Meet the Nicholas School’s Class of 2019

The Class of 2019 during orientation week

On August 21st, over 200 new on-campus Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF) students eagerly arrived at Duke’s Environment Hall to begin their two-year journey of enrichment in environmental science, practice, and policy.

The new arrivals – who make up the largest incoming class to date – were treated to a week-long orientation filled with informational sessions and events designed to help them engage with their new classmates and community as well as learn about the abundant resources and opportunities available to them at the school. Highlights from the week-long welcome included the We are Duke Environment Fair where students learned about the various student group organizations and staff departments at the school, and a solar eclipse viewing celebration on the rooftop of Environment Hall. For a closer look at the new students’ first week on campus, check out these photos from orientation week.

When asked about her orientation week experience, new MEM-CEM student Willa Brooks stated, “Orientation week was informative and fun! Dean Vincent kept things lively with his introduction — I almost believed he planned the solar eclipse for us. The rest of the week was a combination of useful information and fun activities meant to help us meet our cohort. I think my favorite activity was the Smorgasbord dinner which encouraged table conversations centered on our global roots. Overall I really appreciated the experience and the ability to connect with other students.” Fellow MEM student, Layne Marshall, went on to say, “After this week I’m more excited than ever to start classes on Monday. Our activities over the last several days really show that the school values what matters most…things like safety, diversity, academics, and how to have fun with all of these things.”

Associate Dean of Student Services and MEM alum Class of 2000, Sherri Nevius, also highlighted the community that is needed to orient an incoming class to Durham, Duke and the Nicholas School. “Successfully welcoming our largest class is no easy feat. I am thankful to be part of such a wonderful Nicholas School community that worked together to make it happen! Orientation has certainly evolved since I was a student here. While the week is incredibly busy for everyone, our focus was on providing programming to our students that communicated “must know’s”, poised students to start off the semester prepared, encouraged and relaxed, and sparked community engagement between students, faculty and staff. It was a thrill to welcome all of our new students on campus!”

The Nicholas School also welcomed 13 new mid-career environmental professionals through the Duke Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) program. These students will be taking courses online and participated in their own program-specific orientation.

With the inclusion of the incoming students, the student body has a 64% to 36% male to female ratio, 11% minorities and 33% international students from 14 different countries.