Sanford PhD student Adrienne Jones Wins the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

By Matt LoJacono // May 3, 2024


Woman with glasses smiling at camera for headshot
Adrienne Jones

Adrienne Jones, a current PhD student in public policy and sociology, has been honored with the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for her exceptional commitment to service and humanitarianism. The award, established by the New York Southern Society in memory of Mr. Sullivan, recognizes individuals who exemplify outstanding character and selfless service to others.

Dean Judith Kelley of the Sanford School of Public Policy shared her thoughts on Adrienne's remarkable achievement, stating, "Adrienne Jones embodies the very essence of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Her dedication to serving others, both within the Duke community and beyond, sets a shining example for us all. We are immensely proud to count her among our students at the Sanford School."

Professor Anna Gassman-Pines, who serves as Adrienne's advisor, expressed her admiration for Adrienne's contributions, remarking, "Adrienne's unwavering commitment to supporting her peers and mentoring students is truly commendable. She exemplifies the spirit of selflessness and kindness that the Sullivan Award seeks to honor. It has been a privilege to witness her impact on the Duke community."

Adrienne's journey to receiving the Sullivan Award has been characterized by her tireless dedication to uplifting others. From her leadership in Bass Connections projects to her steadfast support for her fellow PhD students, Adrienne has lifted those around her.

Adrienne is a joint degree PhD student in Public Policy and Sociology. Her research broadly focuses on the relationship between occupational education, employment, and inequality.

The Sullivan Award winners were honored in a celebration with the Office of the Provost. Duke Today summarized that event and spoke to Adrienne about the award.

From Duke Today

Throughout her academic career, Adrienne Jones has demonstrated a deep passion for mentoring and supporting students at all levels.

Jones showed this through her work with Bass Connections, her role as assistant residence coordinator in undergraduate residence halls and her leadership as a teaching assistant in public policy courses.

“Adrienne consistently demonstrates a passion for shepherding students and colleagues, nurturing their personal and professional hopes and aspirations while maintaining an eagerness to grow and learn alongside the communities she provides service to,’ said Max Whelan, a master of theology student who worked with Jones in residence life. Whelan and others offered many examples of Jones encouraging and advising students and deescalating conflicts.

Beyond her mentorship, Jones was cited for her teaching skills that engaged students. One nominator said that he heard many students say Jones was her favorite teacher of the semester. “Her teaching has prepared a generation of Duke students to address some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said Warren Lowell, a graduate student colleague.

Upon receiving the award, Jones credited her parents with teaching her that “we don't have to do life alone because we have one another” and said she tried to live her life by the principles of helping others advance together.

“Graduate School is not easy,” she said. “I want to be a person who can offer kindness, thoughtfulness and engagement in times that sometimes are the most difficult. Other students have offered those for me, and I am more than happy to share the same with my community as well. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of a community that is so thoughtful and so kind and think so highly of me.”

Read more about the award and the winners.