Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Chemistry
Valerie Sheares Ashby is Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill and completed her postdoctoral research at the Universitat Mainz, Germany in 1994 as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and NATO Postdoctoral Fellow. As a researcher, Ashby’s work focused on synthetic polymer chemistry with a present focus on designing and synthesizing materials for biomedical applications such as X-ray contrast agents and drug delivery materials. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Development Award, the DuPont Young Faculty, and 3M Young Faculty Awards. She is an award-winning educator and has experience at all levels of academic administration. She is passionate about mentoring and leadership and helping underrepresented students pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and social, behavioral and economics (SBE) fields.
Ravi V. Bellamkonda
Ravi V. Bellamkonda is the Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. A trained bioengineer and neuroscientist, Bellamkonda holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. His graduate training at Brown University was in biomaterials and medical science (with Patrick Aebischer), and his post-doctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on the molecular mechanisms of axon guidance and neural development (with Jerry Schneider and Sonal Jhaveri). His current research explores the interplay of biomaterials and the nervous system for neural interfaces, nerve repair, and brain tumor therapy. Ravi is committed to fostering transformative research and pedagogical innovation as well as programs that create an entrepreneurial mindset amongst faculty and students.