Sachelle Ford, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Sachelle Ford

Sachelle Ford, who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, directs DukeLIFE (Lower Income, First-Generation Engagement) and the David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program, the university’s foremost initiatives for supporting 1G/LI undergraduates. Prior to assuming this position, Sachelle served as interim director at the African American Culture Center at N.C. State University, where she focused on faculty engagement and increasing students’ participation in interdisciplinary research on the African Diaspora. Sachelle has actually returned to Duke, originally serving as lecturing fellow of Duke University’s Thompson Writing Program from 2014-2018. Her courses examined the Black Power movement, African diaspora theory, Caribbean literature and contemporary African American literature. She holds a PhD in English from Brown University and a BA in English from Emory University, where she was a first-generation, low-income undergraduate student.

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 3-5PM

Shawn Svoboda-Barber, Staff Specialist

Shawn was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. He attended Washburn University where he earned a BA in Physical Education, and pursued a career in corporate health and wellness. After trying his hand at graphic arts, photography, teaching, and youth ministry he became a stay-at-home parent for his two children. Now that they have grown into teenagers Shawn is using his varied talents to assist DukeLIFE and OUSF as a staff specialist.