Five members of the Class of 2024 have been named to the third class of Nakayama Scholars.
The Nakayama Public Service Scholarship bolsters the university’s efforts to encourage students to use their Duke experience to engage with significant challenges facing communities around the world. The students represent multiple disciplines across Duke’s academic departments as well as a variety of future careers pursuits.
Juniors Nhu Bui, Grace Endrud, Jacob Hervey, Chloe Nguyen and Ronit Sethi were chosen for their strong academic record, leadership experiences and demonstrated commitment to a career in public service.
“Each year, we set out to find some of the very best rising seniors who are ready to address and solve the problems faced by our communities. These five will be part of the solution in the coming years. Their applications and interviews blew the committee away, and we cannot wait to work with them next year as we help prepare them to launch after Duke,” said Chris Simmons, vice president for government relations and director of the Nakayama program.
In addition to paying one half of recipients’ tuition for their senior year, the scholarship includes a year of programming to help guide the students in fulfilling their interest in public service. The Office of University Scholars and Fellows administers this program, giving the students the opportunity to participate in the wider community of merit scholars at Duke.
The program is funded by an endowment made by Yukio and Toshiko Nakayama. Yukio Nakayama graduated from Duke in 1941 and served in the US military during World War II. He then dedicated his life to public service, in both a long career as director of Weapons Program Evacuation and Management Systems in U.S. Naval Ordinance, and in helping numerous young people further their education.
The Nakayama Public Service Scholars for the Class of 2024:
Nhu Bui is from Houston, Texas, and double majoring in environmental science and policy and English. She is also a Rachel Carson Scholar and loves spending her time at Duke researching a diversity of topics from shrimp biomechanics to sustainability practices to environmental justice oral histories. Her capstone project for environmental science and policy will be an independent study of accessible methods of seagrass restoration in Panama. Her capstone project for English will be an original satirical play on climate change. After graduating, she hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in marine policy to create a more equitable environment, both in the literal and legal sense.
Grace Endrud, from Birmingham, Michigan, is majoring in public policy and international comparative studies with a French minor. While in middle school she lived in Paris, France, which sparked her initial interest in foreign policy. Endrud is passionate about mitigating human trafficking, particularly addressing vulnerabilities stemming from conflict. She is also broadly interested in the intersection of national security and human rights. At Duke, she is the director of service for Duke Presidential Ambassadors in addition to serving on the Student Council for Duke’s Program in American Grand Strategy and on the Student Advisory Board for the Human Rights Center. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and a research assistant in the Sanford School for Jennifer Siegel.
Jacob Hervey is a rising senior from Canton, Ohio, and double majoring in economics and public policy, with a minor in political science. While at Duke, Hervey has had the chance to fuse his passions in empirical research and policy analysis. He is a research fellow in the Duke Economics Analysis Lab where he explores racial biases in media, works as a teaching assistant for Duke’s calculus-driven microeconomics courses, and serves as a captain of the school’s mock trial team. After graduation, Hervey hopes to attend law school and become a civil rights attorney focused on voting rights protections.
Chloe Nguyen is a Baldwin Scholar and Political Engagement Project Fellow from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is majoring in public policy with a minor in psychology and is interested in understanding the psychological drivers of intergroup conflict, such as political polarization, and developing interventions to address them. She plans to pursue a degree in internet communications and civil rights law to explore how to best reduce disinformation and hate speech online while protecting free speech and civil liberties. Nguyen is the president and founder of the Duke Justice Project, an organization working to reduce mass incarceration and assist people who are formerly incarcerated with re-entry.
Ronit Sethi is from Princeton, New Jersey, majoring in biology and global health, with a minor in chemistry. Sethi is addressing mental health and studying neurodegenerative diseases through clinical research, advocacy and direct patient service. At the Duke Global Health Institute, he collaborated on a project team under Dr. Sumedha Ariely to analyze mental health outcomes among orphaned children in India and provide recommendations for interventions. As a Huang Fellow at the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health, he conducted a review on global health financing in low- and middle-income countries. These experiences have given him an appreciation for the connections between research, policy and service in supporting human health. He plans to integrate these components in his journey toward pursuing a career in medicine.