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Duke Senior, Alumnus Win Mitchell Scholarships

National award provides year of graduate study in Ireland

Duke senior Chloe Nguyen, from Las Vegas, Nev., and recent alumnus Christopher (Chris) Kuo, from Wellesley, Mass., received the George J. Mitchell Scholarship. They are two of the 12 Americans selected this weekend for the program, which supports a year of graduate study in Ireland.

This year, nearly 350 students applied for the scholarship, named in honor of U.S. Sen. George Mitchell’s contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process. Recipients are chosen based on academic distinction, leadership, and service.

“I am delighted that Chloe and Chris have been named Mitchell Scholars,” said President Vincent E. Price. “This recognition highlights the promise and potential we've already seen from them at Duke, including Chloe’s efforts to address political polarization and Chris’s outstanding work as an emerging journalist. I wish Chloe and Chris all the best as they prepare to begin their studies in Ireland.”

A Baldwin Scholar and Nakayama Public Service Scholar, Nguyen explores how online micro-targeting of disinformation and political advertisements affects in-person polarization and violence. She hopes to create policies that promote unifying technologies while protecting free speech and civil liberties.

After studying in Ireland, Nguyen plans to pursue a legal education specializing in technology, privacy and internet law. She will work as a legal advocate for policy reforms to transform the digital rights afforded to Americans.

Graduating in May 2024 with a degree in public policy, Nguyen has served as a Poynter-Google News Initiative Misinformation Student Fellow for WRAL TV in Raleigh, investigating barriers to news access for Hispanic communities, as well as a Student Fellow for Braver Angels, charged with organizing debates on sensitive issues facing American society. She also works as a reporter for the 9th Street Journal, a student publication coming out of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy that reports on neglected community issues. (See story below)

An active researcher, Nguyen has studied with Samantha Moore-Berg, the former director of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab, analyzing how meta-perceptions and competitive victimhood influence support for democracy.

She also spearheaded an independent research project on ways to improve political polarization on campus through the guidance of Professor Deondra Rose at the Sanford School of Public Policy. In addition to polarization work, Nguyen is the founder of Duke Justice Project, an organization working to improve re-entry following incarceration in Durham. Next year, Nguyen plans to pursue a MSc degree in digital policy at the University College Dublin.