Scholar Profiles

Joseph Touma

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Huntington, WV
High School: Huntington High School
Academic Interests: Political Science (Major), Markets and Management Studies, Arabic
Extracurriculars/Hobbies: Campus Enterprises, Dukes and Duchesses, Student Organization Financing Committee, American Eagle Youth Council

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

Throughout life, I have found that the times I grew and learned most were those that were most challenging and uncomfortable. The Robertson Program intentionally facilitates this challenging and, at times, uncomfortable environment, placing scholars into new and foreign situations, from the Campus Switch to Community Summer. Knowing that I would be sharing these formative experiences with some of the most gifted and driven members of the Duke and UNC communities ultimately drew me to the Program.

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

My experience as a Robertson Scholar has taught me to venture beyond and explore the unknown. Coming into Duke, I was sure that I would pursue a career in politics. My experiences as a Robertson, including classes I took at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and my internship during Launch Summer, introduced me to the world of business, shaping my career path as I begin to look beyond Duke.

What has been your favorite Robertson moment so far?

During Exploration Summer, I travelled across the Atlantic to learn more about nationalism and independence movements in Europe. Early in my trip, I got access to the Scottish Parliament, observing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her party introduce a plan to give Scottish people the choice to leave the UK. Seeing the leader of a foreign country discuss the very subject I was there to study was fascinating, and the rambunctious response of the opposing Conservative Party made it all that much more exciting.

Touma Joseph 2021