Sophomore Spark Summit

What do DJs, superpowers, employers, and intellectual curiosity have in common? They’ll all be a part of the Sophomore Spark Summit – an immersive conference experience with engaging panels, hands-on activities, and one-on-one connections with peers and alumni. Come for the shared experience and resources but stay for door prizes, food, and swag! Save the date for this one-of-a-kind experience to unveil your superhuman abilities.

*By registering, students agree to attend all activities that are part of the Summit. Please continue to check Handshake for the most up to date information regarding the event schedule, activities, and speakers.*

*This event 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 (Location: von der Heyden Studio Theater)

12:45 pm: Breakout Session #1

1:40 pm: Wellness Session

2:30 pm: Breakout Session #2

3:30 pm: Closing Remarks & Raffle Selection (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 (below)

On the day of the event 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.


Welcome & Keynote Address
Session Start & End Time (11:30am – 12:30pm)

Superpowers, Stories and Friendships – How to Own Your Future

Everyone has superpowers, do you know what yours are? What do the stories we tell ourselves and the company that we keep have to do with discovering our superpowers?  In this heart note, Sanyin Siang, will share how superpowers, stories, and friendships are a dynamic combo for a fulfilling career.

Speaker: Sanyin Siang, Pratt’96 MBA’02, Founding Executive Director, Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE)


Breakout Session #1
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)


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

Moments of Mindfulness (Location: Dance Studio 124)

Explore interactive activities that will foster a sense of serenity, happiness and lower stress. Within this 30 minute experience you will see how to use all 5 senses as you deepen your personal experience of wellness in simple ways easily replicated on a daily basis.

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)


Breakout Session #2
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)

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