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Engineering Alumni Council (EAC)
Engaging alumni to further the missions of Duke Engineering
Your members of the Duke Engineering Alumni Council:
- Provide funding and engagement to undergraduate student projects
- Faciliate the Pratt Alumni-Student Mentorship Program
- Review nominations for our annual awards recognizing Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Young Alumni and Distinguished Service
- Support the publication of the student-written DukEngineer Magazine
- Represent alumni to the Duke Engineering Board of Visitors
- Represent the Pratt School of Engineering to the Duke Alumni Board of Directors
Dear Duke Engineering Alumni,
We are all excited by the prospect of seeing students gathering on Harrington Quad and filling lecture halls in person in fall 2021. While previous academic year was challenging, there has also been much to celebrate, as Pratt students, faculty, staff, and alumni came together to optimize the student experience and develop solutions to COVID-19 pandemic challenges.
We ended the spring 2021 semester with a fond farewell to Dean Ravi V. Bellamkonda, who departs to begin his next journey as Provost and Executive Vice President of Emory University. His commitment to fostering a learning and growth mindset has left an indelible mark on the Pratt experience. From reimagining the undergraduate design curriculum to expanding the scope of advising to encompass student purpose, character, and well-being, Dean Ravi has catalyzed real and tangible change.
He has led Pratt through a period of significant growth, culminating in the opening of the Wilkinson Building, a physical embodiment of Pratt’s vision for how research and education will be delivered in the future. And he leaves Pratt with a developing blueprint for continued growth in Pratt’s 2039 Plan, a visioning exercise to develop aspirational goals for the future of Duke Engineering. We have been incredibly fortunate to enjoy five years of Dean Ravi’s visionary leadership, and we wish him all the best!
Alumni play a key role in supporting students, and the Engineering Alumni Council (EAC) strives to facilitate these interactions. There are so many exciting things happening, and they will all benefit from your involvement.
Our alumni play a key role in supporting students and maintaining a vibrant exchange of knowledge and resources, and the Engineering Alumni Council (EAC) strives to facilitate these interactions. I want to express thanks and gratitude to outgoing EAC President Will Senner, who has not only led the EAC through several years of growth but has also championed continued virtual engagement for students and alumni during the pandemic. Under his leadership, the EAC has deployed an ambitious mentoring program that engages hundreds of students and alumni every year, has increased outreach to alumni via Pratt Town Halls and TAPA Talks, expanded alumni participation in resume and mock interview workshops for students, and streamlined the funding and review processes for student extracurricular teams and programs. The transition to virtual programming has only made these EAC programs more impactful by expanding access to a broader range of alumni. We are incredibly thankful for Will’s leadership and look forward to building on his successes to further increase meaningful interactions among alumni and students.
There are so many exciting things happening, and they will all benefit from your involvement. Look over the opportunities for alumni engagement below, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Pam Hanson or Kim Davis in the Dean’s office if you have questions or suggestions.
- Post your openings on Duke Alumni’s job board for internships and job opportunities at all levels
- Connect with and mentor students
- Sign up to participate in Pratt’s Alumni-Student Mentoring Program run by the Engineering Alumni Council, which connects students and alumni for mentoring over the course of an academic year (matching will occur this summer for Fall 2021 mentoring assignments)
- Volunteer with the Ask A Blue Devil Program, which matches specific questions submitted by students to the most qualified alumni
- Update your profile on the alumni network so that it will be easier for students and other alumni to connect with you in the future
- Support the Annual Fund to enable us to continue to offer high-quality programs and opportunities for our students, faculty, and the Pratt community in general
- Submit a nomination for the Engineering Alumni Council for 2022 (nominations due by December 1, 2021)
- Submit a fellow alumni for an Engineering Alumni Award to recognize their work and accomplishments
- Stay in touch!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Pam Hanson or Kim Davis in the Dean’s office. We love to hear from you!
Thank you for staying connected to Duke and the Pratt School of Engineering. We look forward to seeing you back on campus or at a virtual event soon. Forever Duke!
Tracy Nickelsburg, E’88
President, Engineering Alumni Council
About the Council
What Council Members Do
A member of the Pratt Alumni Council is an active observer to the Pratt Board of Visitors, ensuring that an alumni perspective is heard in deliberations concerning Duke Engineering's future.
Alumni Council representation on the Duke Alumni Association insures vital Duke Engineer representation in overall university alumni affairs.
Alumni Council funding of student club projects—such as the concrete canoe, racing vehicle and electric vehicle intercollegiate teams—provides critically important hands-on design opportunities for Duke Engineering undergraduates.
The council's support of DukEngineer Magazine has been instrumental in maintaining this long-running publication for alumni and friends.
Your Alumni Council has the distinct privilege of reviewing your nominations for the important Distinguished Alumnus/a Award, Distinguished Young Alumnus/a Award and Distinguished Service Award recognition presented at our annual spring banquet.
- Attendance and active participation in all three annual EAC meetings: Meetings are typically scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays—once in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, respectively—and often coincide with football games, basketball games, or other university events. Brief conference calls and similar committee follow-up tasks commonly occur between meetings in Durham, but do not require extensive additional commitments of time. Although professional, personal, or family commitments may periodically conflict, members are expected to make a concerted effort toward attending meetings.
- Giving: The board fully recognizes that not all alumni have the financial capacity to donate substantial sums. Instead, what is viewed as important by the EAC is the consistency by which members contribute. Each member is committed to Annual Fund giving and timely payment of EAA dues. Council leadership is expected to make a leadership level contribution. In order to ensure diversity of council leadership, an executive committee member can accumulate their gift over the length of their term(s) on the council.
- Support the EAC and other Pratt and Duke programs including local and regional events, student projects, and annual awards banquet.
- Serve as formal and informal representatives of the School.
- Provide professional expertise and individual talent.
- Provide guidance to the Pratt School of Engineering.
Alumni-Funded Student Projects
The goal of the Student Projects Committee on the Engineering Alumni Council is to facilitate connections between willing alumni, corporations and others to the Duke student clubs, ensure allocated funds by the Alumni Association are used appropriately, and along with other board members, coach the teams on executive oversight expectations. Below are just a few of the great results achieved with the support of the Alumni Association.
- Duke Motorsports Outraces the Pandemic
Despite a year full of obstacles, the Duke Motorsports team built an 80-MPH racecar from the ground up
- We Have Liftoff!
Two-stage rocket launched by Duke AERO student team reaches 8,000-foot altitude
- Resilience During COVID-19
How Duke Engineers for International Development and other groups offered enriching experiences this year
The goal of the Awards Committee on the Engineering Alumni Council is to engage and connect alumni with Duke Engineering and each other and to celebrate their service to Duke and the world. We celebrate the service and accomplishments of engineering alumni through the Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Young Alumni, and Distinguished Service Awards at our annual Awards Banquet.
The Pratt Alumni-Student Mentorship Program helps students build professional skills and connect with alumni working in their field of interest. It also re-connects alumni with the Pratt School of Engineering.
Alumni mentors make a positive impact on Pratt students, and mentees receive career guidance and build their professional networks.
Council Member Directory
- Tracy A. Nickelsburg E’88, P’22—Alexandria, Va.
Immediate Past President
- Will Senner E’06, X’06—Hillsborough
Terms Expiring 2022
- Alan G. Goedde E’70—Pasadena, Calif.
- Michael R. Gustafson II E’93, G’99—Durham
- Jennifer K. Orriss E’93—Los Angeles, Calif.
- Preston S. Porter E’09—Houston, Texas
- Christopher R. Rowland E’09, G’13, G’15—Durham
- Michael L. Silver E’09—Chicago, Ill.
- Lisa F. Stilwell E’80—Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
- Steven L. Walker E’88, P’23—Decatur, Ga.
Terms Expiring 2023
- Marietta J. Costa E’85, P’17, P’24—Dix Hills, N.Y.
- Ronald J. Epstein G’96—Chatham, N.J.)
- Jessica L. Foley E’01—Washington, D.C.
- John S. Ingalls, Jr. E’11, X’12—Sunnyvale, Calif.
- Tanuj Khurana X’12—Newport Beach, Calif.
- Dyuti Mahendru E’12—Houston, Texas
- Mark W. Pratt E’11—Cleveland Heights, Ohio
- Evan M. Reilly E’16—Durham
- Costi Shami E’13, G’14—Ann Arbor, Mich.
Terms Expiring 2024
- Ben Aitken, E'02, L'06—Chapel Hill
- Brian Christopher Alonso, E'01—Miami, Fla.
- Abhishek Balakrishnan, E'15, X'15
- Jacqueline Elaine Brown, E'86, B'90—Durham
- Margaret Prestwood Chiou, E'99—Larchmont, NY
- Rachel A. Fleming, E'12, X'13—Durham
- Stephanie L. Gloster E'96—Atlanta
- Robert Leroy Jacks II E'94—Old Greenwich, Conn.
- Drew Romes, E'02, B'10—Cary
- Andrew Robert Schmidt, E'06—East Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Matthew David Tiberii, E'15—Nashville, Tenn.