It’s hard to believe my first semester is over! It has been a whirlwind full of new experiences, new discussions, and new friends. I guess the old adage is true: “Time flies when you’re having fun!”
The best part of wrapping up the semester was getting the chance to reconnect with all my DEL-MEM colleagues at the December Place-Based Session, also known as “PBS.” I’ve been looking forward to this PBS even more than the Downton Abbey premier! Check out some of the highlights below:
Oysters on the Half Shell
The night before the PBS started, the hotel lobby was abuzz with DEL-MEMs putting the finishing touches on assignments. Luckily, our classmate Alyson Myers offered the perfect antidote to the end-of-semester stress: Oysters! Not just any oysters, but oysters harvested less than 24 hours earlier from a clean, ocean-fed creek off the Virginia coast. I’ve always steered clear of raw oysters before, Alyson is an expert in aquaculture and waterway health, so I trust her! Learning about coastal water topics has never been so delicious.
Face-time with Thought Leaders
In between wrapping up fall courses and prepping for the spring semester, the DEL staff arrange a little face-time with thought-leaders from on- and off-campus. Ivan Urlaub, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association executive director, spoke about his leadership journey and the future of energy in the southeast, the Unites States and abroad. Dr. Alex Dehgan (@lemurwrangler), the David Rubenstein Fellow in Duke University’s new Academy of Fellows, talked about finding innovative solutions to wicked problems and challenged us to identify the global problem(s) each of us will work to address.
Duke Chapel Organ Demonstration
While the online learning environment has its perks, there are a few things that you can only experience while on campus. During this trip, I finally got to hear an organ demonstration at Duke Chapel. There is no way to capture it in words, so you’ll just have to come to Durham to see and hear it for yourself!
Once the final papers were submitted and presentations were delivered, it was time to celebrate! The DEL staff organized a student-faculty-alumni social at Juju, a hip new tapas bar in Durham. I loved being able to slow-down, catch-up with DEL classmates, and network with faculty (like Brian Murray and Chris Wedding) and alumni (like Niles Barnes).
The social at Juju had one other perk: It gave us the chance to finally snap a group phot! Meet the DEL-MEM Class of 2016. What a good looking group (minus the photo-bombers in the back)!