Duke Senior, Alumnus Win Mitchell Scholarships
National award provides year of graduate study in Ireland
After studying in Ireland, Nguyen plans to pursue a legal education specializing in technology, privacy and internet law. She will work as a legal advocate for policy reforms to transform the digital rights afforded to Americans.
Graduating in May 2024 with a degree in public policy, Nguyen has served as a Poynter-Google News Initiative Misinformation Student Fellow for WRAL TV in Raleigh, investigating barriers to news access for Hispanic communities, as well as a Student Fellow for Braver Angels, charged with organizing debates on sensitive issues facing American society. She also works as a reporter for the 9th Street Journal, a student publication coming out of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy that reports on neglected community issues. (See story below)
An active researcher, Nguyen has studied with Samantha Moore-Berg, the former director of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab, analyzing how meta-perceptions and competitive victimhood influence support for democracy.
She also spearheaded an independent research project on ways to improve political polarization on campus through the guidance of Professor Deondra Rose at the Sanford School of Public Policy. In addition to polarization work, Nguyen is the founder of Duke Justice Project, an organization working to improve re-entry following incarceration in Durham. Next year, Nguyen plans to pursue a MSc degree in digital policy at the University College Dublin.
Stories by Kuo and Nguyen
“I am extraordinarily grateful and honored to have been awarded the Mitchell Scholarship this year,” Nguyen said. “I am beyond excited to spend the year in Ireland learning about EU and Irish digital policy to make me a better advocate for technology regulation in the United States. Many thanks to the Duke community, my family, and my friends for inspiring my passion for this work, challenging me, and supporting me through the application process."
Kuo graduated summa cum laude in May 2023 with a double major in political science and English and a certificate in policy journalism and media studies. He currently reports on arts and culture for The New York Times as a member of itsNewsroom Fellowship Program, a one-year training for the next generation of journalists.
Prior to working for The New York Times, Kuo interned at both the Los Angeles Times and the Tampa Bay Times and served as the student editor for the 9th Street Journal in Durham. While at Duke, he captained the Moot Court team, placing in the top 10 for constitutional law debate at the American Moot Court Association’s National Championship.
He was also the enterprise editor for The Duke Chronicle, andpart of a team of editors and staff who won a 2022 Online Pacemaker Award from the Associated College Press, which recognizes excellence in online college journalism. Kuo served as editor-in-chief for Duke Crux, leading a team of editors and staff members for Duke’s undergraduate journal of Christian thought. These efforts culminated in Kuo being named the inaugural recipient of the Patterson Prize, the university’s highest honor for journalism and service to the campus community of journalists.
Kuo credits his many faculty mentors, including Professors Stephen Buckley, Frank Bruni, Bronwen Dickey and Bill Adair among others, for their guidance during his collegiate career.
Through the Mitchell Scholarship, Kuo plans to earn a MA in journalism at the University of Limerick. He then plans to foster a partnership between American and Irish media, taking a leadership role in a major newsroom.
“I'm thrilled and honored to receive this opportunity to deepen my understanding of the journalism industry and to explore the country of Ireland,” Kuo said. “Above all, I feel deeply grateful for the many members of my Duke community who made this possible: the faculty who recommended me, the alumni who shared advice, the scholarship office that supported me at every step, and the peers who believed in me and kept me believing in myself.”
Nguyen and Kuo will begin their studies in Ireland in September 2024.
For more information, visit the George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program website.