Welcome to Duke
The Office of New Student and Family Programs provides programs and resources to our new student populations that effectively acclimate incoming students to Duke by promoting intellectual curiosity and building community. We provide part of the foundation of the undergraduate experience and serve as a resource and support network for new students. Please feel free to contact any member of the office staff. We would be happy to offer you our assistance, advice, and support.
Who We Serve
Our office is responsible for being stewards of a comprehensive university-wide welcome to our incoming class, transfer students, and other communities transitioning to Duke. In addition, we serve undergraduate families as their student transitions to and throughout their student's career at Duke. We aspire to partner with families to support their student's educational journey. Therefore we not only serve incoming students, but university faculty, staff, parents, and families as we welcome them to be a part of our Duke family.
MEET THE TEAM!
Ben (he/him) is excited to be a part of the team that supports new students in their transition to Duke and walks alongside parents and families as they support their student from afar. A graduate of Duke, Ben is an educator and pastor who is committed to building communities where all have the access and opportunity they need to thrive. Before returning to Duke in 2022, Ben was a pastor in Cary, North Carolina and a high school history teacher in rural, North Carolina. He also helped launch of a new school in Durham and served as an admissions officer for international and first-generation college students at Duke. He has degrees from Duke, Emory, and Cambridge; but Duke is home. In his life outside of Duke, Ben enjoys endurance events, gardening, traveling, and spending time with his wife, Gabby, and son, Elliott.
BEN'S ADVICE TO NEW-TO-DUKE STUDENTS:
Explore as much as possible in these four years! You never know when or where you might be introduced to a new lifelong passion.
Grace Sullivan Zirkle
Grace (she/her) spearheads parent and family initiatives including Family Weekend, advises Experiential Orientation Projects, and supports strategic planning for the First-Year Experience. Grace earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. After graduating, Grace worked as an admission counselor at her alma mater before going on to pursue her M.Ed in Higher Education Administration & Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina. In her free time, Grace can be found spending time outside, baking, playing board games, watching lacrosse, or hanging out with her husband and cats.
GRACE'S ADVICE TO NEW-TO-DUKE STUDENTS:
Know that there are people here who want to help you succeed, and don't be afraid to keep asking questions! You'll get a good sense of Duke quickly through summer onboarding and experiential orientation, but it's impossible to know everything about Duke by the time you start classes. That's completely normal! Find staff and peers you trust who you can keep asking questions and go to for support.
Carina (she/her) spearheads the student development and training curriculum, the transfer student experience, the Duke Common Experience, and advising ExO projects. Before working with NSFP, Carina worked in Housing and Residence Life at Duke for 5 years, supervising RAs and managing first-year dorm communities while living on East Campus. She is originally from Ohio, and has a Bachelors of Social Work from The Ohio State University and a Masters of Education from the University of South Carolina. Outside of work, Carina loves spending time outside with her family, drinking coffee, being on or near a body of water, watching college sports, and exploring North Carolina.
CARINA'S ADVICE TO NEW-TO-DUKE STUDENTS:
Get outside! Walk around the East Campus trail or on the Al Bulher Trail near the Washington Duke Inn, sit on the quad with some music, or grab a friend and eat lunch outside. Situations can look different when you get some perspective and let time pass. Take a break and get outside.
Shamiece (she/her) spearheads marketing and communication for the office, such as The Blue Book, New Student and Family newsletters, and social media. She also advises Experiential Orientation projects and the Marketing and Communications committee within the Logistics team for Experiential Orientation. Shamiece is a retired military kid and calls Kansas: the Sunflower State home, where she attended Wichita State University and received her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She also attended Valdosta State University in Georgia, where she received her M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership. Shamiece is passionate about empowering others to show up in spaces authentically and is a creative at heart. In her life outside of Duke, you can find Shamiece working out in the gym, taking walks outside, finding new coffee shops, and creating content.
SHAMIECE'S ADVICE TO NEW-TO-DUKE STUDENTS:
Rejections are redirections in life and do not define your self-worth. You are in a new season of learning about yourself and evolving. Feel empowered to step out of your comfort zone because growth does not occur there. Watch yourself become the person you have always dreamed about.
Emory (he/him) is originally from the small rural town of Marion, NC. His experiences of living within a close-knit community have left him with a drive for community engagement and helping others find their purpose! Emory's journey at Appalachian State University has ended as he is now pursuing his M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from North Carolina State University. Emory is currently the Graduate Assistant in Duke University's New Student and Family Programs office. His involvement and passions are now helping to advise Project Wellness and co-advising committees within our student-led logistics team for Experiential Orientation! Emory is so excited for this upcoming O-week in welcoming the class of 2027!
EMORY'S ADVICE TO NEW-TO-DUKE STUDENTS:
Do not to wait to get involved but to take advantage of the connections and opportunities available in the first couple of weeks of your college career here at Duke!