Creating Change: Audrey Keller & Brooke Ruffa

Audrey Keller and Brooke Ruffa are bringing Change to Duke.

The two just founded Duke’s branch of Change-Magazine, a new digital magazine that covers grassroots political and social activism across college campuses nationwide.

You may not have heard of Change, but chances are you will soon. The up-and-coming magazine was launched last year by Jake Matthews, then a freshman at Harvard. This past summer, the magazine began expanding to other colleges across the country. Currently, Change has branches at nine different schools.

Audrey, a sophomore from New York, and Brooke, a freshman from Connecticut, got involved this summer when Jake (a high school classmate of theirs) reached out about starting a chapter at Duke. Both immediately jumped at the chance to take a new leadership position and try to make an impact on campus.

Although starting up the magazine has been a lot of hard work, the girls are very excited about it. Their enthusiasm was evident from the minute I sat down with them in Von der Heyden – they just couldn’t wait to start talking about the new project. The Duke branch is still in the growing stages, but they’re off to a solid start – Change already has a small team and several articles in the works, as well as one already published.

“We’re making progress,” Audrey said. “There’s definitely been interest, which is exciting.”

The magazine will shine a spotlight on different movements at Duke and in Durham, campus events, and other social or political issues. We all know Duke students are doing some pretty amazing things, and the girls especially love how the magazine provides a platform to highlight such diverse people and issues. “The writers have a lot of flexibility in terms of what they find interesting,” Audrey said.

In addition, the site will allow students to find out about what’s happening at other schools who are part of the Change organization. “It’s really bringing schools together,” Brooke said.

Despite all the work that goes into starting up a new publication at Duke, the two girls still somehow have time to be involved in other organizations on campus. Audrey, a history major with a certificate in Markets and Management, is treasurer of the Duke Disability Alliance, competes on the equestrian team, is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and is currently doing an independent study in a research lab with the Franklin Humanities Institute. Brooke, a freshman, is leaning toward majoring in psychology, and is still figuring out how she wants to get involved on campus – though I think we can all agree starting a new club is more than enough for a first semester freshman!

With these two dedicated and enthusiastic leaders at the helm, I’m sure the magazine will end up being a huge success!