Commencement 2015 is right around the corner, and it’s with great pride that the Center for Documentary Studies congratulates the nine seniors who will graduate from Duke (and in one case, UNC–Chapel Hill), with a CDS Certificate in Documentary Studies—Eileen Adams, Jamie Bando, Brenna Cukier, Maya Flippen, Lauren Henschel, Danielle Mayall, Addie Navarro, Margaret Perry, and Kari Vaughn.
The certificate program seeks to involve undergrads in community-based research using photography, filmmaking, writing, oral history, and other documentary fieldwork methods. In a Capstone Seminar in their final semester, students work in one or more mediums to complete a final documentary project of personal significance. “In completing these capstone projects, students are showing the one quality that is most difficult to achieve for any documentary artist bombarded with life’s daily distractions alongside news of huge and complex problems facing society: they are taking themselves and their own work seriously,” says seminar instructor Alex Harris, Duke Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Documentary Studies. Beyond the Front Porch 2015, an exhibit of nine large prints that are representative of the graduates’ final documentary projects, is on display here into the fall of 2015.