Brendan Hannon

Brendan Hannon

What is your previous work experience?
I started working at an environmental engineering firm that specialized in geophysical surveys shortly after college. My work there included collecting field data and helping the senior geophysicist or geologist prepare the data for presentation to clients. I then worked Dr. Terry Plank's geochemistry lab processing her samples. I left that when I was offered a full time job teaching math to 4th-8th graders. I enjoyed that job for 3 years, then decided to pursue a career related to environmental conservation.

Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
A close college friend of mine went to Duke for a joint JD/MEM immediately after graduating and raved about the Nic school to me. After I quit working as a schoolteacher, I started researching the issues that were important to me and came up with a list of topics I was interested in. The Nic school was on my radar because of my friend, and when I started looking into the details of my program, I realized it was a place where I could study everything I wanted to study with an emphasis on gaining skills that would empower me to have a meaningful career. Visiting Duke and talking to some of the professors solidified my conviction that it was the right place for me to study, so I applied.

Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I will be focusing on Energy and the environment and any social justice applications of my studies available at Duke. I want to learn how emerging grid technologies can be made widely available and how to foster a will to conserve energy in the larger public. What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student? I am really excited to be surrounded by a community of energetic peers with similar values who are willing to work hard to make a difference. I know that sounds cliché, but I have found it draining to work places where people have different priorities from me, and I have felt like I was wasting my energy in the past. Being able to focus on learning about the things that are important to me while working collaboratively on the issues I want to change is tremendously exciting to me.

What are you doing this summer before you arrive at the Nicholas School?
The highlight of my summer will be a week at fiddle camp in Maine. I go up there to immerse myself in music, learn new skills, and be a part of a magical community. Other than that, I will be planning my move to Durham (this is embarrassingly my first time leaving New York City) and brushing up on statistics.

What are your plans for future work of employment?
I'm excited to see what pathways open up at Duke. I can't wait to begin.

Award ● Dean Scholar

Hometown ● New York, New York

Undergraduate Institute ● Columbia University

Graduation Date

May 2018