Blue Devil of the Week: Celebrating Student Diversity

Catherine Admay believes international scholars enrich Duke

Catherine Admay, center, faculty in residence for Bassett Residence Hall, poses with Bassett students, from left, Marcelo Zapata, Jimmy Root, Olivia Deitcher, Aurora Krom, Ashley Kelley and Jonathan Osei.

“I appreciate that Duke wants to have students from all over the world, especially those whose families just don’t have the money to send them here, no matter how qualified they are.

Many of us don’t have people in our lives who offer real insight into what it means to live in economically challenging situations—the uphill battles, the breakthroughs.  As a professor, I especially welcome students from all backgrounds to be a part of our conversations about poverty. That the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, the Rotary Foundation Peace Fellowship, and Karsh International Scholarship make it possible for so many brilliant and hardworking students to get here and thrive here moves me. These students vastly enrich the university, intellectually and in other ways.

A personal example: A scholar who came to Duke in 2012 through a MasterCard scholarship feels like my third daughter: she is hard-wired into our family forever. I met Busi Sibeko in the first month of her freshman year and admired her spunk. We became close when she found out we were both South Africans and that she and our 4 year old share the same name. Both their names, in Zulu, mean ‘blessing.’”

Catherine Admay
Lecturer and assistant director of undergraduate studies, Sanford School of Public Policy
Faculty co-director, Duke-UNC Rotary World Peace Center
20 years at Duke

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