A vibrant interdisciplinary community of scholars, students, and practitioners dedicated to understanding the moral challenges of our time and creating scholarly frameworks, policy, and practice to address them.
Associate Director for Evaluation and Assessment | The Purpose Project
Alexandra Cooper serves as Associate Director for Evaluation and Assessment within the Purpose Project. She supports the Project in making question of character, purpose and meaning signature features of the Duke community by gathering evidence about the Project's programs and their effects and by working with Project team members to examine and understand what that evidence shows us about what the Project does and can accomplish.
Prior to joining the Purpose Project she worked at Duke's Social Science Research Institute, first as its Administrative Director and subsequently as its Associate Director for Education and Training. She has guided and directed a wide range of collaborative educational programming and services and devoted effort to a wide range of research projects, supporting both quantitative and qualitative data collection, management, analysis, and reporting. Prior to coming to Duke, she held faculty positions at Lafayette College and the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. She holds a B.A. in Political and Social Thought and in French from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Aaron R. Crouse joined the Kenan Institute for Ethics team in January 2022. He holds a Master of Divinity from Duke University with interests in theology and ethics, political theology, and theories of justice. He has worked in higher education in various capacities at Duke with DukeEngage, Residential Life, and Bass Connections. Prior to joining Kenan, he worked as a student services specialist at North Carolina Central University. He is a native of Chicago’s southside, and currently lives in Durham.
Administrative Coordinator, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Alisa Cullison joined the Kenan Institute for Ethics as Administrative Coordinator in May 2022.
Alisa attended Case Western Reserve University for her undergraduate studies, where she majored in English and Theater Arts and performed in many stage productions including Shakespeare and improv comedy. After CWRU, Alisa attended the University of Pittsburgh for her Master of Education degree where she studied the use of the arts as teaching and learning tools in various education settings. She then worked as a teaching artist for several nonprofit arts and education organizations, including working with English Language Learner student populations. She also continued her acting career in Shakespeare productions and improv comedy theaters around Pittsburgh, and worked as a Standardized Patient actor-educator with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Alisa moved to Boston in 2018 where she worked at Harvard University in the Germanic Languages and Literatures department and most recently was the Training & Support Specialist with the Administrative Operations department, where she trained staff people in administrative and financial systems.
Alisa moved to Durham in May 2022 with her partner and their dog, Edie the Sweetie.
Associate Director for Education, Operations & Media Strategy, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Christian Ferney oversees university-wide ethics initiatives, ethics curriculum development, and the KIE alumni network. In a previous role, he managed many of the Institute’s co-curricular programs, such as Team Kenan and Project Change. A native of Portland, Oregon, he has lived in Durham since 2003. He holds a BA in sociology from Linfield College and an MA (2005) and PhD (2009) in sociology from Duke University.
Ashley M. George [she/her/hers] joined the Kenan Institute for Ethics as a Staff Assistant in January 2022.
Ashley George is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. She currently attends Liberty University as a first-generation Ph.D. student studying Higher Education Administration. She has her Master of Education in Higher Education and has a Bachelor of Science dual degree in Justice Studies and Social Work. Through her creative writing, Ashley was able to study abroad in Kenya. In Kenya, she stayed partially with the Maasai tribe and at Kenyatta University. In addition, she was also able to study abroad in Brazil during the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. In Brazil, she volunteered at the local orphanages and had the opportunity to hear the testimonies of currently incarcerated individuals.
Ashley has previously worked in the K-12 school system as a Special Education Testing Coordinator and has a background working with Admissions, TRIO/McNair, and Residential Coaching. Her core competencies include Cultural Awareness, Advocacy, Community Engagement, and Inclusion. Her student affairs mission is to consistently advocate for equitable and inclusive/diverse learning environments; specifically, for first generation students.
Ada Gregory develops a variety of KIE programs related to student life and community engagement, runs the DukeEngage in New York program, and facilitates faculty involvement in projects across the Institute's portfolio. Ada graduated from Duke (BA/MA) and went on to work at the state and local levels for 20 years influencing policy and practice related to victims' rights, violence against women, and criminal justice reform. She returned to Duke in 2006 and worked in several capacities, including as director of the Duke Women’s Center and chief administrator for the university’s signature institutes and initiatives, before joining the Kenan Institute for Ethics in 2018.
Assistant Director, Faculty Initiatives, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Michael Grigoni works with faculty leads on a range of the Institute’s programs and initiatives, from the Religions and Public Life initiative to the Lab for Social Choreography. He also teaches courses for undergraduates, including The Challenges of Living an Ethical Life.
With research interests spanning Christian ethics, political theology, and ethnographic theology, his current project develops a Christian ethics of handgun ownership that emerges from ethnographic fieldwork he carried out with Christian handgun owners and Christian anti-gun violence activists in North Carolina. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Western Washington University, an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, an MTS in Theology from Harvard Divinity School, and a PhD in Religion from Duke University.
Director, Program Development and Design, The Purpose Project
Katherine Jo works with The Purpose Project, developing and designing programs, curriculum, and pedagogy that engage students in questions of meaning, purpose, and character. She also leads programs for graduate and professional school students, including Teaching on Purpose and Race and the Professions. Her scholarly interests include philosophies of liberal learning, pedagogy for ethical formation, and faculty vocational identity. She has previously worked in career development, undergraduate advising, and faculty development. She holds a BA in Sociology from Harvard University, an MA in Philosophy of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Philosophy of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Margaret Krause joined the Kenan team in May 2022.
As Kenan’s Development Representative, she manages the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the DukeEngage advisory boards and oversees development-related projects to advance KIE’s fundraising and engagement strategies.
Margaret earned a B.A. from Duke University with a double major in English and History. She has previously worked in the IT industry and residential real estate in Charlotte, NC. A native of Durham, Margaret is thrilled to be back at Duke and in the Triangle area.
Erin Collazo Miller works on Virtues & Vocations, an initiative to consider how to cultivate character in professional education. She earned a BA in English at Duke University and studied theology at Regent College.
Jose Ortega-Estrada is from Hillsborough, NC and completed his undergraduate degree at Duke in 2019. Jose’s experience as a first generation low income (FGLI) Latinx student has fueled his passion for giving back to his community. During his time at Duke, he participated in DukeEngage in Tucson, AZ working at a nonprofit that educated undocumented immigrants about their civil rights. After Duke, he worked as a college advisor for the Duke College Advising Corps to increase the number of FGLI and underrepresented students in post-secondary education. As a Bear Fellow, he oversees part of the Citizenship Lab, headed the 2021 What is Good Art? (WiGA) art competition and will spearhead a project based on transitional challenges FGLI students face and analyze how public and private institutions support them. He is interested in pursuing a graduate degree to focus on educational equity and Latinx advocacy.
Inga Peterson is the Associate Director of Operations for DukeEngage. She has been developing and managing programs and cross-functional teams at Duke for the majority of the past eleven years, five of which she spent as an assistant director for programs with DukeEngage. Most recently, she served as the Vice President for Campus Engagement for the Duke Alumni Association, where she was the senior administrator responsible for the campus-facing programs and functions of the 175,000-member Association. Prior to coming to Duke, Inga working in academic advising and student affairs at the University of Chicago, Harvard, and Boston University, and developed and managed international community development programs with the Academy for Educational Development, the Harvard Institute for International Development, and the United States Peace Corps. Inga lives in Durham with her son and Yorkie mix.
Assistant Director for Communications, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Sarah Rogers joined the Kenan Institute for Ethics as Assistant Director for Communications in December 2021.
She attended Duke University as an undergraduate, earning a BA with a double major in English and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She studied abroad with the Duke in Berlin program, and, after graduating, she won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to Germany, and worked in a secondary school in Berlin. After returning to the United States, she continued her studies as a graduate student in the English Department at Duke University, where she TAed, taught undergraduate courses in academic writing and literature, and earned an MA. She earned a Certificate in Digital Communication from the UNC Hussman School of Media and Journalism in 2020.
In her former position, as Assistant Director for Public Programs and Communications at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, she organized events and served as a central communications hub, writing web content and promoting engagement with labs, programs, and initiatives through newsletters, social media, websites, and other channels.
Instructor and Associate Director of the Civil Discourse Project, Kenan Institute for Ethics
John Rose is Associate Director of the Civil Discourse Project. In addition to helping coordinate the Civil Discourse Project's programming, John teaches courses in Happiness and Human Flourishing, Christian Ethics, Conservatism, and Political Polarization. His research concerns the tradition of virtue ethics and Christian theology. Originally from Iowa, John holds a BA in religion from Wabash College, an MTS from Duke Divinity School, and a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Director, University Initiatives, The Purpose Project;
Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Jesse Summers is the Associate Director of the Purpose Project and an adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. Previously, he was an Academic Dean in Trinity College.
He received his PhD in Philosophy from UCLA, his MPhil in philosophy from University College London, his BA in philosophy, political science, and French from the University of Kansas, and his sense of humor from a latchkey childhood watching age-inappropriate comedy.
His bookClean Hands? Philosophical Reflections on Scrupulosity, co-authored with fellow Fellow Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, came out from Oxford University Press in 2019.
Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics; Senior Research Fellow, Divinity School and Arts & Sciences; Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology, Ethics, and Global Health, Duke Divinity School
David Toole became interim director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics in October 2021, bringing with him a long history at Duke—and a wealth of diverse experience. He first came to the university in 1988 for graduate school and earned his Ph.D. in theology and ethics in 1996. After a stint in his home state of Montana—where, among other things, he taught at the University of Montana (his alma mater) and ran a construction company—he returned to Duke in 2005 to serve as an administrator in Duke Divinity School.
In 2009, while serving as the Divinity School’s associate dean for strategic initiatives, Toole started working with Duke’s Global Health Institute and the Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation on two projects in East Africa, one focused on leadership and management training in the health sector, and one on training Christian leaders working on issues of reconciliation in the African Great Lakes region. The projects led Toole to nearly a decade of travel back and forth to communities in Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan. They also led him to pursue a master of public health degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and to undertake a research project on mission hospitals and their legacy in East Africa, with the working title: “Outposts of Hope: Theological Dispatches from the Front Lines of Poverty and War.”
In 2014, Toole joined the faculty as associate professor of the practice of theology, ethics, and global health—a joint appointment in the Divinity School, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and Global Health Institute. In that role, he has taught a variety of courses, including Global Health as an Ethical Enterprise; Ethics and the History of Humanitarianism; Challenges of Living an Ethical Life; Ethics and Environmental Policy; and Ethics and Native America. He has also directed the undergraduate program in global health. In addition to his teaching, Toole has served the Kenan Institute as director of various programs, including and the Ethics Certificate, the Religions in Public Life Initiative, the PLANET Project, and The Purpose Project at Duke, which he continues to direct.
Toole is the author of Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo: Theological Reflections on Nihilism, Tragedy, and Apocalypse, and is currently completing a manuscript titled What Are People For? Questions Concerning What It Means to Be Human. He has been married to his wife, Nancy, for more than thirty years and is the father of three grown boys.
j.d. Wagner joined the Kenan Institute for Ethics team in January 2022.
He earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and an MA in Philosophy from Brandeis University, where he thought and wrote on the ways that everyday ordinary individuals behave, act, or make decisions about, the moral situations that they find themselves within.
Director of Undergraduate Studies Assistant (DUSA)
Kali joined Duke and the Kenan team in April 2021.
As a Program Coordinator, she participates in the development and facilitation of Kenan’s undergraduate programs and events. She also serves as the DUSA (Director of Undergraduate Studies Assistant) for Ethics courses and the Ethics & Society Certificate Program, supporting the institute’s curricular offerings and its faculty.
Kali earned a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University, and an M.Phil. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin. She has previously worked in student disability support services at universities in Washington state, and as an arts programmer at a community art center in Virginia.
Kristin serves as the point person for faculty-led group programs, supporting faculty and staff in program development and implementation. She also manages student recruitment efforts and collaborates on both student and staff training.
Kristin has a background in education and worked in admissions and program evaluation at the University of British Columbia for several years before returning to NC to coordinate faculty support and student development efforts for Duke’s academic service-learning program. She lives in Durham with her husband and her daughter and devotes her spare time to PTA fundraising and voter registration.