The Stephen and Janet Bear Postgraduate Fellowship in Ethics allows recent Duke University graduates to bring their passion to help shape new and existing work and outreach of the Kenan Institute for Ethics. This unique opportunity allows for exploration of meaningful career paths and fosters interdisciplinary thought and productive problem-solving across disciplines.



The 2015-2016 fellow is Cece Mercer. She is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and an alumna of Kenan’s Focus Cluster, DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted, MASTERY refugee tutoring, and Kenan Summer Fellows programs. She graduated last spring with a BA in Environmental Science and Policy and an Experiential Ethics Certificate. Her goal for the year is to develop programs to engage the Duke undergraduate community in exploring the intersection of food and ethics. She gained an interest in food after working on an urban farm in Cleveland, Ohio that hired resettled refugees and her ongoing participation with the Duke Campus Farm.

One of her first projects this fall was the creation of a free food challenge social experiment. The ground rules were to solely sustain herself on “free food” at Duke University-sponsored events for a month, to ask a question of the presenter while bringing in an idea from previously attended events to promote interdisciplinary thinking, and to talk to a stranger about Kenan. She was able to attend a variety of events hosted by assorted departments, institutions, centers and student groups.

Cece has worked to incorporate the theme of food, ethics, and culture into both a new Spring event series and recurring Institute programming. The new event series will include cooking classes with resettled refugees from Iraq and Burma, a panel discussion and dinner that explores Gullah heritage and food, and an event co-sponsored by the Freeman Center for Jewish Life that will to look at whether eating kosher food relates to sustainability and the environment. The ongoing annual programming that she is working to reshape includes the 2016 Ethics Film Series (featuring Wall-E, Chef’s Table, 100-Foot Journey, Chef, and Black Gold) and Team Kenan’s annual art competition.



For questions, please contact Suzanne Shanahan at suzanne.shanahan@duke.edu.