individual being profiled

Humans of Duke: Emma Kirkpatrick

Name:  Emma Kirkpatrick

Year: 2021

Major: Neuroscience

Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA


Who has been your biggest influence/inspiration?

This is kind of cheating, but both my parents are my biggest inspiration. They have constantly supported me in every aspect of my life and taught me to believe that I could achieve anything. I am so lucky so to have parents that I can laugh with, get advice from, and go through life with. My parents are the kindest, funniest, most hardworking people I know, I can only hope to be as terrific as them one day.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I hope to be the proud mother of two beautiful golden retrievers. I want to be either a veterinarian or a doctor, either way I’ll be wearing some super comfy scrubs. I’ll be living back on the West Coast. In my free time I’ll be adventuring, eating all the avocados in the world, and aggressively cheering for my favorite sports teams.


What’s your weirdest quirk?

I firmly believe that sandwich bread tastes infinitely better when cut into triangles. It hurts me to cut sandwiches straight down the middle and it completely ruins the entire sandwich.


What has been the best thing about your Duke experience so far? Worst?

Meeting new friends has definitely been the best part of my Duke experience. I also love basketball season. The spirit and unity in the air during basketball games is amazing. Being in Cameron covered in blue paint is the best feeling in the world. The worst part about being at Duke is being so far from home and my family.


What’s your secret talent?

I have this strange ability to know when a food item has been near a banana, either in the grocery store or in a bag. Whenever I eat goldfish or a piece of bread (cut into a triangle obviously), I will instantly know if it has recently touched a banana. My taste buds are super sensitive to banana taste and I hate banana flavored candy.


Why did you decide Duke?

I really wanted to go to college somewhat far from home in order to gain new life experiences and meet completely new people from different backgrounds. I also love sports and couldn't wait to attend basketball games and embrace the craziness. Duke also has incredible academic opportunities and I fell in love with campus when I visited.


What are some of the things you do outside of class?

I am a part of Globemed, a club that discusses global health and volunteer in the Emergency Department at the hospital. I also work in the Identity and Diversity Lab. In my free time, I love watching my favorite sports teams and hanging out with friends and family.


What’s your strange addiction?

I am obsessed with Vitamin Water and cannot live without it. Tropical Mango is definitely the best flavor. Strawberry Lemonade is undoubtedly the worst.


What’s your favorite smell?

My favorite smell is either a bonfire on the beach or wet pavement the morning after it rains.


What risks are worth taking?

Risks that are terrifying and exciting at the same time. Risks that make you look forward to the possibilities of the future. Most of the risks I have taken in my life have been uncertain and terrifying in the be beginning, but were worth it in the end. Life is too boring without taking risks.