Let us introduce you to a few extraordinary Dukes...


Photo of Christopher Morrow

Christopher Morrow
Palumbo-Donahue School of Business
MBA candidate who was offered a new job during his first year

Something more. When Christopher was looking to get an MBA he wanted to find a place that would give him something more - the skills and experience he needed to further his career. He had spent several years prior working for a military contractor, assisting the families of fallen soldiers with their financial planning. He wanted to investigate a career in the emerging data analytics field. "Ultimately I wanted to transition to a new job. I found that a lot of the ones I was looking for required an advanced degree." He went on to that that, "You're at the point in your life where you say, I can take two years and look back and have a degree. If you're willing to make the extra commitment that it's worth it."

Photo of Gabrielle Solarczyk-Wallace

Gabrielle Solarczyk-Wallace
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
English major who has battled back from several autoimmune diseases

Even after the most brief conversation with Gabrielle you can't help but feel her determination and purpose. She was diagnosed with lupus when she was 14 years old. Gabrielle also manages other autoimmune diseases. "I've dealt with it pretty much all my life. I've had health issues since I was born actually. My body doesn't recognize the good cells from the bad cells." Courage seems to be part of her DNA and she's demonstrated that most recently with her time working towards her degree in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in psychology.

Photo of Esmeralda Wang

Esmeralda Wang
John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
Shanghai native and the first person in her family to earn a doctorate

From Shanghai to Pittsburgh. Yinao or "Esme" as she likes to be called, landed on Duquesne's campus to study for a master's as part of the University's collaboration with the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine through the China Linkage Program (CLP). It provides a means for exchanging faculty and master's and doctoral students. Students coming to Duquesne can earn master's degrees in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology. To date, 87 students from China have graduated from the program and now work in the country's major hospitals and medical institutes. Emse continued on for the Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) program.

View more student #BluffStories

Faculty & Staff

Photo of Shonetta and Milik Haywood

Shonetta and Milik Haywood,
Duquesne Dining
A mother and son who bring out the best in each other

Besides being a mother and son pair who both work at Hogan Dining Center, Shonetta and Milik also feel like they have a good work family at Duquesne. "Being here eight hours a day you spend a lot of time with your coworkers. You can look at your coworkers and know that they're having a bad day and try to comfort them. You know a lot about them and what's going on with their families," said Shonetta. She has worked at Duquesne for over twelve years. Milik joined her this past year after graduating from Carrick High School and transferring from Hello Bistro in the South Side, which is also owned by the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, like Parkhurst Dining, which oversees the food service at Duquesne.
Photo of Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar

Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar,
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Assistant Professor of Physics, Nuclear physicist involved with Duquesne's Women in STEM group

You get a sense of Dr. Benmokhtar's excitement for her research and her students the minute you meet her. "When I see students I see myself when I was young," she says with a big smile. "I put myself in their shoes. I want them to learn and enjoy what they are learning. When I teach I try to make it useful and make it applicable for their life."
Photo of Dr. Judith R. Griggs

Dr. Judith R. Griggs,
Director of the Robert and Patricia Gussin Spiritan Division of Academic Programs, Director of the Michael P. Weber Learning Skills Center
Over 40 years of service to Duquesne students

Since 1972 Dr. Griggs has been serving students by using a well-developed counseling and retention model along with a caring heart to help improve their opportunities for success at Duquesne. Her team is "supportive of each other. They're proud of what they do. We're about students here."

View more faculty and staff #Bluffstories