The Senate

The Senate drives the agenda of the legislature and ensures effective, open debate, and dialogue that advances the interests of Duke Graduate and Professional Students. The Senate is comprised of 36 members.

Senate elections are held every year either in the Fall or Spring semester, depending on the respective college.

Sanford School of Public Policy
Masters Programs, Staff Headshots

Speaker

Thomas Crowe-Allbritton (he/him/his)
Bio: Thomas Crowe-Allbritton is a second-year candidate for a Master of Public Policy at the Sanford School for Public Policy hailing from rural North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2021. During his undergraduate career, Thomas served in a number of activism and advocacy rolls including president of the Student Government Association and chair of the UNCP Votes Campaign. Much of his work in these roles as well as his current research as an MPP student focuses on addressing gerrymandering and voting accessibility within the town of Pembroke, Robeson County, and the State of North Carolina. In his free time, Thomas trains as a competitive powerlifter and enjoys hiking and gaming.

Contact: For general questions about the Senate, Senate meetings, and election timelines, send an email to gpsg.speaker@duke.edu.
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Trinity College of Arts and Sciences Representatives

Natalie Schulte
Bio: Natalie is a 4th year Chemistry Ph.D. candidate characterizing metals' interactions with proteins in the Franz lab. By understanding the interactions metals have with proteins in our intestine and saliva, we can further understand how metal chaperoning and homeostasis within the body is regulated and disrupted. She is an active member for the Climate Crisis and External Advocacy committees. Outside of work, Natalie enjoys golfing, sewing, hiking in the mountains, and spending time with her cat. She plans on working in science policy and communication once completing her degree.
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Fuqua School of Business Representatives

Safa Alabbas
Bio: A marketing and communications professional driven by a passion for crafting compelling narratives and creating engaging content. My journey in the world of marketing has been shaped by a commitment to developing impactful strategies that resonate with diverse audiences. Beyond my professional endeavors, I find immense joy in the pages of books, constantly exploring new literary realms that broaden my perspectives. Traveling is another passion of mine, allowing me to immerse myself in different cultures, experiences, and stories that often serve as inspiration for my work.
Stephen Ezekoye
Stephen Ezekoye
Bio: Stephen is a current second-year MBA Candidate at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He is currently serving as the MBA Association Student Body Co-President and is a Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) Social Impact Fellow. Upon graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, he moved to Battleboro, North Carolina as a member of the Teach for America Eastern North Carolina Corps to serve as a 6th and 7th Grade Math instructor. After he concluded his term as a teacher, Stephen took on a role on staff at for Teach For America for two years in New York City, where he worked on scaling and advancing Teach For America’s High Impact Tutoring Program ‘IGNITE’. Stephen spent his summer associateship within the financial sector at Citigroup in New York City and has a deep desire to pursue careers within public/private partnerships, impact investing, social innovation/entrepreneurship, and economic development.
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Parth Bhalerao
Bio: Originating from Indore, India, I embarked on an academic journey that brought me to Fuqua School of Business for a Master's in Quantitative Management, capitalizing on my Computer Science background. This trajectory also encompassed cultivating start-ups from a boutique consultancy, venturing into ed-tech and skincare domains, imbibing lessons from both triumphs and a rewarding exit.
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Pratt School of Engineering Representatives

Aaron Appelle (he/him/his)
Bio: Aaron is a third-year PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He researches new ways to use sensors in cities to improve urban services. Aaron became interested in GPSG after joining the Engineering Graduate Student Council (EGSC), for which he currently serves as President. His top priorities in his student government roles are to increase the sense of community among graduate students, both within Pratt and across schools, as well as to promote sustainable practices at Duke. He grew up in Rochester, NY and likes to run, hike trails, go to concerts, and learn languages.
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Prakhar Jain
Bio: I'm pursuing a Master's in Engineering Management at Pratt School of Engineering. Originally from Mysuru, India. I have a background as a Software Engineer at Atos Global IT Solutions. Recently, I worked as a Data Analyst with Discovery Education in Charlotte during summer 2023. For seven years, I've been actively involved in IEEE and IEEE-PES, even serving as the IEEE-PES chapter chair in 2018. Also in my free time I like to cook and play Badminton. I'm eager to embark on this new journey and collaborate with the team.
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Vaibhav Manapuram
Bio: Vaibhav Manapuram, a Master of Engineering Management student at Duke University, is an adept Engineering Manager with a rich background in mechanical engineering from Anna University, India. His professional journey encompasses roles at Adobe Inc., Turbo Energy, marked by significant improvements in stakeholder efficiency, production, and strategic partnerships. As the Co-founder of LittLearn and a Product Manager Consultant at Recly, Vaibhav excels in driving product adoption and enhancing market presence. Actively involved in Duke's community as a Senator and Teaching Assistant, and with a passion for badminton, DIY projects, and social volunteering, Vaibhav seeks to leverage his diverse experience and skills in impactful product management roles, driving innovation and operational excellence.
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Duke Physician Assistant Program Representatives

Jordan Rebik
Bio: Hi, I'm Jordan. I am going to school to become a Physician Assistant. I am from Colorado originally, but I am loving North Carolina so far! I have a Golden Lab named Max who is my best friend.
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School of Medicine, Non-Clinical Representative

Maurice Bukenya
Bio: Bukenya is a third year PhD student of Immunology in Duke’s School of Medicine. He represents the non-clinical school of medicine in the senate. As graduate student in the Tomaras lab, he is interested in understanding mechanisms underlying antibody protection in contexts of disease and vaccination. As senator, he is interested in advancing resolutions that directly enhance the quality of lives of students within his school and Duke University at large, ranging from improving students’ working conditions and academic/professional development resources to diversity and inclusion as well as international students’ affairs. Bukenya enjoys fantasy sports, quality time with friends and community service.
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School of Medicine Clinical Program Representative

Elise Giannotti
Bio: Elise Giannotti is a second year Doctor of Physical Therapy student in the School of Medicine. Her first career was in the performing arts, dancing in ballet companies in Alabama, New York, and Virginia. Since coming to Duke University, Ms. Giannotti has enjoyed working as a graduate assistant for the anatomy program as well as the liaison between Duke DPT and GPSG. Her passion is working with children and helping them move their best. Here in Durham, Ms. Giannotti has found the community welcoming and lively. From art gallery walks to events at Durham’s Central Park, from Sarah P. Duke Gardens to wonderful restaurants and shows at the many local theatres, Durham and Duke have so much to offer their neighbors.
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School of Medicine Representative

Peter Ren
Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Peter and I am currently a first-year student in the School of Medicine. I am from the Bay Area and graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in neurobiology. My clinical interests include family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine. I am particularly interested in community health and leveraging value-based care to improve health outcomes for all populations. To this end, I worked in consulting at Deloitte prior to medical school, where I advised payers and providers in health care and the life sciences. Here at Duke, I am a DukeMed Ambassador, engaged in Medicine in Motion, and am involved with DukeMed's Primary Care Leadership Track. Outside of class I enjoy running, trivia, pickleball, visiting coffee shops, and exploring Durham.
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School of Medicine Representative

Aubrey A. Enriquez
Bio: Aubrey A. Enriquez is a second-year occupational therapy doctorate student at the School of Medicine. As a future occupational therapy practitioner, she is passionate about promoting health and well-being in how others participate and engage in their meaningful activities of everyday life. She attended the University of California, San Diego, where she received a bachelor's in psychology. She also received her Associate of Occupational Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant at Stanbridge University. She has been involved in various student leadership roles and is currently active in the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity. She enjoys traveling with her partner, spending time with friends and family, and visiting art museums and botanical gardens in her free time.
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School of Nursing Representatives

Nicholas Biondo
Bio: Nicholas Biondo is a current ABSN student at the Duke University School of Nursing as part of their Spring 2023 cohort. Prior to coming to Duke, Nicholas earned a Bachelor's in Veterinary Biosciences with a Minor in Nutrition from North Carolina State University, as well as a Master's in Biochemistry, focusing his research on improving enzyme dynamics of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing systems. He previously worked as a Project Manager at Tergus Pharma, an end-to-end topical pharmaceuticals CDMO in Durham, during the COVID-19 pandemic and still currently works as a Veterinary Nurse at Armadale Animal Hospital in Raleigh since December 2014, where he helps teach and train current veterinary students at NCSU's College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to be part of an interdisciplinary veterinary medicine team.

Sanford School of Public Policy
Masters Programs, Staff Headshots

Sanford School of Public Policy Representatives

Omolayo Ojurongbe

Bio: Omolayo Ojurongbe is a native of Prince George's County, MD, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Prior to joining Sanford, Omolayo obtained her BA in International Studies from Boston College. She is deeply passionate about social policy, with a specific focus on promoting education, racial, and economic equity.

Having personally experienced personal hardships, Omolayo is driven to create a more inclusive education system that acknowledges the realities and celebrates underrepresented identities. She firmly believes that through educational reform, empathy and understanding can be fostered among individuals, particularly those from marginalized communities.

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Rachel Ansley

Bio: Rachel Ansley is a second year Master of International Development Policy student at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and a Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps fellow. Beyond her graduate work, Rachel is the program manager of the Partnership for Transparency Africa, and an intern with the International Organization for Migration’s Integration and Migrant Training Unit, focusing on Ukraine response programming. She also works on child-centered programming and data management at Refugee Community Partnership in Carrboro, NC. From 2020-2022 Rachel was the Communications Manager at the Partnership for Transparency, where she acted as project assistant on a range of programs including a World Bank administered project in Zambia promoting social accountability in education service delivery. Previously, Rachel served in the Peace Corps as a literacy specialist in Guyana from 2018-2020. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Art History.

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Divinity School Representative

Emily Magen (she/her)
Bio: Emily is a second year MDiv/MPP student, pursuing both a Master of Divinity at Duke Divinity School and a Master of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Before coming to Duke, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies at Davidson College and taught high school Spanish in Charlotte for a few years. Within GPSG, Emily currently serves as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee. She is excited to serve in this new role and to support students in whatever academic or personal challenges they may be facing. Though North Carolina has become home, Emily grew up in New Hampshire and is a fan of all things fall. An introvert at heart, she enjoys drinking tea, baking, gardening, and completing jigsaw puzzles.