Scholar Profiles

Jessica Edelson

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Blue Bell, PA
High School: Wissahickon High School

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

I believe that the best liberal arts education is one that cannot be found solely in the confines of books and computers, but also through the freedom and liberation that exploration provides. The Robertson Program best embodies this philosophy, challenging students to seek new perspectives and to creatively engage with the world around them. I was excited to learn from a community of diverse thinkers motivated by the desire to make the world a better place.

How has your experience with the Robertson shaped your goals and career path?

The intersection of technology and the humanities- where foreign affairs meets blockchain, social interaction meets media, design meets governance- is where I best operate. Interdisciplinary curiosity is part of the Robertson Program’s DNA- and I aim to embody this spirit as I explore how technology and media are shaping foreign affairs, political behaviors, and digital ethics. As I move forward, I want to continue connecting the dots between seemingly disparate fields- whether through working in cyber-security in the public sector, leveraging design and entrepreneurship to re-imagine old systems, or writing technology policy. I am grateful to be a part of a community that encourages me to challenge the status quo, re-imagine what is possible, and, ultimately, put my plans into action.

What has been your favorite Robertson moment so far?

I spent my community summer in Tarboro, a small town located in rural Eastern North Carolina. While I left the summer with a wonderful work experience and a deep sense of humility and gratitude, I am most grateful for the friendships I built with fellow scholars. Whether picking blueberries at the crack of dawn, road tripping on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or competing at town-wide trivia night (spoiler: we were chronically in second place), our days were spent laughing, exploring, and pushing each other to step outside of our comfort zones.

Edelson Jessica