate for the certificates in Feminist Studies and College Teaching. Her dissertation, Divorcing the Rake: Male Chastity and the Rise of the Novel, 1753-1857, examines depictions of male sexual conduct in narratives of marital disunion. She argues that the emerging genre of the novel reproduced the gendered biases increasingly practiced in English divorce law, refiguring sexually profligate male characters to make them not only palatable but desirable in ways that the law could not. Before coming to Duke, Rachel earned her B.A. in literature and mathematics from Bennington College and served as a math teacher for the United States Peace Corps in Burkina Faso from 2011 to 2013.

Nathan Hershberger

Nathan is a third year PhD student in Christian Theological Studies (Graduate Program in Religion). His work focuses on the relationship between scripture and ethics in the Christian tradition, particularly around issues of suffering and religious violence. He also has interests in Jewish and Islamic studies. Prior to coming to Duke he volunteered for three years in northern Iraq with a relief and development organization. He has an MA from the University of Virginia and a BA from Eastern Mennonite University.

Alberto La Rosa Rojas

Alberto is a fourth year ThD student at Duke Divinity School, working in the fields of Christian moral and political theology. When he was 10 years old, Alberto emigrated with his family from his hometown of Callao, Peru to Midwestern United States, where he lived until moving to Durham, NC to begin his doctoral work at Duke. His experience as an immigrant informs and drives his doctoral research, which aims to give a rich account of the conditions and possibilities for the flourishing of migrants. This entails engaging conflicting cultural, theological, and political assumptions about the human as either fundamentally oriented toward settling and rootedness in a place or as fundamentally oriented toward movement, border-crossing, and mestizaje. Alberto is interested in engaging this conversation by fostering a dialogue between voices from Latin America culture and history, political theory, and Christian theology. Alberto received an MDiv from Western Theological Seminary and a BA from Trinity Christian College in Theology.

Elliot Mamet

Elliot is a Ph.D. candidate in political science, with research interests in political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American political development. His dissertation focuses on the relationship between incarceration and democracy. He is a graduate of Colorado College and previously worked on the staff of the American Political Science Association, in Washington, D.C. His website is

Songyao Ren

Songyao is a fourth-year PhD student in the Philosophy department. She holds a BA in journalism and philosophy from the University of Hong Kong and an MA in East Asian Cultures and Languages from Columbia University. Her current research focuses on whether a good life is one with dispassion. In particular, she discusses two models of dispassion, the Stoic one and the Zhuangist one, and examine the ethical outlooks they each reflect.

Hannah Ridge

Hannah is a PhD candidate studying the effect of popular understandings of democracy on support for democratization. Her research focuses on Middle Eastern politics, public opinion on democracy, and religion and politics. She has a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.

Elia Romera Figueroa

Elia is a third-year PhD student in Romance Studies (Spanish track). She is also a fellow at the Social Movements Lab (Franklin Humanities Institute). She completed her BA in English and French Language and Cultures at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2014). She was awarded a one-semester stay at the Universidade de Sâo Paulo (Centre for Latin American Studies Award) and a one-semester stay at UMASS Lowell (Convenios Internacionales Award). She holds an MA in Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Cultures from the University of Wyoming (2017). Her dissertation focuses on protest music during the 1960s and ‘70s in the Spanish state. Her research draws on studies in cultural studies, musicology, memory studies and affect theory to gain a framework for understanding the relationship between musical collective practices in repressive contexts and the formation of experiences and narratives of resistance. In particular, she studies the creation of networks of solidarity among singer-songwriters during concerts, collective LPs, and tours. Her approach challenges dominant regionalist and individualistic methods, offering a counter-story about the communities of protest, memory, and affect created among the singers, and among the audience, during the period known as “late Francoism” (1956-1975), and in the “Transition” (1975-1978) to democracy.

Muye Ru

Muye is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Earth and Ocean Sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment. In her dissertation, she develops a paradigm to understand and characterize the interactions among three intensely debated subjects: air pollution, human health, and the economy. Through her dissertation work, she seeks to clarify the normative debate between the conventional CBA approach and the morbidity-focused market impacts approach in policymaking.

Elizabeth Schrader

Elizabeth is a doctoral candidate in Early Christianity in the Graduate Program in Religion. Her research interests include the New Testament Gospels, the Nag Hammadi corpus, Mary Magdalene, textual criticism, and feminist theology. She holds an M.A. and an S.T.M. from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Her work has been published in the Harvard Theological Review and her research has been featured by both the Daily Beast and Religion News Service.

Brian Spisiak

Brian is a PhD candidate in Political Science, specializing in Political Theory. He grew up near Chicago and received his B.A. in political science from Carleton College. His academic work is focused on liberal theories of education, rhetoric and persuasion, and political ontology. His dissertation explores the political and ethical implications of the structure-agency debate in the social sciences. Purely structuralist explanations for social phenomena, while allowing us to recognize and address macro-level problems and systemic inequalities, also run the risk of undermining our agency as we come to view the ourselves and others as objects at the whim of impersonal forces rather than subjects. His work, then, is aimed at examining the roots of the fatalism produced by a “politics of inevitability” and identifying potential ways to reinvigorate democratic political agency.

Adam Stanaland

Adam is a joint-degree doctoral student in psychology and public policy in the Duke ID (Identity and Diversity) Lab and Sanford School of Public Policy. He attended Davidson College, earning a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Intercultural Communication Studies. Between Davidson and Duke, he worked for the NYC Department of Education, researching low-income students’ barriers to success. From this grew his interest in how social norms shape self-concept, behavior, and outcomes. His research now explores the origins and consequences of the pressure that children and young adults feel to conform to norms, particularly those related to hegemonic masculinity and its intersections with race and SES.

Matthew Stanley

Matthew graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in philosophy. He is now a PhD student in Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University who entered through the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program. Matthew works with Elizabeth MarshRoberto CabezaFelipe De Brigard, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong to answer questions involving memory, morality, truth, and reasons from computational, behavioral, and philosophical perspectives. His current work specifically examines how and why people remember and forget their past moral and immoral actions. Other current research interests include investigating how people evaluate and use reasons for action in moral dilemmas.

By Niall Schroder; originally published on the Kenan Institute for Ethics website. Read more about the Kenan Graduate Fellowship and read the Kenan Graduate Fellows blogs.

Explore Issues of Church and State with a Graduate Fellowship in Religions and Public Life

Kenan fellowships.

Deadline: August 15, 2019

Each year, Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics funds a Graduate Student Working Group around a theme important to religion and public life.

2019-20 Overview and Theme

The call is open to graduate and professional students wishing to take part in monthly interdisciplinary student-led seminars on Church and State. Projects considering the church-state relationships for any religion and religions in general are welcome. Sample topics might include: how members of religious communities engage—in cooperation or conflict—with state power and governance; religious movements and nationalist movements; issues relating to religious freedom; religiously-motivated violence and peace-making; religion and science policy; religiously-motivated political and community organizing; interreligious cooperation in local, national, or transnational contexts; and law and religious practice, among others. The program conceives of religious experience and discourse broadly and will consider any project that investigates the extension of private devotion or ethical struggles into public or political contexts.

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that make up the public sphere. A joint endeavor with the Duke Divinity School, it is an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement. Funding for the graduate scholars also comes from generous support from the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.


The graduate scholars will have the opportunity to develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship. Members take active part in the events of Religions and Public Life and commit to attending monthly meetings throughout the academic year. Graduate scholars will write a think piece or blog post relating their research to contemporary issues, to be published on the Religions and Public Life website at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Additionally, scholars will take part in an end-of-year research conference. Scholars receiving Center for Jewish Studies funding are expected to participate in at least two Center events during the academic year.


Graduate scholars receive $1,250 for full participation. The sum is provided in two payments, one in November and one in April.

Application and Deadline

To apply, please submit the materials listed below to Amber Díaz Pearson ( by 12:00 noon on August 15, 2019, with the subject line: “Religions & Public Life graduate scholars.” Awards will be announced on August 21.

  • Curriculum vita
  • Project description (1-2 pages) describing how it connects to the theme of “Church and State.” Please include your topic and research objectives.
  • Research budget

For further information, email with “RPLI Graduate Fellowship question” in the subject heading.

Kenan Institute for Ethics Invites Applications for Graduate Fellowships

KIE logo.

Deadline: July 31, 2019

Students from any Duke graduate program may apply. What each cohort of Graduate Fellows will have in common is that their dissertation research engages in interesting ways with significant normative issues. Some students, for example – from disciplines such as philosophy, political theory, or theology – focus directly on fundamental ethical or political concepts and theories. Other fellows, from the sciences and social sciences, try to understand phenomena that are relevant to major, and often controversial, public policy debates. Still others attempt to resolve debates in their areas of research that seem to be sustained by long-standing disagreements over both empirical claims and ethical or ideological commitments.

The aim of the ongoing discussions throughout the year, among the fellows and KIE faculty members, is to enhance everyone’s ability to contribute to debates involving ethical issues, and to do so in ways that engage scholars and others within and outside of their own academic disciplines.

Ideal Graduate Fellow candidates will be in the third, fourth, or fifth year of their Ph.D. studies, have finished all (or almost all) of their coursework requirements, but are still developing new ideas and approaches for their dissertation research. Fellows each receive a stipend of $3,000 that supplements their current funding.

Graduate Fellows meet for a Monday seminar about a dozen times across the fall and spring semesters. These seminars usually feature visiting speakers and do not typically require preparation in advance. There are also two half-day workshops – one at the end of each term – in which fellows showcase their own research.

Alumni in good standing of the fellowship program will have access to conference- and research-travel funds during their final years in the Ph.D. program.

To Apply

E-mail the application, along with a copy of your CV, to with the subject line “Graduate Fellowship.”


12:00 noon, Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (extended)


For further information, email with “Graduate Fellowship question” in the subject heading.

Kenan Institute Awards Fellowships to Five Graduate Students for Anthropocene Research

Portraits of Fellows.

Each summer, the Luce-funded grant Facing the Anthropocene supports five graduate and professional students as they undertake research related to the Anthropocene. The Farm Fellowship supports graduate and professional students undertaking research that relates in some way to the Duke Campus Farm. The Anthropocene Graduate Fellowship supports Ph.D. students who wish to integrate Anthropocene themes into their dissertation or thesis research.

The Anthropocene Graduate Fellows

Charles Nathan, a Ph.D. student in Political Science, argues that in ancient Athens, democratic equality was only possible by breaking citizens’ natural political affiliations to family, clans, and kinship associations, and also by severing political ties to their local geographic environs. The Anthropocene, he suggests, provides an opportunity to reinspect the dissociation of political identity from the natural environment and reevaluate the normative merits of “more natural” and “less natural” forms of political identity.

Casey Williams, in the Graduate Program in Literature, is looking at the representability of climate change. On the one hand, he says, anxiety that the planetary dimensions of contemporary crisis exceed the capacities of human thought. On the other hand, insisting that climate change presents an unprecedented but surmountable “challenge to the imagination” also betrays an unrelenting faith in human intellect that mirrors the key Anthropocene claim that the human is master not just of local environments, but of the planet, shaping it as a geological force.

Sarah Ziegler, in Marine Science and Conservation, will develop a podcast entitled “Hello, Human,” which will focus on the multiple ways people in North Carolina engage with nature, prioritizing efforts by local indigenous authorities to Native American environmental justice. She plans to incorporate this work into her dissertation on marine protected areas and indigenous social movement struggles in Rapa Nui.

The Farm Fellows

Perry Sweitzer is a Ph.D. student in Religion and Modernity. He is particularly interested in the intersection between race, land, and being human. His current research asks how taking account of the theological, religious, and secular might offer an important vantage point from which to think about these together.

Jonah Bissell, a student at the Divinity School, is researching the agrarian economy of Roman-Jewish Palestine in antiquity (1st century A.D.), in order to read the gospels ecologically.

Supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, Facing the Anthropocene includes a multidisciplinary working group in which scholars engage in conversations surrounding the human impact on the planet. The group studies how political, legal, and economic orders have shaped landscapes and ecologies through global patterns of human habitation and use.

By Niall Schroder; originally posted on the Kenan Institute for Ethics website

Photos, left to right: Charles Nathan, Casey Williams, Sarah Ziegler, Perry Sweitzer, Jonah Bissell

The 2019 Kenan Summer Fellows Will Explore What It Means to Live an Ethical Life

Noah Bruess-Burgess, Alex Johnson, Anna Kasradze, Lucas Lynn, Taylor Plett, Audrey Vila.

What does it mean to live an ethical life?

Kenan Summer Fellows spend a summer exploring—in a variety of ways—the answers to the question: What does it mean to live an ethical life? A Summer Fellow might design a project at home or abroad, implement a community-based intervention, compose a musical, volunteer with an NGO, write a play, or curate an art exhibition. Summer experiences can and do provide a thoughtful, novel perspective of how to live an ethical life.

These six fellows will receive up to $5,000 each and their faculty mentors will receive $500 each to support their project. They will spend eight consecutive weeks between mid-May and mid-August working exclusively on the project.

Noah Bruess-Burgess

Noah is a first-year undergraduate from London, currently undecided but interested in majoring in ICS and Religious Studies, with a certificate in Documentary Studies. He is an active member in his campus ministry, Every Nation Campus, a keen participant in Crux Conversations, and a writer for FORM Magazine. He will explore what it means to live the Christian ethical life, and specifically how the Christian notion of absolute Truth interacts with an increasingly secular world – i.e., how do Christians approach their responsibility to share Truth with others? He will explore this question through engaging with the core beliefs, practices and experiences of various Christian communities in North Carolina and London, UK.

Alex Johnson

Alex is a sophomore studying Public Policy and French. She loves reading and baby goats. She is researching best practices for reporters to ethically interview vulnerable populations. She will be coming up with guidelines for these practices and interviewing refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo to show that ethical reporting can also be interesting.

Anna Kasradze

Anna Kasradze is a Georgian-American sophomore from Houston, Texas. She studies literature and Russian, and is especially interested in literature’s construction and deconstruction of the mentally ill subject. Her project explores how works by Nikolai Gogol and Daniil Kharms subvert the psychiatric case history and propose alternative paradigms for madness. She hopes to better understand how Russian literature engaged with the ethics of psychiatric practice in Tsarist Russia and the advent of psychoanalysis. Her faculty mentor is Carol Apollonio and her project is based in Moscow, Russia.

Lucas Lynn

Lucas is a Trinity freshman from Wetumpka, Alabama pursuing a Program II major consisting of cultural anthropology, statistical science, and mechanical engineering geared towards mixed-methods problem solving. On campus, he is a member of Air Force ROTC, marching band, basketball pep band, and Spire Fellows. He will be staying at and conducting miniature ethnographies of three homeless communities and six tiny-home homeless communities across the United States. Through interviews and observations, he will examine the successes and pitfalls of these communities while he tries to define what home truly is for American homeless communities.

Taylor Plett

Taylor is a rising junior from southern California studying English, documentary, and public policy. At Duke, she focuses on impactful storytelling through a variety of artistic mediums, with particular emphasis on communicating the human stories at the heart of environmental issues. Her project will take her to Stockholm, Brussels, and Zurich, where she’ll interview the young activists of the school strikes for climate change as modeled by Greta Thunberg. Beyond investigating the why and how of these large-scale, student-led strikes spreading across borders, Taylor hopes to illustrate the distinct experience of being an aware but politically powerless child facing the apocalyptic outcomes of the climate crisis.

Audrey Vila

Audrey is a rising junior studying Public Policy and History. She is originally from Seattle, and she loves to travel and explore places around the globe to learn about other cultures. Her project is a comparative study of Durham, Seattle, and Brooklyn to engage with community members affected by gentrification and displacement while analyzing policy within the greater context of local racial history. She seeks to find and help preserve the displaced community strength and culture that is often overlooked in the primary narrative of gentrification. Through interviews, community members are given the opportunities to share their stories, ones that have too often been silenced and ignored, and the interactions with policymakers, activists, and journalists are an effort to promote change through the lived experience of those closest to the issues.

Originally posted on the Kenan Institute for Ethics website

Images, top row: Noah Bruess-Burgess, Alex Johnson, Anna Kasradze; bottom row: Lucas Lynn, Taylor Plett, Audrey Vila

Four Undergraduates Named Pathways of Change Fellows

Pathways of Change.

The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics offers summer internships with organizations looking to make business work for communities, not just bottom lines. These students, named as the 2019 Pathways of Change Fellows, will explore the compromises, contradictions and trade-offs between business needs and human rights within and outside of the corporate world. They will work with organizations determined to create accountability, ensure sustainability, and align the needs of communities with the aims of business development. In addition to working with the partner organizations, students will conduct profiles of the people in their organizations and write about the best ways to affect change in corporate human rights practices. Follow their progress on the Pathways of Change Blog.

Kang.Amanda Kang

Amanda Kang, placed with SAS, is a first-year student from Greensboro, N.C., intending to double major in Economics and Public Policy. She’s passionate about women’s rights advocacy and combining impact with corporate profitability. On campus, she’s a layout editor for The Chronicle and involved in the Duke Impact Investing Group as well as Duke’s WISER club to support girls’ education in Muhuru Bay, Kenya.

Ma.Phil Ma

Phil Ma, placed with Business for Social Responsibility, is a rising junior from Beijing, China. He is majoring in Political Science and Math. He has participated in the DukeEngage program in Washington D.C., focusing on the intersection between science and policy. At Duke, Phil is a Human Rights Scholar at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, writing about the human rights violations in China.

McThenia. Noah McThenia

Noah McThenia, placed with Business for Social Responsibility, is a rising junior from Gainesville, Florida. He is majoring in Public Policy, with a minor in Classical Civilizations and a certificate in Ethics and Society. He is passionate about the use of public and private institutions to ensure universal enjoyment of human rights. He works with Kenan’s Citizenship Lab and the Duke Cyber Club.


Carter Teng

Carter Teng, placed with Corporate Accountability, is a sophomore from Raleigh, N.C. She is pursuing a major in Political Science, a minor in Cultural Anthropology, and a certificate in Markets and Management Studies. She is passionate about intersectionality in social justice issues and mobilizing vulnerable communities to fundamentally change the institutions that disenfranchise them. At Duke, Carter is the Director of Communications for the Center for Race Relations and the Marketing and Publicity Chair for Sophomore Class Council.

By Scott Peters; originally posted on the Kenan Institute for Ethics website

Propose a Solution to an Ethical Tech Policy Problem

Student tech policy challenge.

 Deadline: April 12, 2019

The Kenan Institute for Ethics invites students to develop a regulatory or policy idea to address the ethics of emerging tech.

Application Information

Eligibility: All Duke undergraduate and graduate students

Length: 1,000-2,000 words (approximately 2-4 pages double-spaced)

Deadline: April 12, 2019, 5:00 p.m.

Submission (via Google Forms)Register and Submit Essay!


Essays may focus on a variety of tech policy challenges and perspectives. Essays must include descriptive research and normative prescriptions for institutional responses based upon considerations that include ethics, policies to promote societal well-being, civil rights and liberties, and human rights.

Format and Components

Essays may follow a traditional format or a policy memorandum format. Below please find sample formats.


Part I: Description of Tech Policy Problem
Part II: Discussion of Research on Benefits and Potential Risks Posed by Emerging Technology
Part III: Proposal of Proposed Regulation/Law/Tech Policy Solution


Description of Tech Policy Problem
Discussion of Research on Benefits and Potential Risks Posed by Emerging Technology
Proposal of Proposed Regulation/Law/Tech Policy Solution
Action Recommended

Discussion of Benefits/Risks

Emerging tech can pose benefits and risks simultaneously. Therefore, the policy proposal can highlight how implementation might result in enhanced protections and exacerbate problems (e.g., social, economic, environmental, health, etc. impacts).

Potential Topics

Any tech policy challenge can be the topic of focus for the essay or policy memorandum, including: (1) algorithmic discrimination; (2) cybersecurity and information security/data breaches; (3) behavioral microtargeting and ad tech; (4) regulation of autonomous vehicles; (5) regulation of artificial intelligence and data governance; (6) autonomous weapons; (7) limiting encryption; (8) censorship of the Internet or social media; (9) foreign interference in elections and “fake news”; (10) cybercrime and cyberwarfare; (11) critical infrastructure; (12) cyber attribution of cyber attacks; (13) accuracy of predictive analytics; (14) privacy enhancing technologies; (15) algorithmic transparency and accountability; (16) data ethics and cyber ethics; (17) cyberbullying and cyber harassment; (18) cyber diplomacy and Internet freedom; (19) net neutrality; (20) cybersurveillance; etc..

Potential Tech Policy Solutions

Any tech policy solution can be proposed as part of the prescription to the tech policy problem or the risks of innovation, so long as the solution considers the ethical dimension of the proposal. Potential topics could include, for example: (1) regulatory policy, rules, and standards; (2) administrative enforcement by federal agencies; (3) legislative reform; (4) privacy enhancing technologies; (5) influence of privacy advocacy organizations, policy think tanks, and other non-governmental organizations; (6) policy activism; (7) hacking; (8) industry self-regulation and internal corporate compliance standards; etc.

Criteria for Evaluation

Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria: (1) Identifying an Emerging Tech Challenge; (2) Considering the Ethical, Social and Practical Factors in Designing a Policy Solution; (3) Recognizing Implementation or Other Barriers; and (4) Clarity and Quality of Writing and Presentation.


Teams of students may submit a policy proposal and the prize will be divided among all members of the team (e.g., if 2 students jointly enter a submission and a 2-person team is selected for the first place award, each student will receive 50% of the first place cash prize). If a team is comprised of a combination of undergraduate student(s) and graduate student(s), the team will be evaluated as a under the graduate student category.

Office Hours

Students interested in submitting an Essay or Policy Memorandum can request to meet with a member of the Kenan Institute for Ethics on Monday, April 1 or Monday, April 8. Email Malakha Mathama Bility <> to set up a meeting.

Finalists’ Award Breakfast

Award Finalists will present on Friday, April 19, at 8:00 am.  Finalists will be informed by no later than 5:00 pm EST on Monday, April 15, that their submissions have been selected for a mandatory, 5-minute presentation during the Finalists’ Award Breakfast in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, West Duke Bldg. Room 101.

Monetary Prize and Other Awards

Prizes will be awarded in each category of Undergraduate and Graduate Student – Duke undergraduates and graduate contestants will be evaluated separately. Students selected for the Award will receive notice of selection by no later than 5:00 pm EST, Friday, April 25. First prize: $750; Second prize: $250. Students will receive a check via mail if unable to pick up award. Selected recipients shall provide the Kenan Institute for Ethics with an appropriate address to send check. Selected submissions will be published on the Kenan Institute for Ethics website (

Register and Submit Essay!

Spend Your Summer as an Anthropocene Farm Fellow

Duke Farm fellowships.

Deadline: April 8, 2019 (extended)

For the 2019 summer term, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is offering two fellowships in collaboration with the Duke Campus Farm. The fellowships are open to Duke graduate students from any school or division.

The Farm Fellows will work alongside farm faculty, staff, and interns and engage in archival and/or field research. In some capacity, projects must engage the farm site or, where appropriate, the surrounding region. This engagement is open to any number of (inter)disciplinary approaches. For example, fellows may focus on the Farm’s history and the history of the surrounding area, native cultivation of the land, enslaved labor at and around the site, the nineteenth-century tobacco boom, environmental justice and land justice, sustainable agriculture past or present, food systems, the question of what sort of historical memory must inform future land use, etc.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $5,000. They are expected to attend a dinner with other fellows early in the summer term, to publish a piece on their research on the project website and on the Duke Campus Farm website, and to give a 15-minute presentation in the 2019 fall term on how their work at the Farm has affected their research projects at Duke.

To apply, please send a 1-2 page c.v. and a completed application (see questions below) to (subject line “Anthropocene Farm Fellows”), no later than April 8, 2019.

For further information and to see the work of past fellows, click here or contact

Application: Facing the Anthropocene Farm Fellow, Summer 2019

Your Name:
Your Department/Program:
Which year will you be entering in Fall 2019?

Please answer the following questions in a short paragraph:

  1. What is the topic of your current research project? How does this fellowship relate to or further your current or future research?
  2. What experience do you have in archival and field research?
  3. Describe how your project will put this particular landscape in conversation with Anthropocene concerns. How might you use the Farm or its surrounds as a text, archive or pedagogy?
  4. How will you make use of the farm site or its surrounds in your project?
  5. What do you hope to get out of this fellowship?