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Joyell Arscott

Headshot of Joyell Arscott.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Faculty Adviser: Elizabeth Merwin


Joyell Arscott joined Duke’s nursing Ph.D. program in 2011 after earning her B.S.N. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in 2010. Over the course of her career, Arscott has worked with at-risk and HIV infected adolescents and young adults and their providers in a variety of settings, providing counseling services, linkage to care, and technical assistance. She was awarded the 2016-17 Emerging Leader in Science and Society Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Arscott has formally mentored two doctoral students through the Ph.D. Nursing Program Student Mentor program, and three graduate students and an undergraduate through the Summer Research Opportunity Program at Duke. She has served on countless student committees and served as the Ph.D. Student Representative on the School of Nursing Student Council from 2011 to 2012 and on the School of Nursing Ph.D. Program Committee from 2012 to 2014. Arscott received the Julian F. Abele Award for leadership, diversity, and activism from the School of Nursing in 2016.


“Even though people think mentors are experts and they know everything, that’s not the case. Mentors should be able to learn from mentees as well. They might learn about new topics, new ways of doing things, new ways of mentoring. So they should be open and very flexible.”

On A Mentoring Role Model from Second Grade
On Traits of A Good Mentor


“She’s as interdisciplinary as they come and is the consummate bridge-builder. She will always invite you to accompany her to an event, or presentation, or performance somewhere else on campus. She'll always forward you emails that she thought you might be interested in. She'll always give you a huge smile and a hug when she sees you.”

“Joyell is a force of nature of the most benevolent and beautiful type. I admire her greatly. I don't say lightly that I'm not sure I would still be a student in this program if not for her. She is a guide and comrade along this path and calling her a friend is a life gift.”

“There is never a time when she is too busy or too stressed to share her knowledge, provide support or a listening ear to her colleagues. It is truly who she is. She has created a culture of caring within our community (meaning throughout Duke because she is connected to people from all over the University) that we all feel obligated to uphold because we see how powerful it has been in our own lives.”