Duke physics Ph.D. student and writer of manifestos Xing Zong (“Michael”) has been elected Young Trustee at Duke. He follows in the footsteps of Rob Saunders in reaching the highest possible office for a graduate student.
For the uninitiated, Michael was a go-getter from the start of graduate school and, via a manifesto outlining improvements he wanted to see made to the department, he quickly began the glacial process of bridging the gap between Asian and non-Asian graduate students. I recall the biggest insight being that he felt that many students from China did not read e-mails, but typically looked to message boards for information. Though we didn’t end up implementing a physics message board, we did start placing more content on-line instead of just distributing it via e-mail lists.
Another point of concern for him then that he still works on today was international recruiting. According to the article he is interested in “attracting the most talented students to Duke from around the world through innovative recruitment strategies.” I believe that he already has helped organize communication between Chinese physics students at Duke and potential recruits in China.
Best of luck to Duke’s new “iPhone” trustee.