December 14, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 40.

The 1980s are making a comeback– woot! Breakdancing became an official Olympic sport last week. The International Olympic Committee’s pursuit of urban events to lure a younger audience saw street dance battles officially added to the medal events program at the 2024 Paris Games. Also confirmed for Paris by the IOC executive board were skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. Fingers crossed we won’t be dealing with any kind of pandemic in 2024.

This video (Am I frozen?!) made me cry-laugh. Remember that we are all in this together and online teaching, learning, and meeting can be hard.

Share your input on interdisciplinary research, teaching and engagement: Input is welcomed from all Duke faculty, staff and students



Newsy Stuff

Four Duke scholars examine logistics, vaccinating children and ensuring poor nations aren’t left out.

Article Announcement: Two of our researchers are part of a team looking at how faculty discipline and beliefs influence instructional uses of writing in STEM undergraduate courses at research-intensive universities.

What are the long-term, global economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic? A team of 4 Duke MIDS students recently tackled this pressing question at the 2020 Duke Datathon.

Strengthening your ability to weather adversity often involves others.

As part of its emergency preparedness plans, Duke will test the DukeALERT mass notification system on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

In this pandemic, you’ve heard a lot about what you can’t do. Four Duke Health physicians and health workers offer advice on what you can do this holiday to be social and lessen stress but still significantly reduce your COVID risk.

This week our MIDS team is hosting an online Q&A for prospective students.

Calling all interdisciplinary researchers: Register for the Future of Survey Research Conference where interdisciplinary researchers from a wide range of academic fields and industries will discuss innovations in social, behavioral, and health surveys.

December 7, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 39.

I love learning life hacks for simple tasks but this one really got me. Who knew this and why haven’t you told me? This is how you close the cereal box?! Although I have to say, I have never gone to someone’s and seen these neat cereal boxes in the pantry, so I know I’m not the only one.

This year more than ever it’s imperative to make the holiday brighter for those in need, especially families with children who are struggling to provide presents amid the pandemic and devastating economic fallout. Thanks to the United States Postal Service’s “Operation Santa” letters to Santa program, anyone can help make a child’s Christmas a little brighter, and this year it’s easier than ever because it’s all digital.

*New letters arrive everyday so be sure to check their site more than once.

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are volunteering to get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the vaccine’s safety once the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes one.

With credible candidates for the coronavirus vaccine fast approaching federal approval, distribution in North Carolina will soon get underway. So when will it be your turn? A new online tool uses age, county of residence, profession and underlying health conditions to determine how many people are ahead of you to get the vaccine. (It looks like I’ll be waiting quite a while based on this tool)

We’ll be gearing up for our next SSRI Lunch-n-Learn after the holidays. If you have suggestions on topics, please reach out.



Newsy Stuff

At the request of the Provost, SSRI has created an e-newsletter, PHDigest, geared toward students in the social sciences. Sara Cross (Social worker turned Ph.D. candidate who seeks to improve hospice and palliative care and reduce disparities) was our student spotlight this month.

ProjectROUSE has released WAVE 2 of its survey. If you’d to participate, please check out the site to see all survey options.

Take a peek at Duke-authored books that explore historical and current aspects of faith, spirituality and religious culture in society.

When COVID hit last spring, many graduate students had to give up their summer plans for teaching, field research and internships. The Provost’s Office quickly pledged support and spearheaded the effort to identify virtual opportunities.

How to discover what you’re good at: Knowing your strengths can improve your work and life.

Zoom plans to implement a new security requirement that will require a passcode or waiting room. The changes are expected over the winter break.

(I vote for passcodes since I spend a lot of time waiting for people to approve me to join the meeting. Hello? Can someone let me in?)

November 30, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 38.

I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing holiday and ready for a new week!

Duke has for many months required a mask or face covering in all outdoor settings where social distancing measures cannot be maintained and at all times in shared spaces indoors. Now it’s required across the state at all times.

This week is our next SSRI Lunch-n-Learn: “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” on December 2nd @ 12 :30 pm. We’ll watch and discuss so no homework or planning ahead for this one. Just jump on the Zoom to join.



Newsy Stuff

President Vincent Price described Duke’s pool testing program and other aspects of the university’s multifaceted effort to protect campus and community health.

A revolutionary screening app for autism spectrum disorder was created by an interdisciplinary team at Duke University.

Contract testing: How a diverse team of staff and volunteers filled the need for student contact tracers

Congrats to faculty who have been named ‘Most Highly Cited Researchers’ in 2020 (many of these faculty have worked with SSRI over the years)

November 23, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 37.

MIDS is in full swing with their admissions process. In just a few months we’ll be sending admissions offers to a brand-new group to join us at Gross Hall. Speaking of Gross Hall, sounds like we won’t be back anytime soon. Duke has received lots of praise on their aggressive COVID testing during the pandemic and are currently working on contingency plans for spring semester. Our own Director was quoted in the latest write up.

Please mark your calendar for the next SSRI Lunch-n-Learn: December 2nd @ 12 :30 pm. We’ll watch and discuss “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”. So no homework or planning ahead for this one. Just jump on the Zoom to join.

Saw-whet? Apparently a little someone hitched a ride to NY in the Rockefeller Center Tree. With fluids, food, and a cozy blanket, the little guy is expected to make a full recovery. Maybe we expected too much of this year’s tree? It’s 2020 and that’s a lot of pressure.

If you are curious what the most popular side dish is this week, it’s mashed potatoes. For North Carolina it’s Mac-n-Cheese (no surprise there—it’s a fave in my house) and in Maine it’s a side salad. Come on Maine, step up your side dish game!

Please stay safe and make good choices this week. We want everyone to stay healthy.



Newsy Stuff

We have a handful of staff teaching in the Graduate Academy this winter. Lots of great courses and love seeing our team being part of this effort.

An aggressive COVID-19 surveillance and testing effort at Duke University was highly effective in minimizing the spread of the disease among students on campus, according to a case study appearing Monday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Have you fallen into habits you’d like to change? Duke experts share helpful strategies.

Don’t be alarmed if you voted on election day and your vote doesn’t show yet on the state’s voter history search tool.

A new study (with SSRI) generated insights into how frontline clinicians perceived machine learning models and the barriers to integrating them into clinical workflows. These findings can inform future efforts to implement machine learning interventions in real-world settings and maximize the adoption of these interventions.

Aria Chernik is leading the Duke 2030 Design Sprint where students will learn the principles and praxis of open design (an equity-focused variation of design thinking) while developing recommendations to share with the Duke Strategy Team 2030 convened by President Price and Provost Kornbluth.

November 16, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 36.

Let’s start this week off with an amazing video. Back in the ’60s, Marta González was a New York City Ballet dancer. Despite developing Alzheimer’s later in life, she never forgot her Swan Lake routine. This video will give you all the feels. I’m not crying. You’re crying.

With so many people working and schooling fr0m home, online riddles have become a thing (or so I have been told).
Solve the Riddle: There’s a one-story house in which everything is yellow. Yellow walls, yellow doors, yellow furniture. What color are the stairs?
Answer: There aren’t any steps—it’s a one-story house.

A huge thank you to everyone who joined the SSRI Lunch-n-Learn last week. I hope you have saved the date of December 2nd @ 12 :30 pm when we will watch and discuss “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”. So no homework or planning ahead for this one. Just jump on the Zoom to join.

With the holidays upon us, it’s even more important to protect your mental health. Please remember to pace yourself and take breaks (from all forms of media).



Newsy Stuff

Duke announces no fans at home events to begin winter sport seasons.

The IBRC wants to know how you and your child are coping with COVID-19. If your child attends elementary school in Durham, please consider taking their survey.

Tyson Brown delivered a prestigious Langford Lecture last week in which he shared research linking structural racism and health outcomes. “Dismantling structural racism…is important to improving health equity.”

Project ROUSE is still looking for SSRIers to join their survey on the impact of COVID-19. You can take their anonymous survey on their website.

Message on COVID-19 vaccines and the Duke community.

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens is closed to the public for the fall semester, but we don’t want you to miss out on the colors of the season.

November 9, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 35.

Well, what a year this past week has been! I can finally stop refreshing NPR and move on with my life. I was in desperate need of “election intervention” (it’s a real thing—no need to look it up;) With so much focus on the presidential race you may have missed the fact that the 2020 election was an amazing success for women on both sides of the aisle.

This week we have our SSRI Lunch-n-Learn where we will chat about the film: Just Mercy. We have set aside an hour, but even if you can only make it for part of the session, please do join us.



Newsy Stuff

The Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs invites Duke staff to volunteer as virtual guides for Durham middle school students during “Duke-Durham School Days” on Nov. 18.

Jayne Ifekwunige (Duke TRHT, GRID, SSRI) will be a panelist for the upcoming 2020 Diversity Informational Breakfast.

Without question, masks have disrupted social interactions. But communication has many components. You can adjust and enhance your communication by focusing on some of the other pieces that aren’t hidden behind a mask.

How Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are handled election misinformation.

Join the Duke Community on November 11th to honor our veterans in a digital ceremony.

Duke community members are encouraged to attend an annual forum to bring forward issues of societal concern related to the investment of Duke University’s assets. (today at 4:00 pm)

There are three funding opportunities to support faculty and graduate students in research and development around topics of race, racism, racial equity, bias, inclusion and systemic inequalities.

November 2, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 34.

This is a big week for everyone—voting! Tomorrow is the day to have your voice heard, so please make sure you get out there and vote!

Because emotions are high this week, we decided to postpone our Zoom chat scheduled on Wednesday. We will meet up the following Wednesday, November 11th, to discuss the film Just Mercy.

We’ve been hearing a lot about changes to address systemic racism on campus. If you are curious what efforts are being put in place, check out the Duke Anti-Racism site.

Lots going on this week but try and stay focused, take lots of mini breaks, and try reeeallllyy hard not check the news sites constantly for the latest scoop.



Newsy Stuff

You’ve probably received numerous reminders to take the Project ROUSE survey. We would like to have a diverse pool of faculty, staff, and students participate, so if you have a few minutes (well, ok, more like 20 minutes), please click on the link.

New Duke statistics professor knows how to do magic with numbers but did you know he spent more than a decade as an actual magician? What?!

Keep up with our Duke MIDS Alumni Spotlight: always exciting to see where our students have landed in their careers.

DISM Director Sunshine Hillygus talks about the upcoming election: “At the end of the day, usually 90 percent of Democrats vote for the Democratic candidate and 90 percent of Republicans vote for the Republican candidate, and yet the people who are kind of the muddled middle are still enough to make a difference.”

SSRI staff are teaching as part of the Duke Graduate Academy this winter:

Community-Engaged and Community-Partnered Research
Interpretive Research Methods: Issues, Applications, and Tools

I’ve been frustrated by the fact that you can’t add live captions to a Zoom meeting. But guess what? Now you can!

Bass Connections students pilot ways to improve voting access during this year’s unusual election. (This team was co-taught with SSRI staff)


October 26, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 33.

So we are on bag 3 of the Halloween candy we bought too early and said we wouldn’t open. How’s it going at your house?

In 2020 news, “irregardless” is now an official word. Whhhhhy?! I can’t…

November 3rd is so close! Have you voted? I love that voting is coming up in so many conversations:
“So did you vote early?”
“Have you voted?”
“Want to go with me and vote?”
“Did you watch the debate?”
“This was my first time ever going to the polls.”


This 14-year-old girl won a $25K prize for a discovery that could lead to a cure for Covid-19. Speaking of COVID, have you had the chance to fill out our confidential survey, Project Rouse?

Please mark your calendar for November 4th at 12:30 pm for our monthly SSRI Lunch-n-Learn. This month we will watch and discuss the film, Just Mercy.



Newsy Stuff

Despite potentially being one of the largest and most powerful voting blocs in the US electorate, the majority of young people don’t go to the polls. Why not? Sunshine Hillygus tell us the real reason young people don’t vote.

Employees who are new to Duke or have not yet started saving for retirement can learn about Duke’s two retirement plan options during monthly webinars.

Recreate and reinterpret one of our historical Duke photographs.

Halloween amid COVID-19: You can lower the risks of trick-or-treating, if you’re creative.

Adrienne Aiken Morgan recently spoke at a virtual Congressional Briefing on her NSF funded project: “Promoters of and Barriers to Successful Remote Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic among HBCU Students.”

Duke students will soon emerge more prepared to use data to create new knowledge in a host of disciplines thanks to the newly launched Center for Computational Thinking (CCT).

A team of Duke University researchers has developed a lab-grown living lung model that mimics the tiny air sacs of the lungs where coronavirus infection and serious lung damage take place.

October 19, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 32.

Have you voted? Please don’t miss the opportunity to make a difference!

Please mark your calendar for November 4th at 12:30 pm for our monthly SSRI Lunch-n-Learn. This month we will watch and discuss the film, Just Mercy.

Have you seen that Barbie is confronting racism in viral video and shows how to be a White ally?

It turns out looking at photos of adorable animals is good for your mental health, so you may want to start looking at cute fur babies every hour of every day until 2020 is over.



Newsy Stuff

Have you filled out the Project ROUSE survey? Many SSRI team members spent the past few months working on this project and they’d love to see this group represented in the study. This is a research project focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting you, your work, and your well-being.

Noah Gift is working on his next big course: Cloud Computing for Data with Coursera

 The pandemic is changing the English language

Brian Southwell recently had a paper published: Roles for Health Care Professionals in Addressing Patient-Held Misinformation Beyond Fact Correction

Duke TIP to lay off 75 staff members, end Academic Talent Search permanently

Check out how this timeline traces the history of Duke as it transformed from Brown’s Schoolhouse to Duke University, and moved from Randolph county to Durham

New computer science course explores equity and inclusion in technology

October 12, 2020

Team SSRI,

Week 31.

A huge thank you to Ann Brewster for joining us for our SSRI Lunch-n-Learn. We love hearing about the research everyone is doing! Next month we will discuss the film Just Mercy. I’ve chatted with many of you who have either watched it or want to watch it, so please take the next few weeks to watch and digest and then let’s get together over Zoom to chat.

21 days until the 2020 Presidential Election. Please make sure you are registered. Vote by absentee ballot, participate in early voting, or wait until November 3rd. Just vote!

Feel like treating yourself but need an excuse? Well, luck you! This Wednesday is National Dessert Day. Enjoy!



Newsy Stuff

SSRI faculty and staff have been working hard these past few months to send out a survey to all of Duke University. Project ROUSE is a research project focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting you, your work, and your well-being? You should see the email in your inbox this morning, so we hope you will take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

If you missed the Misinformation and Mistrust Symposium we hosted the other week, please check out the recordings. You can choose to just view Session1 or Session 2.

We’ve been posting some MIDS Alumni Spotlights, so be sure to take a peek to see where some of our students have ended up.

Calling all staff and faculty artists: Create art for Racial Justice Series

Duke Recreation & Physical Education has launched “Personal Trip Plans” to help staff, faculty and students organize hiking, camping and paddling activities in Durham and the surrounding area.

Small boxes across campus serve as reminders of everyone’s role in the fight against COVID-19

In an upcoming issue of Working@Duke magazine, they will highlight ways Duke staff and faculty are making it through the pandemic, so if you want to share your story, fill out the questionnaire.

Bass Connections is now accepting proposals for 2021-2022 projects that engage faculty, undergraduates and graduate/professional students in the interdisciplinary exploration of complex societal challenges. Please see the project proposal guidelines.