2021 SOL Students Create Poetry in the Gardens
On a lovely spring day in April, Professor Kaligotla and her students met for class in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens with its verdant welcoming space open after a year-long closure due to COVID-19.
Art and disability justice
Sujal Manohar graduated in May 2020 with a B.S. in neuroscience, B.A. in visual arts, and a minor in Chemistry. An Alice M. Baldwin Scholar, Sujal was involved with many projects during her time at Duke that looked at the intersection of art and science. This included being a gallery guide with the Reflections Alzheimer's Program at the Nasher Museum of Art and creating a collaborative wellness mural at Texas nonprofit clinic PediPlace.
Sujal Manohar will work at Imagine Art, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit art studio which provides an inclusive studio and art space for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. She hopes to better understand the needs of artists with disabilities through a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the organization’s existing initiatives. She also plans to engage the community directly in a collaborative art project. At Duke, Manohar—an Alice M. Baldwin Scholar—was the photography editor for The Chronicle and a neuroscience research assistant in the Pearson Lab. Her original artwork has been displayed at the Rubenstein Arts Center and the Student Wellness Center. Originally from Dallas, she graduated with a BS in neuroscience and a BA in visual arts.
Manohar noted that though her dual degrees in science and art may seem divergent, she does not see them that way.
“My work with people impacted by illness and disability has shown me how the arts can create unique avenues for communication and collaboration with these groups,” Manohar said. “Art can empower individuals of all abilities to express themselves, providing an opportunity for self-reflection and relationship building.”
Mexico City, Mexico
Human Rights and Immigrant Justice
Tyler Kopp is a 2020 Duke graduate with a degree in public policy and a double major in Spanish. During his time at Duke, Tyler was involved with research and volunteer experiences that centered around immigration justice and community empowerment. A Benjamin N. Duke Scholar, Tyler interned with Immigration Equality in New York City and Otros Dreams en Acción in Mexico City.
Tyler Kopp will spend his fellowship in Mexico City with Otros Dreams en Acción, an organization focused on providing support and advocacy for people who were deported from the United States. The fellowship marks a return to ODA for Kopp, as he interned there during the summer of 2018. He hopes to work on a project supporting the group’s family reunification initiative and help with policy analysis. At Duke, Kopp—a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar—led the Peer Advocacy for Sexual Health organization and was the Latinx Member Services Coordinator for the Community Empowerment Fund. He was also a legal intern for Immigration Equality in New York City and a teaching assistant in the Sanford School of Public Policy. Originally from Boiling Spring Lakes, N.C., he graduated with degrees in public policy and Spanish.
Kopp noted that he is motivated to work on immigrant justice issues because of his personal experiences.
“I’m committed to fighting for human rights and justice beyond deportation and family separation because knowing what isolation from families and communities can feel like, and listening to the returned community speak about their experiences with it, I don’t see non-action as an option,” Kopp said.