Jennifer Valentyn Receives Dean’s Pillars of Excellence Award

Craig Kolman, Dorian McMillan, Gary G. Bennett, Jennifer Valentyn
Jennifer Valentyn (right), is pictured with fellow award winners Craig Kolman (left), Dorian McMillan (center) and Dean Gary Bennett. (Shaun King/Trinity Communications)

Jennifer Valentyn, the Senior Program Coordinator in the Department of Economics, is one of three staff members whose services have been recognized with this year’s Dean’s Pillar of Excellence Award.

Through her nearly 20 years at Duke, Valentyn has been known for her ceaseless drive, the joy she finds in her work interacting with Duke students and the positivity she brings to each day.

Her colleagues say she consistently brainstorms and then activates initiatives to better prepare students for future careers and to continue tapping into opportunities for peer-to-peer mentorship.

As an example, Valentyn’s creation of “mentoring pods” encourages seniors and juniors to advise sophomores on how to land a great summer internship, and asks seniors to advise juniors on how best to leverage those internships into full-time roles after graduation. “She continuously goes above and beyond to establish a culture of excellence in Economics,” read her nomination letter.