Alejandra Salemi is a Doctoral student in the Population Health Sciences Department at Duke University. She is passionate about the intersection of public health and religion and wants to further explore how religion is a social determinant of public health. She is curious about the ways that religion impacts health decisions and behaviors, especially in different ethnic and racial communities and hopes to be a bridgebuilder between public health agencies and religious institutions. She is a recent graduate of Harvard University, with a Master of Theological Studies with a focus of Religion, Ethics, and Politics and also holds a Bachelor and Master of Public Health from the University of Florida. Alejandra is an immigrant from Colombia and is also passionate about increasing diversity and representation of Latinx scholars in academia, especially in religious and public health disciplines. She is a candidate for ordination in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Nikita Schwartzman is a second-year M.A. student in religious studies at Duke University. Her academic interests revolve around investigating how gender dynamics and dependencies on colonial theories impacts interpretation of religious law and how it translates to legislation in Islamic countries.
Meyra Çoban is an M.A. student in bioethics and science policy at Duke University. Meyra studies the ethics of care and health care. Originally from Germany, Meyra studied philosophy and political science at the University of Edinburgh. Meyra’s research is funded by Fulbright, DAAD and the German National Academic Foundation.
Amanda Bolaños is a first year Th.D. candidate at Duke Divinity School studying Christian Theological Ethics. Amanda received her B.A. from Boston College in 2018, an M.A. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2020, and an M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School in 2022. Her research interests include offering a real, pastoral, and critical perspective in looking at the systematic success and harm of religion in communities. Amanda hopes to ultimately build bridges and create a culture of inclusivity between the Academy and the people through the study and practice of Latinx Liberation theology, feminist theology, Catholic Social Teaching, and virtue ethics.
Tyng-Guang (Brian) Chu is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University. He is in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible track. His work focuses primarily on creation-imagery and the cosmological dimensions of Israel’s cultic tradition in the Hebrew Bible. He plans to further explore how the notion of peace can be seen in creation narratives.
Emily Normand is a second year M.T.S. student with a concentration in Theology and the Arts at Duke Divinity School. She is interested in questions of decolonial aesthetics, theological aesthetics, and intercultural and cross-cultural dialogue in the modern and contemporary visual arts, specifically between Latin America and Europe. Her current research is on the lithographs of French-Mexican artist, Jean Charlot, and the significance of his life and work as a pioneer in multicultural art and scholarship. Before coming to Duke, Emily graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame where she earned her B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies.