The administrative oversight team handles the day-to-day operation of the Duke UCEM, such as organizing the various events, holding check-ins with the Sloan Scholars, and conducting assessments of various aspects of the UCEM.
Jacqueline Looney, Ed.D.
Duke UCEM Director
Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, The Graduate School
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Diversity
Jacqueline Looney earned a B.A. in psychology and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in human development from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Looney was previously assistant dean for graduate recruitment. She also served as a program officer for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and became the national director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. In her current role, she has spearheaded comprehensive initiatives to provide services that improve the quality of life for all graduate students. Her work in The Graduate School has produced measurable changes in the diversity of the graduate student population and helped graduate students be a part of all aspects of university life. Dr. Looney was the recipient of the 2005 Duke University Blue Ribbon Award for Diversity and a 2013 recipient of the Meritorious Presidential Award for outstanding service to Duke. Dr. Looney, along with the Duke Graduate School, was a 2015 recipient of the Equity Award from the American Historical Association for efforts in recruiting and supporting students from underrepresented groups. She was lauded for her work in “creating a national model for minority recruitment and retention.” In the 2015 special issue of Duke Magazine, Dr. Looney was recognized in a piece titled “Quiet Authority” as one of a number of influential individuals “shaping life at Duke.”
To support the UCEM, Dr. Looney manages day-to-day program coordination among co-PIs, faculty champions, advisory committee, and administrative oversight team. She reports to co-PIs on the UCEM’s operations.
Associate Dean for Admissions, The Graduate School
Nicholas Alena is associate dean for admissions at The Graduate School, where he oversees the admissions process for doctoral and master’s programs housed in over 80 departments across Duke and Duke Kunshan University. He is responsible for upholding policies and procedures as well as reporting and analysis of admissions activity. Mr. Alena has worked in graduate education for more than 12 years, including four years as Director of Admission and Recruitment for the Northwestern Graduate School before joining Duke in 2021.
Supporting the UCEM, he leads the tracking of URM application data, coordinates reporting on current recruitment and enrollment progress, and facilitates the use of the Slate CRM system to support communications needs.
Melissa Bostrom, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, The Graduate School
Melissa Bostrom leads The Graduate School’s (TGS) efforts to build a comprehensive program that addresses broad and discipline-specific professional development needs. She directs TGS’s Emerging Leaders Institute, Professional Development Grant, and Professional Development Series, and is co-founder and managing editor of the school’s professional development blog. Dr. Bostrom is co-Principal Investigator on The Graduate School’s Duke OPTIONS project, an online professional development planning tool for Ph.D. students with funding from the Educational Testing Service/Council of Graduate Schools (ETS/CGS) Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education. Her previous positions in higher education include director of graduate academic and professional development at North Carolina State University and assistant professor of management communication at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. She has also worked in corporate human resources and technical recruiting. Dr. Bostrom has been invited to speak nationally and internationally on graduate student professional development and is a member of the Graduate Career Consortium. The author of Sex, Race, and Family in Contemporary American Short Stories, she received her B.A. in English and psychology from Denison University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In support of the UCEM, Dr. Bostrom leads and coordinates all program efforts for students’ professional development.
Hugh Crumley, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, The Graduate School
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education
Hugh Crumley received his Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia. He also holds a B.A. in Anthropology and French as well as an M.Ed. in TESOL from the University of Georgia. He has taught education and engaged in faculty development at universities in the United States, Russia, Korea, Bulgaria and Uzbekistan. Since joining Duke in 2006, Hugh has been involved with multiple aspects of graduate education and currently provides leadership for all Graduate School teaching and teaching assistant programs, including directing and teaching in the Certificate in College Teaching, directing the Preparing Future Faculty program, and coordinating Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for all 3,800-plus graduate students at Duke.
Supporting the UCEM, he works with the Sloan Scholars in support of their research ethics training and preparation for teaching.
Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, The Graduate School
Shanna Fitzpatrick is responsible for the development and implementation of financial policies, awards, procedures, and reporting within The Graduate School. Her office serves as a liaison between University departments and external entities regarding financial and administrative policies and initiatives. She previously served as the Director of Budgets and Finance for The Graduate School from 2010-2014. During her 14 years at Duke, Shanna also held leadership roles within Duke’s School of Medicine and Health System. Prior to Duke, she worked in business to business marketing and project management. Shanna holds an M.H.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.
Supporting the UCEM, she leads and coordinates all matters related to financial support for Sloan Scholars and the UCEM finances.
Duke UCEM Assistant Director
Program Coordinator, The Graduate School
Latishia “Tish” Futrell joined Duke University Graduate School in 2014, and before that, she worked in healthcare marketing as a publications coordinator. Ms. Futrell holds a B.A. in mass communications with a minor in public relations from California State University East Bay.
She supports the UCEM with data tracking and collection; she coordinates and plans meetings and events for the Sloan Scholars and departments, and serves as the administrative coordinator for the Duke UCEM.
Alan Kendrick, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development, The Graduate School
James Alan Kendrick is assistant dean for graduate student development. He is responsible for overseeing efforts to design, deliver, and improve services and programs that support graduate students from entry to completion of their degrees. He is also responsible for daily administration and development of recruitment and retention initiatives, as well as mentoring, leadership, and professional development programs. Dr. Kendrick received his bachelor’s degrees from Emory University in International Studies and Spanish in 1992 and his Master of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia in 1996 and 2006, respectively. Before joining Duke’s Graduate School in 2009, Dr. Kendrick was the former Du Pont Fellow in the Department of Politics at Washington and Lee University; an assistant professor and interim chair of the History and Political Science Department at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Director of Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention in The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In support of the UCEM, Dr. Kendrick leads and coordinates all program efforts for student recruitment in the Duke UCEM departments.
John Klingensmith, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, The Graduate School
John Klingensmith received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. His research and teaching focus on the molecular, cellular, and genetic basis of organ development and congenital disease. Dr. Klingensmith is responsible for The Graduate School’s academic standards, policies, and procedures. He oversees external review of academic programs and advises on new academic program development. He is also an associate professor of cell biology and pediatrics in the Duke School of Medicine.
In support of the UCEM, Dr. Klingensmith works with Dean Looney to manage day-to-day program coordination among co-PIs, faculty champions, advisory committee, and administrative oversight team. He also reports to co-PIs on the operation of the UCEM.
Program Coordinator, The Graduate School
Ms. Ponzi is involved in data tracking and collection, and other administrative duties required for effective UCEM operations.
Assistant Dean for Assessment and Evaluation, The Graduate School
Courtnea Rainey leads Graduate School programs such as the assessment of graduate student learning outcomes and graduate/alumni career outcomes data collection and reporting. She serves as a resource to departments and programs for academic standards and for efforts such as course evaluations, program reviews, advising, and supporting diversity and equity. Among her student-facing roles, she is an instructor in the College Teaching program.
Dr. Rainey is a 2015 graduate of Duke’s Psychology and Neuroscience Ph.D. program. While at Duke, she was a Dean’s Graduate Fellow and an NSF GRP fellow, and won awards such as the university’s Samuel Dubois Cook Society Award. After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Rainey held a number of college teaching appointments and led a college faculty development program.
Supporting the UCEM, Dr. Rainey leads and coordinates all program functions related to evaluation and assessment.
Director of Communications, The Graduate School
John Zhu oversees the Duke Graduate School’s communications with its internal and external audiences, including students, graduate faculty, staff, and alumni. Before joining Duke in 2014, he spent seven years as the assistant director of communications for the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He has also worked as a journalist in Durham and Columbia, South Carolina, and as a graphic designer in Chapel Hill. Mr. Zhu holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication and an M.A. in digital communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In support of the UCEM, Mr. Zhu leads and develops all communications, publications, and related publicity.
Johnna Frierson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity and Inclusion, Duke University School of Medicine
Johnna Frierson is the founding director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Pratt School of Engineering. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Furman University in Greenville, SC. She then went on to complete her doctoral studies in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University, and postdoctoral training in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program Director postdoctoral fellowship in the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has extensive experience in developing innovative pre-graduate and graduate-level programs and initiatives focused on diversity recruitment and retention, science outreach, and cross-disciplinary graduate training. In her current role as the founding director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering she provides leadership in developing and implementing future steps in the engineering school’s ongoing diversity initiatives, including thoughtful practices to enhance recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups at the student, faculty and staff levels, and to foster greater inclusion of diverse groups and viewpoints in the academic community. Dr. Frierson also serves as a co-PI for the NSF-funded REU program for undergraduates in engineering.
Duke UCEM Graduate Administrative Intern
Karla Sosa is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biology Department. Her research focuses on plant dispersal, biogeography, and taxonomy. For her dissertation, she is studying whether certain reproductive strategies allow an Australasian desert fern to move into new environments. She received her B.A. in Environmental Biology from Columbia University in 2013, and is a National Geographic Explorer.
Duke UCEM Graduate Administrative Intern
Wen Zhou is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology. Her dissertation research is in the field of cognitive evolution, with a focus on the causes and consequences of dehumanization. She received her B.S. in psychology at Beijing Normal University in 2016. She enrolled in the Duke Graduate School in the fall of 2016 in pursuit of a doctoral degree in evolutionary anthropology.