Sophomore SPARK Summit 2022

Sophomores, join your peers January 29th, 2022 from 11am-4pm at the Rubenstein Arts Center to unlock your superpowers during an immersive conference experience featuring engaging panels, hands-on activities, and one-on-one connections with peers and alumni.  

Register here to gain access to premium door prizes, food, and free swag! Below, you’ll find the schedule for the day of the event. We look forward to meeting you there! 

*By registering, students agree to attend all activities that are part of the Summit. The Sophomore SPARK Summit will be an in-person event. Attendees will be required to adhere to all COVID-related safety protocols, which includes wearing a mask.* 

Sophomore SPARK Summit 

When: Saturday, January 29th, 2022 

Where: Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University (“The Ruby”)  2020 Campus Drive , Durham, NC 27705  

11:00 am: Student Check-in (Location: The Feidelson Family Lobby) 

11:30 am: Welcome & Keynote Speaker, Sanyin Siang, Pratt’96 MBA’02, Founding Executive Director, Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) (Location: von der Heyden Studio Theater) 

12:45 pm: Breakout Session #1 (Location: see in description below.) 

1:40 pm: Wellness Session (Location: see in description below.) 

2:30 pm: Breakout Session #2 (Location: see in description below.) 

3:30 pm: Closing Remarks & Raffle Selection,  Erica Henry, T’94, VP of News at CNN, Atlanta (Location: von der Heyden Studio Theater) 

4:00pm: Grab n’ Go Lunch and Check-Out (Dismissal) (Location: The Feidelson Family Lobby) 

Individual Descriptions for 2022 Breakout Sessions

You will have the opportunity to choose one session to attend from each breakout session. Session selections and seating are on a first-come first served basis. 


Session Start & End Time (12:45pm – 1:30pm) 


Unleashing Your Interpersonal Superpowers (Location: Dance Studio 124)  

Does the idea of networking make your inner superhero cringe? You’re not alone! Join us for Unleashing Your Interpersonal Superpowers through improv to level up your communication techniques through a fun, engaging session that is being led by an improv guru. As part of this session, you will participate in hands-on activities designed to enhance superpowers like small talk, quick thinking, and building instant rapport with others. You may even see some of your favorite employers and Duke administrators joining in the fun! 

Facilitator: Paul Marks, BTImprov


Ask a Blue Devil: Alumni Superhero Edition (Location: Ruby Lounge 102) 

Are you interested in receiving expert advice from Duke alumni who have been there and accomplished that? Join us for the Ask a Blue Devil: Alumni Superhero Edition panel discussion and learn from the best! During this session, alumni will candidly answer your questions, provide career insights and offer advice on how to become the star in your own superhero adventure. Co-sponsored by Duke Alumni Engagement. 

Moderator: Katherine Li, BS ’20, Ubben Fellow for Student Programs, Duke Alumni Association

Alumni Panelists: 

Aminah Thompson, BS ’03, Magistrate Judge for State of NC Judicial Department   

Vikas Patel, B.S. ’96, M.D. ’00, H.S. ’01-’04, Dermatologist at North Carolina Dermatology Associates 

Zach McKenzie, ’19, Eng, Transportation Analyst at Kimley-Horn


The Power of Mind Mapping  (Location: Film Theater 123)

Let’s exercise our brains and get the ideas flowing on your career development next steps. Mind mapping is a powerful graphic technique you can use to translate the ideas in your mind to a visible figure of information. Join us for an interactive session where you will create your own mind map as you brainstorm likes and interests, find themes, and create action steps to try out options.  

Facilitator: Christina Plante, Assistant Director, Career Services, Duke University Career Center


Transition Time to Wellness Session (1:30pm – 1:40pm) 

Session Start & End Time (1:40pm – 2:20pm)


Connecting Body and Breath (Location: Dance Studio 124) 

Taking some time each day for wellness can be brief and effective. Join us for 30 minutes to reduce stress and anxiety and see how it will energize you for the rest of the day! This session will guide you through use of your body movements and breath as tools to be used anywhere on campus to practice behaviors to manage stress. 

Facilitator: Duke Student Wellness Center


Meditation (Location: Film Theater 123) 

Immerse yourself into meditation for 30 minutes. Meditation is a practice to assist to manage stress, reduce anxiety and increase focus among many other benefits. Come experience the relaxing benefits of this practice and find out how to learn more as you pursue a greater sense of wellness.  

Facilitator: Duke Student Wellness Center 


Transition Time to Breakout Session #2 (2:20pm – 2:30pm) 

Session Start & End Time (2:30pm – 3:15pm) 


Developing Confidence in Your Story and Yourself (Location: Film Theater 123) 

Do you know how to tell a concise and engaging story? Attend this session to learn why storytelling matters, how to choose relevant details, adapt to your audience, and gain confidence in your personal story. This engaging session will be led by Duke Alum, Erica Henry. Attend to learn or improve your storytelling techniques which will be helpful as you explore internships and jobs.  

Facilitator: Erica Henry, T’94, VP of News at CNN, Atlanta


Ethical Decision Making in an Evolving world – Panel Discussion (Location: Ruby Lounge 102) 

Ethics will play a key role in many of the decisions you make in your life – both personal and professional. Sometimes it is best to hear from area experts about how they have navigated ethical decision making in an ever-evolving world. Join this session to gain insight from fellow Duke students, faculty, staff, and alumni who engage with these types of conversations daily. 

Moderator: Michael Rudisill, Assistant Director, Career Services, Duke University Career Center


Angel Collie, Interim Director, Duke Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

Gabriella Levy, ‘22, Duke PhD Candidate, Political Science Department  

Karen Lissy, ‘94, Justice Data Specialist, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics  

Gino Nuzzolillo, ’20, Communications Advocate, Southern Coalition for Social Justice 


What do you want out of life? A focus on purpose and values… (Location: Dance Studio 124) 

Have you ever asked, “what is my purpose?” Well, this session will provide a time for active discussion and reflection surrounding the topics of human purpose and how it is intertwined with our personal morality, ethics, and our future decisions. 

Facilitator: Jesse Summers, Katherine Jo, and Christian Ferney; Associate Directors, The Purpose Project, The Kenan Institute for Ethics


Transition Time to Closing Remarks & Raffle Selection (3:15pm – 3:30pm) 

The summit will be a 1-day conference in different classroom locations in The Ruby on Saturday, January 29th, 2022 from 11am -4pm. Please check-in at The Ruby at 2020 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27705. Check-in will begin at approximately 11:00am. Students will check-in at our registration table in The Feidelson Family Lobby, where they will receive a copy of the day’s agenda and an official conference nametag.

Once conference attendees are checked-in, they are expected to stay for the remainder of the event. 

NO. You will have the opportunity to choose one session to attend from each breakout session the day of the event. Session selections and seating are on a first-come first served basis. 

Business-casual attire is appropriate but wear clothes and footwear in which you feel comfortable. Conference sessions will be in different rooms so attendees should expect to be moving around throughout the day. The Sophomore SPARK Summit will be a place where you can network with not only each other but with alumni, faculty and/or staff. 

Please bring your Duke Student ID to facilitate the check-in process. Feel free to bring materials to takes notes or a laptop or mobile device on which you can access your on-line Handshake account. 

YES. Grab n’ Go Lunch will be provided the day of the event. We will have non-dairy, vegan, and vegetarian options available to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. 

NO. A resume is not needed to attend the Sophomore SPARK Summit. If you would like to bring paper and a pen/pencil to take notes, please feel free to do so. Some sessions may have handouts, so you can always bring a folder to carry any handouts that you may receive from the sessions. 

Throughout the conference, all attendees may have a chance to win raffle prizes and will receive a thank you gift at the end of the Summit. Students must be present in order to win/receive a prize/gift. 

By Kai Kelley Jr. (he/him)
Kai Kelley Jr. (he/him) Career Advisor, Discovery & Exploration Career Community Kai Kelley Jr. (he/him)