Graduate Students


Samuel Bagg
Samuel Bagg is a Ph.D. student in Political Science, with a focus in normative political theory. His research interests include democratic theory, pragmatism, pluralism, institutional theory, political economy, and the philosophy of social science. Currently he is engaged with questions of method in ethical and political theory, and the contributions of approaches ranging from biology, psychology and economics to critical theory and nonfoundationalism.

Lauren Bunch
Lauren Bunch is a third year Ph.D student in philosophy. Her broad areas of interest are ethics and philosophy of mind, with particular interests in virtue ethics, social moral epistemology, and bioethics. She is currently engaged in research examining some of the ethical issues related to human memory.

Alexandra DeForge
Alexandra DeForge is a first-year Ph.D student in philosophy. Her broad area of interest is ethics, with a current focus in political philosophy, philosophy of law and philosophy of punishment.

Joshua Fink
Joshua James Fink is a Ph.D. student in sociology. Broadly he is interested in economic stratification, punishment inequalities and quantitative methods. Topics of his current research include racial differences in consumption, the connection between immigration and law enforcement preferences, and class-based differences in adolescent delinquency.

Shana Starobin
Shana Starobin is a Ph.D candidate in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and is serving as a coordinator for this year’s Monday Seminar series. She was the 2011-2012 Kenan Graduate Instructor in Ethics. With academic and professional interests in institutional design and social innovation, her research focuses on the role of business, NGOs, and civil society in fostering alternative modes of governance and institutions for addressing complex socio-economic and ecological problems, such as the private regulation of the global food supply chain.

She is professionally active as an educator and group leader for volunteer delegations to developing countries through American Jewish World Service. In the U.S., she serves as a senior adviser to the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) and as a member of the Board of Directors of, a national non-profit that enables gardeners to donate surplus produce to local food pantries.

Lauren Valentino
Lauren Valentino is a first-year Ph.D student in sociology. She is interested in developing theories of cultural sociology that account for inequality with a focus on education and race, class, and gender.