Jay Green Lives The Robertson Scholars' Lifestyle

Program coordinator divides time between Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill

Jay Green displays the special, reversible hat created for him by his father-in-law to celebrate Green's dual allegiance to Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Name: Jay Green

Years at Duke: Two and a half years this time, and two years before graduate school.

Position: Program coordinator for scholar services for the Robertson Scholars Program.

What I do at Duke is: I offer leadership development programming for 140 awesome Duke and UNC Robertson Scholars. I coordinate professional development opportunities, leadership seminars, and summer enrichment activities, as well as help students clarify the meaningfulness of their experiences. I live the Robertson life style; I work at UNC on Mondays and Tuesdays, and at Duke Wednesday through Friday.

If someone wants to start a conversation with me, they should ask me about: Community-based development, particularly about how building relationships can give us the upper hand in eliminating educational, social and economic disparities. Once you build a relationship with someone, the issues that person faces are no longer foreign. You see them as your own. Until that happens, the mechanics of development and policy work remain fragmented and incomplete.  

My first paid job was: I was an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) licensed radio announcer at age 13. Because the local station in Hemingway, South Carolina (90.9 WLGI) was short-staffed, I  had the opportunity to become a trained announcer. I developed a love for jazz during my "Saturday Afternoon Jazz" show.

The best advice I've received was: The statement, `People don't really care what you know until they know that you really care.'

If I could have one superpower it would be: Giving other people the ability to live their life as if everyone is part of one human family.

The music I listen to most often is: Jazz, specifically Robert Glasper, my favorite jazz pianist, who is coming to Duke in March.

The book I am reading now is: "Immunity to Change" by Robert Kegan. It is about how most professional and personal development efforts are not as effective as they could be because they give more attention to technical training than to "development" itself, that is, the emotions and assumptions associated with the goals. It is like having one foot on the gas and the other foot on the brake at the same time.

When I am not at work I like to: Spend time with my family in Durham and spend a few hours a week facilitating a grass-roots youth empowerment program in Chapel Hill. I work with middle-school age boys from three neighborhoods using a curriculum that focuses on service, literacy and character development.

My dream job is: An academic or student affairs deanship, with room for occasional classroom teaching.  In fact, some of my friends already joke about me being "Dean Green." I like the sound of that.

If I had $5 million I would: Take time to travel the world with my family, learn Mandarin and Arabic perhaps, and gain more exposure to education and human development efforts abroad. Then I'd complete a Ph.D. in sociology or higher education.

Something most people don't know about me is: My wife's family name is also Green. Because we are an interracial couple, we often joke about being "mixed greens" - the light greens and the dark greens.