I Believe

"I believe" presents short audio essays from students, faculty, and staff sharing their convictions about making Duke and the world around us more sustainable. We present their stories to inspire you and so that you might connect with your own passion for making a difference.

The essays for this site are guided largely by the original This I Believe series, where you can listen to examples and find suggestions for writing your own essay.

We encourage you to share your sustainable conviction as part of "I believe."  Entries should be no more than 300-500 words (about three minutes when read aloud). Tell a story, be specific and use first person in describing your belief and how it was formed, honed or challenged. Just write your essay and send it to us by email. We can help you record it, or you can record (mp3 format) and submit it yourself. For more information, just send us an email.

Betsy Cook

Betsy Cook, Student

Betsy Cook was teased as a child by her siblings for always having dirty feet from her adventures outdoors. But to her, dirty feet were a badge of honor, something to be proud of. The dirt she has picked up along the way has become part of who she is and her commitment to sustaining the land for future generations.

Betsy Cook, Student

Heidi Winner

Heidi Winner, Student

As a child, Heidi Winner and her friends assumed many roles: engineers, policy makers, artists, farmers and naturalists. But as her world expanded, she realized that people playing those roles in the adult world often make decisions from a narrower perspective without considering the broader impact.

Heidi Winner, Student

Kealy Devoy

Kealy Devoy, Student

Kealy Devoy was six years old when she first took a walk in a grove of Aspen trees with the director of the local nature center. That walk began a journey of understanding nature, her peers and her values through the connectivity of these trees to the broader ecosystem.

Kealy Devoy, Student

Carina Barnett-Loro

Carina Barnett-Loro, Alumni

Carina Barnett-Loro believes individual action to support sustainability is not enough. She says addressing the magnitude of the issues facing society today requires a collective response that drives changes in policy. "In bumper sticker terms: change your leaders, not your light bulbs."

Carina Barnett-Loro, Alumni

Steve Hinkle

Steve Hinkle, Staff

Before coming to Duke as a campus minister, Steve spent his early years growing up in the mountains of Brevard, N.C., where people lived in a mutual relationship of interdependence with their environment. Today, he advocates for "creation care" where people nurture the earth rather than trying to dominate it.

Steve Hinkle, Staff

Tawnee Milko

Tawnee Milko, Student

Living in a New Zealand rainforest, Tawnee Milko and a team of volunteers never spoke the word "sustainability," but it was the way they lived. They found that having fewer possessions allowed them to forge stronger relationships and build community.

Tawnee Milko, Student

Paul Grantham

Paul Grantham, Staff

Paul Grantham believes in stories and their ability to convey meaning in ways that shape our values, perceptions and beliefs. He was reminded of that when he reconnected with "The Lorax," one of his favorite books as a child, and how it impressed upon him the importance of taking personal responsibility for the environment.

Paul Grantham, Staff