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#HumansOfDukeSanford: Quauhtli Olivieri

October 10, 2016

This is the second #HumansofDukeSanford story of the semester. One story will be published weekly this fall.

Quauhtli portrait

My name’s a bit tricky to spell, you might want to look at my Duke ID. Quauhtli (pronounced kwat-lee) means “eagle” in Aztec. It’s one of the symbols in the Aztec calendar, and there are other names that can derive from it. For example, Quauhtémoc was the last Aztec emperor, and his name means “eagle warrior.” It’s a root name.

I was born in Mexico and I grew up in Puerto Rico. In 2000, we moved to North Carolina. I’ve been here for a big part of my life, and I love Durham. Coming to the Sanford open house and meeting the faculty and current students showed me that this was a place where teamwork was emphasized. I really liked the community I saw. So far, I’ve had a great community myself.

I’m very interested in national security policy and in development policy, and finding the intersections between those two fields. Security doesn’t do everything, but it’s part of the formula for helping alleviate poverty and providing services. It’s hard to do those things in a conflict zone or where there’s violence. So seeing where those two things connect – that’s my goal here.

Photography/Interview: Katherine M. Zhou / Edited by Carol Jackson