Duke Kunshan IMEP Students Start First Semester on Duke Campus

Members of the first cohort of Duke Kunshan IMEP students take a picture under the stone arch outside of the Nicholas School.
Members of the first cohort of Duke Kunshan IMEP students take a picture under the stone arch outside of the Nicholas School.

The inaugural class of international Master of Environmental Policy (iMEP) students from Duke Kunshan University are on the Duke University campus for the first time this semester. 

Eight iMEP students program are spending their final semester at Duke University, joining the Sanford and Nicholas School graduate populations inside and outside the classroom.

While at Duke, iMEP students will take courses at both Sanford and Nicholas and complete their year-long master’s project.  They will participate in field trips to experience the biomes of North Carolina and see what Duke researchers are up to at the Duke Forest and Duke Marine Lab.  They will also have the opportunity to join student groups, organize events or attend local conferences.

At Duke, the iMEP students have been reunited with familiar faculty members Billy Pizer and David Schanzer from the Sanford School and Liz Losos from the Nicholas Institute, all of whom have previously travelled to Duke Kunshan to provide instruction for the iMEP program. 

IMEP students and Sanford staff mingle at the Sanford School welcome lunch.
Christine Gerbode (MEM ’19), the first Duke graduate student to study in the iMEP program for a whole semester at Duke Kunshan University, returned to the United States along with her iMEP peers.  Of her DKU experience, Gerbode said, “My semester at DKU exposed me to totally different ways of thinking about environmental policy while putting what I have learned in Durham into a meaningful international context.”

One of the exciting elements of the iMEP program is this opportunity for cross-cultural exchange. Students in the new program will learn from researchers from both China and the United States. Core classes will span multiple disciplines, including economics, political science, sociology, history, law, statistics and environmental science.

In addition to the full-time IMEP faculty members based at Duke Kunshan, a rotating roster of Duke faculty members will visit the campus each semester to teach, conduct research and advise students. Some classes may be taught jointly at both Duke and Duke Kunshan via teleconferencing and other technologies.