Getting to Know Duke I&E’s Education Team
The Duke I&E Education team focuses on interfacing with students and advising them in both curricular and co-curricular aspects of the certificate. Emilie Dye and Megan Kelly, both senior program coordinators, and Kevin Hoch, the education team’s managing director, talk about how they are ready to sit down with students to answer questions or provide guidance.
Who can take advantage of Duke I&E education offerings?
Duke I&E offers a certificate program for undergraduates, experiential learning summer programs and I&E Academy, a series of talks open to both the Duke community and the wider community.
“One of our philosophies is that innovation and entrepreneurship is for everyone,” Megan said. “So it doesn’t matter what your major is; there’s something that you can take out of the certificate program.”
Emilie also stresses this to students, making it clear that students involved in the certificate don’t have to pursue their own ventures.
“Even if they’re not interested in starting their own company, just the skills of being an innovator or an entrepreneur are important,” Emilie said.
Emilie also works on outreach to groups who are underrepresented in entrepreneurship, such as women or first-generation college students.
The education team is also working on market research with graduate and professional students as they work on creating a graduate certificate program. The team has set a target date to begin offering this program and hope to have it up and running by next fall.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Megan: Megan works in several different areas of the initiative – outreach and publicity for prospective students, advising both prospective and current certificate students and making sure the programming is running smoothly day-to-day.
Outreach can take on many different forms for Megan, from meeting one-on-one to hosting larger information sessions. She said she’s enjoyed visiting different parts of campus and meeting so many people.
Megan’s background is in academic advising, and she said she’s happy to have found a place at Duke where she can still do some advising. She often meets with students to make sure they’re meeting the requirements necessary for the certificate.
Emilie: Emilie coordinates experiential learning. Certificate students must complete a 150-hour experience and a 300-hour experience, so Emilie helps identify good opportunities for experiences and provides support for students currently immersed in experiences.
Students participate in a wide variety of experiences, from internships to immersive experiences like DukeEngage to working on starting their own businesses.
“My role is the co-curricular of a curricular program, and Megan’s role is the curricular elements of the curricular program,” Emilie said. “I think the two of us are pretty complementary in that way, knowing that the certificate is not a certificate solely about classes but also about those experiences beyond the classroom.”
Emilie also provides outreach to the community to find alumni or friends of Duke University who want to get involved in mentoring certificate students.
She also manages the Education team blog.
Kevin: Kevin started working at Duke I&E just as the certificate program was coming to fruition. He helped oversee the certificate’s launch, helping to build from ideas and create an implementable program.
The first year was about building the infrastructure and raising awareness about the certificate, Kevin said.
Since then, the certificate has grown to become the second-largest certificate program at Duke. Duke I&E has partnered with other departments to allow certain courses outside Duke I&E to count toward the certificate, and there are also 12 courses administered by Duke I&E.
Since then, Kevin said, his job has been about building the culture and creating a high-end certificate experience that students want to participate in.
“We want them to have a transformational experience from the time they started the certificate to two to three years later, they’ve really found a change in how they are as an individual and as an innovator and entrepreneur,” he said.
Kevin also oversees the Duke in Silicon Valley summer program.
What is your favorite part of your job?
“One of the things I love about working with our students is that every single one of them is so different than the last one,” Emilie said, adding that each student has a different idea informed by his or her life experiences and other interests. “The ideas that they’re coming to us with are fascinating. They’re able to think really creatively but still be pretty practical about it.”
“It’s been nice to have that student connection,” Megan said. “I think higher ed is a very special space. I really value being a part of working with students and watching all the cool things that they do and helping them figure out what they’re about.”
Kevin said he sees himself as an educator and a coach who can help students.
“I like watching them from the time they start getting involved with us – whether that’s taking a few courses, coming in as a first-year and asking questions – just seeing where they go, figuring out who they are and where they want to take these skills we’re giving them,” he said.
How can students get involved?