Passion for Service Drives 2022 Sullivan Prize Winners

Duke Senior Liyu Woldemichael, Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs Deputy Chief Administrator Sam Miglarese, and Duke Law Student Amanda Joos are Duke’s recipients of the 2022 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Community Service.

The awards recognize a senior graduate and members of the faculty, staff, or graduate students of Duke University or the Duke University Health System for their outstanding commitment to service.

Provost Sally Kornbluth honored the recipients in a ceremony Friday morning in the boardroom of the Allen Building. The event was held in person for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, giving friends, family members and collaborators a chance to celebrate the winners in person. More family members and supporters were able to participate via Zoom, with a projection of the virtual meeting displayed on one of the walls in the venue.

“I think it highlights the fact that community is extremely important at Duke and that many people are dedicated to making the community work and survive, even in the face of a pandemic,” Kornbluth said. “And I think everyone was very happy to be here together, in person, and celebrating each other.”

Since 1925, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award has honored the memory of Sullivan, a southerner who became a prominent lawyer, businessman and philanthropist in late 19th century New York. The awards, which are presented annually at approximately 50 universities in the South, recognize individuals who demonstrate selflessness, generosity of service, nobility of character, integrity and depth of spirituality. After reviewing the nominations, a selection committee recommended the 2022 winners to the Provost’s Office.

Meet the 2022 winners:

Liyu Woldemichael

Duke University Senior

Since joining Duke, Liyu Woldemichael, a public policy major, has been guided by her passion for social and environmental justice.

During her four years, she was a member of the Baldwin Scholars Program, worked on DukeEngage projects exploring environmental issues, interned with the League of Conservation Voters and the Southern Environmental Law Center, and was a student at the Franklin Humanities Institute. She was also a leader of the Duke’s Chapter of the NAACP, organizing HIV and other disease testing programs, leading voter registration drives, bringing in guest speakers, and connecting students to opportunities for community service. His work with the NAACP also connected about 300 people from Durham County Jail with mail-in ballots and stimulus payments.

“As a woman of color, she has been immersed in causes for justice and equity and is a thoughtful, yet demanding activist,” said Colleen Scott, director of the Baldwin Scholars. “We saw Liyu’s transformation from potential to action. His work is significant. She is significant.

Sam Migrarese

Duke of Durham’s Office and Community Affairs

Office of the Duke of Durham and Deputy Chief Administrator of Community Affairs Sam Migrarese.  Photo courtesy of Sam Migrarese. Since joining Duke in 1999, Miglarese has served as an energetic, friendly, knowledgeable and compassionate link between Duke and the Durham community he calls home.

Its work with the Duke-Durham Partnership, the Duke-Durham Campaign and other initiatives of the Duke of Durham’s Office and Community Affairs strengthens the bond between the university and the wider community. This has resulted in longstanding partnerships with organizations working to improve affordable housing, education and health for Durham residents. He has also connected Duke students with the Durham community by co-leading DukeEngage from 2007-2019 and has advised more than 15 community-minded student organizations over the years. His undergraduate course, the Durham Giving Project, taught students about the issues facing Durham and how they can play a role in social change.

Outside of Duke, he serves on the boards of Student U, Bennett Place Historical Site, and the Miracle League of the Triangle. He has also given his time and expertise to Walltown Ministries and the Rotary Club of Durham, in addition to being an associate pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Durham.

“He embodied Duke’s mission to ‘seek to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and inspire the best efforts of all associated with the university; contribute in various ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to achieve and maintain a place of true leadership in all that we do,” said Stelfanie Williams, Vice President of Durham and Community Affairs.

Amanda Joos

Student at Duke Law School

Amanda Joos, the Duke's law student.  Photo courtesy of Amanda Joos. As an extraordinarily generous member of the Duke Law School community, Amanda Joos has lent her quick wit and boundless enthusiasm to a range of worthwhile causes.

Before coming to Duke, Joos earned a degree in math and toured as an opera singer. An energetic member of the Duke Law School community, she serves on the boards of its law journal, the Transactional Law Society and the Moot Court Board. She has dedicated over 400 pro bono hours to the Civil Justice Clinic, the Veterans Assistance Project, the Fair Chance Project and the Health Care Planning Project.

She helped Duke Law School run a weekly eviction advice clinic for Durham residents facing housing issues and helped clients in need through the law school’s Pro Bono program. .

“While many students volunteer for one of thirteen student-run projects or a handful of independent projects, it’s rare for students to even come close to Amanda’s level of volunteerism,” said Stella Boswell, Associate Dean of the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. “She volunteered on four separate projects in her freshman year and continued to build her commitment this academic year.”

Nominees for each Sullivan Award category include:

Faculty/staff/graduate students

  • Debra Andersen, Pathology
  • Stafford Balderson, School of Medicine, Surgery
  • Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration
  • Nhat Duong, computational biology and bioinformatics
  • Elana Friedman, Jewish Life at Duke
  • Colin Smith, School of Medicine, Internal Medicine-Psychiatry
  • Damon Tweedy, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Edgar Virguez, Nicholas School of the Environment

Undergraduate students

  • Tyler Edwards, biology
  • Priyanka Fernandes, Psychology
  • Margaret Gaw, English
  • Ishaan Kumar, Philosophy

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