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Student and Faculty Highlights


Jessi Bardill (doctoral candidate, English) began a writing lab in fall 2010 for humanities and social sciences students that meets every other Wednesday afteroon in the Graduate School conference room. According to Jessi, "the idea of the Writing Lab started when I was acknowledging my own problems with writing, both personal and structural. Being well-acquainted with the programs GSA runs, it came up that they could support a kind of writing group that came together to provide mutual motivation and accountability as well as feedback. Dean Bell offered that he would be interested in such a group and acting as an in-house writing advisor. We discussed that the group could form in many ways, and the best idea appeared to be to let those who constituted the group decide its direction and function, in other words, the students would discuss the best ways to overcome their writing hurdles with Dean Bell's help. One aspect of this group that was clear from the beginning though was the continuity of every two weeks for those who want to join - it is not a single appointment with a writing tutor, it is utilizing the resources of peers to continually work on writing problems that might take many revisions to solve."

Medical Scientist Training Program

David Kirsch M.D., Ph.D, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, is one of three recipients of an Advanced Clinical Research Award. The award gives Kirsch $450,000 over three years to support his efforts to design a new molecular imaging device that could potentially spot in real time any residual cancer cells near the surgical site.


Bryan Christian (first-year Ph.D. student) was composer-in-residence at the 20th Juventus Festival in Cambrai, France, where his commissioned work “Marées” was premiered in July.

Bryan Gilliam (Professor of Music) served on the program committee and chaired sessions for the 16th biennial British Conference on 19th-Century Music in July (University of Southampton, UK).

Dan Ruccia (fifth-year Ph.D. student), as director of the Duke New Music Ensemble (DNME), facilitated a collaboration between the American Dance Festival (ADF) and DNME on a performance of Merce Cunningham’s Inlets 2.

Philip Rupprecht (Associate Professor of Music) was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award to fund a two-day International Conference. The international conference Tonality 1900-1950: Concept and Practice/Tonalität 1900-1950: Konzept und Praxis brings together a distinguished roster of American and European scholars to reconsider the debates surrounding tonality.

Amy Scurria (fourth-year Ph.D. student) collaborated with author Carol Gilligan, Dr. Jonathan Gilligan, and grammy nominated conductor Sara Jobin on an opera titled Pearl, derived from Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.


Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., Anne W. Deane Professor of Neurobiology, was awarded the 2010 National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award. Duke University School of Medicine neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., is one of 17 recipients of the 2010 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. The award will provide funding to continue Nicolelis’ groundbreaking work in the development of brain-machine interface (BMI) technology.

Romance Studies

José María Rodríguez García (Assoicate Professor of Spanish & Latin American Studies) recently published The City of Translation: Poetry and Ideology in Nineteenth-Century Colombia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

Roberto Dainotto (Professor of Romance Studies) won the 2010 Laura Shannon Prize for European Studies for his book Europe (in Theory) .

Martin Repinecz (fifth-year doctoral student) received a Fulbright for Italy.