Friday, January 6, 2023
Dr. Gwendolyn Wright, the Cook Center’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations, was recently announced as a recipient of a 2022-23 Duke Presidential Award, one of the university’s highest honors for distinguished service! Dr. Wright will formally receive her award at a ceremony in late February.
Dr. Wright has been a part of Duke for more than 20 years, and she has been at the Cook Center since the very beginning, back in 2014 when it was initially established as the Consortium on Social Equity.
To list out all of Dr. Wright’s contributions to the Cook Center would be exhaustive and nearly impossible, as she is essential in the Center’s operations, from daily check-ins in the office and personnel management and mentorship to leading some of its most high-profile projects. However, a few recent highlights include:
- Dr Wright’s being lead book editor for The Pandemic Divide: How COVID Increased Inequality in America (Duke Press 2022), an interdisciplinary book that brought together Cook Center researchers and collaborators to analyze issues of inequality directly related to the Center’s focus;
- Dr. Wright’s planning and organizing of the eponymous conference to celebrate the book launch, in addition to previous major event successes such as the Capital Matters: Race, Gender and Entrepreneurship conference in fall 2019 (and corresponding Black Wall Street exhibit); and
- Overseeing the growth of the Cook Center and development of its academic opportunities—including the Hank and Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Summer Research Institute and a semester with Duke Immerse in spring 2020 that made great use of Dr. Wright’s logistical problem-solving—the most recent opportunity of which was the 2021 launch, in partnership with the History Department, of the Inequality Studies minor.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Wright on this much-deserved award!