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Two public policy students—juniors Kushal Kadakia and Mumbi Kanyogo—have been named Duke Faculty Scholars. 

This is Duke University’s highest award given by faculty to undergraduates and honors students whose record of independent work suggests great potential for innovative scholarship and a scholarly career. Kanyogo is double-majoring in public policy and gender, sexuality and feminist studies. She is preparing to pursue graduate academic research in Africana and Feminist Studies and to continue her feminist organizing work. Kadakia is double-majoring in public policy and biology and is seeking a career in health care and health care policy. 

Last week, Kadakia was also named a Truman Scholar. That scholarship, awarded to students pursuing careers in public service, grants $30,000 for graduate studies.

“The Sanford School of Public Policy is enormously proud of both of our students,” said Catherine Admay, assistant director of undergraduate studies.

About Kushal Kadakia

Kadakia has conducted research and scholarship through the Bass Connections program, Innovation and Technology Policy Lab, Duke Initiative for Science and Society, the Duke-Margolis Center, and two research laboratories based in the Medical School. For his public policy honors thesis, Kadakia is focusing on how using an “accountable care” health care framework could “repurpose international innovations to improve the U.S. health care system.” 

He has been deeply involved in University leadership, serving as student body executive vice president, chair of the Honor Council, and on over a dozen university committees ranging from the Duke Board of Trustees to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility. He also has led the campaign to make Duke a smoke-free campus.    

About Mumbi Kanyogo

Kanyogo’s studies are particularly focused on the power of digital and physical social movements. She has participated in Bass Connections research on hidden histories at Duke, writes for The Bridge and other platforms, as well as feminist organizing work—both on and off campus. 

For her honors thesis in gender, sexuality and feminist studies, Kanyogo is researching African feminist movements and how African women mobilize strategically to, as she puts it, “use political spectacle to highlight the oppressive conditions and violent acts they have suffered through, when men, the state, and other patriarchal institutions have denied them formal recourse and justice.”

Junior John Franklin Crenshaw was the third Duke Faculty Scholar this year. He studies physics and German.