Nancy Kelly to Receive Duke’s Star Advisor Award

April 20, 2017

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Nancy Kelly, director of conferences and special events at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, will receive a 2017 Star Advisor Award today.

Headshot-Nancy Kelly.jpg

Kelly will receive the honor during the Center for Leadership and Social Action’s annual “In the Spotlight” ceremony at 5 p.m. at the Arts Annex at 404 Gattis St.

She was nominated for the award by numerous Nicholas School students and selected as a winner – from a field of 16 outstanding nominees – by a university-wide committee of Duke administrators and student leaders.

In informing Kelly of the honor, committee chair, Jessie Stellini, student development coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs, wrote: “Your dedication to students really stood out to the committee and it was a unanimous decision. Many (students) took the time to write about the impact you’ve had on them as an advisor of the Nicholas School Student Council this year, going above and beyond the call of duty to model the way for them.”

Earlier this year, Kelly was named a blue Devil of the Week for her work to promote sustainability, community, and diversity and inclusion at the Nicholas School.  

At the annual Presidential Awards Luncheon held at noon today, Duke President Richard Brodhead honored her with a Meritorious Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the university.

“Through her passion for helping students, her dedication to sustainability, her commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her tireless hard work, Nancy represents all that is great about the Nicholas School community,” said Jeffrey Vincent, Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School. “We are deeply indebted to her for all she does.”

In their letters nominating her for a Star Advisor Award, students shared numerous examples of the ways Kelly has made difference in their lives.

“I copuld tell you that Nancy is an incredible advisor…that she goes out of her way on a daily basis to attend student club meetings, provide support wherever possible, hand out a MUCH need hug…it’s all 100 percent true, but Nancy is so much more than that,” one student wrote. “She cares so deeply about each individual student.”

Another student wrote: “Nancy personally connects with and supports students, especially international students and others that have more trouble getting adjusted and socially involved. She sets up things like a Thanksgiving bonfire at her house, trips to the coast over Spring Break, and more, for those who can’t go home or don’t celebrate those holidays. I credit her with making the Nicholas School the most wonderful and welcoming community that I’ve ever been a part of.”