Alumni Profiles

Sierra Winters

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Yadkinville, NC
High School: Forbush High School

Academic Interests: I am majoring in Cultural Anthropology at Duke with a certificate in Documentary Studies, and I am also majoring in Food Studies at UNC. I am particularly interested in documenting and influencing the eating habits of people around the world. I hope to use my career to promote mindful eating by highlighting the cultural influences of food, making foodways more ethical and environmentally sustainable, and spreading body positivity. This will likely take the form of a vegan chef or restaurant owner, combined with the offering of yoga.

Extracurriculars / Hobbies: I spent my Exploration Summer in India receiving my 500-hour yoga teacher certification, and I now teach classes at Duke. I am also president of Duke’s Triathlon Club, which has given me the opportunity to travel the world for races. I love backpacking, dancing, and I am constantly cooking vegan food.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

The intellectual capacity of Robertson Scholars demonstrated through conversations and pursuits of knowledge that occur on a day-to-day basis, combined with the confidence that they exhibit through summer programs and activities during the school year, made it clear to me that I would thrive in the Robertson Scholars environment. I especially appreciate that this program is an investment in its participants’ futures, rather than a stagnant reward for their past high school achievements. I look forwards to working with the advisers and my fellow Scholars in expanding our abilities to create positive change in a variety of interdisciplinary fields, even after graduation.

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

The Robertson Program has taught me that some of the best career paths are the most unconventional. I have learned that no matter how uncommon I feel my passion is at Duke–there are not many students here who want to own a vegan restaurant for a career–it is not in the slightest an unworthy passion. I can explore the food scene, supported by interdisciplinary topics in academia, through LEAD grants, during summers, and for the rest of my life. The staff and fellow Scholars have been incredibly supportive of, and collaborative with, me.

What has been your favorite Robertson moment so far?

Colloquium was a highlight of my week the spring of freshman year. Not only did I get to see some of my closest college friends, but I also got a glimpse inside of their impressive minds. In a respectful and intellectually constructive manner, I learned about how our different backgrounds shape our beliefs and ambitions.

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