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Original photo by Sophia Cetina

Humans of Duke: Leah Roffman


Name: Leah Roffman

Year: 2023

Major: Public Policy

Hometown: Larchmont, NY


1. Where do you see yourself in the new decade? 

Hopefully doing something related to the development of climate, energy, or environmental health policy. 


2. Why did you decide to come to Duke? 

My parents are both Duke alums, so I got a lot of advertising about all the great opportunities here and the fun student culture. I also really liked that Duke has graduate schools and strong undergrad programs for both public policy and environmental science. 


3. What's your favorite season, and why?

I love fall! It's probably the best time to be outside, especially if you live near trees. 


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

Outside of class I lead the Environmental Alliance club at Duke, and I've also recently been phone banking once a week for Democratic candidates ahead of the November election. In my real free time, I like to exercise and spend time with friends!


5. What’s your strange addiction? 

I became obsessed with the show Survivor this summer…every season is wild in its own way, highly recommend. 


6. What risks are worth taking? 

I think it’s definitely important to seek out challenges for yourself. I think it's worth embracing new responsibilities or surroundings that makes you uncomfortable in order to get to a place where you can exercise more control over your life. At the same time, I know I’m lucky to have a strong support system of friends and family who can back me up if I take on too much. 


7. What do you think of classes being online?

Some online classes are better than others! I enjoy being in breakout rooms with people who are talkative and willing to discuss the class together. Other times I’m kind of just learning advanced doodling skills. 


8. Have you tented for the Duke-UNC game? What was it like?

I did!! It was VERY tiring but so rewarding and fun.


9. Favorite song and why?

I always listen to “In the Light” by The Lumineers when I feel stressed!


10. Favorite class you've taken at Duke and why?

One of the best classes I’ve taken at Duke was an Intro to Gender Studies course. I went into it thinking I might already have a good understanding of gender issues, but I ended up learning so much about how we form and navigate different theories of identity in daily life.     

Duke '23.
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