Campus briefs

Oct. 07, 2013 @ 12:26 PM

Faculty/Staff Achievements

- Dr. Cynthia A. Toth, an ophthalmology professor at Duke Eye Center, was named the 2013 recipient of the Award of Merit in Retina Research from the Retina Research Foundation.

Toth is a clinician-scientist and vitreoretinal surgeon. Since joining the Duke faculty in 1993, she has developed surgical techniques and instrumentation for macular translocation and other vitreoretinal surgeries and treats adults, children and infants with complex vitreoretinal disorders. 

Funding for the Award of Merit in Retina Research, worth $50,000, is provided by the Retina Research Foundation.

- N.C. Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White has joined the United Way of the Greater Triangle’s board of directors. She recently participated in the United Way’s CEO Sleep Out, where participants made individual pledges about bringing community issues to the forefront, and Saunders-White pledged to use her role to further the cause of helping to alleviate poverty. 

- Dr. Purnima Shah, Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences associate professor of the practice of dance, is the 2013 recipient of the Richard K. Lublin Teaching Award.

The Richard K. Lublin Award is one of four endowed distinguished teaching awards presented annually within Trinity College. The winner receives a $5,000 prize.

Shah teaches dance in the context of anatomy, history, culture, poetry, politics, philosophy, anthropology, theater and other subjects that are essential to effective expression through movement. She will use the award money to further her research.



- The National Institutes of Health has awarded 78 grants, worth about $123 million total, to scientists proposing highly innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research, under the High Risk-High Reward program.

The reward recipients include Fan Wang of Duke University, whom we highlighted last week, and Mark J. Zylka of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Zylka is part of the UNC School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology and Physiology.


Worth Repeating

"[I was] sitting in my German class with mostly folks that we used to call the jocks, and I sat with the one other female who was a Jewish young woman. She spoke German at home with her parents. We both did well. I had German in high school. Yet we got lower grades than folks who did not do any studying or what have you, but they were on the football team.”

- Joyce Johnson, Duke Class of 1968, was part of Saturday’s panel discussion at the Durham Performing Arts Center commemorating 50 years of black students at Duke. She came to the university at 17 years old and discussed the academic disparities based on race and religion.



Today: National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues. Join the Duke Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, student groups from across campus, and supportive offices on the Bryan Center plaza to distribute Love=Love T-shirts and information about coming out, being out and the LGBTQ Community at Duke.
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Bryan Center Plaza, West Campus

Today: The Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute is showing the film “The Undocumented,” which tells the story of migrant deaths across the Arizona-Mexico border and the impact of immigration laws.

7 p.m. | Full Frame Theater on the American Tobacco Campus, 318 Blackwell St.

Thursday: National Depression Screening Day is an annual event that raises awareness about depression by offering free screenings all around the country. Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will have two depression screening sites open to students, employees, patients and the general public.

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Bryan Center,125 Science Drive | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Duke South Clinic Cafeteria, 40 Duke Medicine Circle

Saturday: Durham Tech welcomes Richard Blanco, the youngest, first openly gay and first Hispanic poet to be chosen to read his work at a presidential inauguration. Reserve your seat(s) by emailing Carver Weaver, director of marketing and communications, at

1 – 2:30 p.m. | Educational Resources Building Auditorium, main campus

Saturday: The National Medical Association, in partnership with NCCU Athletics, is hosting “Walk a Mile with a Child” on campus. The one-mile walk promoting healthy lifestyles will be followed by symposiums on health careers and healthy living seminars. Contact LuAnn Edmonds Harris at for information.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.; the event begins at 8 a.m. | 1801 Fayetteville St.

Sunday: The NCCU Art Museum is opening a new exhibit that will run through Dec. 13 – “Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad.”

2 – 4 p.m. | NCCU Art Museum, 580 E. Lawson St.

Sunday: The Sarah P. Duke Gardens is hosting an autumn fest in the Discovery Garden with family activities, to include storytime in the garden, plant information and advice from master gardeners, the Beekeeping Club of Durham and more. Free admission, but parking fees apply. For information, call 919-668-1707.

Noon – 3 p.m. | Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St.