Office of the Dean
Valerie S. Ashby, Ph.D., Dean of Trinity College

Memo to Students - 8/30/2016 - Office Hours & Meet My Mentor

September 12, 2016

Dear Students,

To our returning students, welcome back! To our first-year students, welcome to your new home. I hope you are each connecting with friends, making new ones, and looking forward to all the experiences this upcoming year at Duke will give you.

New Dean’s Office Hours
I plan to hold open student office hours on Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Allen Building room 104. I want to hear what is on your mind, answer your questions and get to know as many of you as I can. If you would like to come to an office hours, please send an email to my office manager Mary Jacobs ( so she can help manage the numbers.

Meet My Mentor – A Man Inspired by the Terminator
I am very excited to invite you to meet one of my own personal “mentors-for- life”—Dr. Joe DeSimone. He was my graduate school advisor. He taught me how to discuss my research with faculty, how to craft a grant proposal and how to think my way through scientific problems. And, he demonstrated his brand of leadership: high expectations balanced with compassion and rooted in integrity. Joe is a polymer chemist, faculty member, teacher, mentor, entrepreneur, CEO, diversity leader and just all around great person—I can’t wait for you to meet him. I also want to brag on him and tell you he is one of less than 20 individuals who have been elected to all three branches of the National Academies. As my mentor for life, I never make a move without him! He will speak to Duke students on September 13th at 4:00 p.m. in Love Auditorium in the LSRC. I will host a reception immediately afterwards. His talk title is “Innovation and Translation to Practice.” Believe it or not, he was inspired by the Terminator movies and is now making 3D printing 25 to 100 times faster. If you want a sneak peak at his work, check out his Ted Talk: What if 3D Printing was 100x Faster.

I look forward to seeing you soon!


Valerie S. Ashby
Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences