Office: Keohane 4E Room 401

Hometown: Arlington, VA / Hyattsville, MD

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Professional Interests: 
I love helping students navigate their path through college – encompassing all things academic, personal, professional, well-being, and extracurricular – in a way that feels meaningful and authentic to THEM. It’s easy to get caught in the tide, but I hope to create a space that allows students to slow down, reflect, find meaning and balance, and figure out how they want to define their time at Duke and beyond.

Summary of previous professional experience:
I earned my doctorate in Assyriology at the University of Oxford in 2016, then continued my research and teaching as a postdoc at Brown University. From 2017-2022, I served as the Allston Burr Resident Dean of Quincy House at Harvard College (where I acted as the primary academic and personal advisor for ~500 students each year) and a lecturer on Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.


  • DPhil in Assyriology, University of Oxford
  • MPhil in Assyriology, University of Oxford
  • Certificate in Arabic Language and Translation, University of Alexandria (Egypt)
  • B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Maryland at College Park

Fun facts/what I do for fun: 

  • I competed in both gymnastics and rowing at the college level.
  • I’ve studied more than 15 languages – including the very earliest languages (Sumerian and Akkadian) and scripts (cuneiform, Proto-Elamite, and Egyptian hieroglyphs) attested!
  • For fun, I love spending time with my kids, traveling (I’ve lived in or visited more than 25 countries), and exploring this wonderful part of the world I now call home.

Intellectual interests:

My research focuses on the development and adaptation of the cuneiform script in Iraq and Syria (ca. 3200-2400 BC) and the Proto-Elamite script in neighboring Iran (ca. 3200-3000 BC). I utilize a combination of computational and traditional humanist methods to answer questions about these ancient texts and the people who wrote them.

What was the most challenging part of college for you? What did you learn from that experience?
As a profound introvert who suffered from imposter syndrome, I initially struggled to access all the resources and opportunities college had to offer. I was scared to speak up in class, too nervous to go to office hours, didn’t want to “waste people’s time” by booking a meeting with an advisor, etc. I slowly learned that faculty and staff really wanted to meet with me (and all students), which helped me overcome my trepidation and take full advantage of my college experience.

What did you learn or gain in college that you have carried with you? 
The most meaningful thing I learned in college was that there is always more to learn. This stays with me as a reminder to always remain humble, open, and curious!

What do you know now that you wish you had known in college? 
College is a unique time to explore diverse interests, take chances, make mistakes, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. I was so focused on following the pre-determined path I set for myself that I missed countless ways to learn, grow, and explore. I wish I had strayed from my path more at college, because there are far fewer opportunities to do so as a working adult.

Chase Black
Director, Academic Guides Program
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David Frankel
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Maggie McDowell
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Paige Vinson
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