Vladimir Lukin

Vladimir Lukin is a PhD candidate in the Program in Literature. He is a film and media studies scholar who is interested in how cultural imaginaries shape our vision of technology and account for the differences in its cultural acceptance. In his dissertation, he traces the cultural history of cybernetics in the USSR and explores how Soviet media—pop-science magazines, films, and sci-fi novels—produced a distinct ‘trustful’ image of the computer. Prior to his time at Duke, he worked as a cultural journalist and managing editor for various Russian media outlets and became interested in pedagogy while working as a mentor for interns.

Cristina Carnemolla

Cristina Carnemolla holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature and a M.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Catania (Italy). She also obtained a M.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Oregon. Her academic interests are multiple, and encompass gender studies, especially intersectionality, Mediterranean and transatlantic studies, and critical theory. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Romance Studies at Duke University. Her dissertation project, entitled “From the ‘Southern Question’ to ‘Southern Thought’: South as a Method”, attempts at bridging the gap between decolonial theories and Global South studies, by focusing on literary and cultural production in Spain, Italy, and Latin America at the turn of the 19th century.

Arvind Krishnamurthy

Arvind Krishnamurthy is a Ph.D candidate in Political Science at Duke. Prior to Duke, he graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.A in Political Science. His research focuses on the relationship between democratic institutions and the criminal justice system in America. His dissertation examines how democratizing policing changes the behavior of police officers and attitudes of the mass public.

Kara Stark

Kara Stark is a Ph.D. candidate in the Genetics and Genomics Program. She is from St. Louis, Missouri and earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Butler University in 2020. At Duke, her research examines mobile DNA elements called endogenous retroviruses. Prior research has categorized endogenous retroviruses as ‘parasitic DNA’ which can be damaging to human health. However, Kara is exploring how activity of endogenous retroviruses during development may be beneficial. Kara is also passionate about science outreach and hopes to share her love of research with young scientists.

Anna Kudla

Anna Kudla is a PhD candidate in Biology. Her research focuses on insect diversity, which she studies through investigations of development and evolution. Her recent work concentrations on the shape differences among species in the insect Family, Membracidae. The amazing 3D forms they take on to look like plant parts, wasps, caterpillar droppings, among other things arises from a single structure called the pronotum. In most insects, the pronotum is a simple flat plate just behind the head. Prior to Duke, Anna worked as a Teach for America corps member in Tulsa, Oklahoma teaching 9th grade biology. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in English.

Fernanda Andrade

Fernanda Andrade is a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Psychology program. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and moved to the U.S. in 2011 to pursue her B.A. in Psychology from Millersville University. Fernanda studies the skills and strategies that people use to pursue their goals, especially as they relate to health, and why people do not always succeed. Fernanda received her M.A. in Psychology from Duke University in 2020 and an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Towson University in 2018. In her spare time, Fernanda is an aspiring artist and avid reader of fantasy novels.