James Wahlberg (MALS 2017) has been awarded a GradEngage fellowship for Spring 2020, GradEngage, a program of DukeEngage, was established to provide twelve Duke graduate students with the opportunity to deepen a partnership with a North Carolina community during winter break and spring semester. As a GradEngage Fellow, James will continue his work with Friends of Geer Cemetery (FoGC), an organization whose mission is "to reclaim, restore, and respect one of Durham’s first burial grounds for the African American public."
James earned a BS in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin, did graduate work in molecular virology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and was a scientist in biotechnology for over twenty years. In 2017 he earned an MA from Duke's Graduate Liberal Studies Program with his Exemplary Master's Project, Story As Biology, which combined his training and experience as a biologist with humanistic analysis to explore ways story and storytelling arise from and influence our biological and cultural selves. He is now enrolled in advanced studies with GLS and is in the second year of the University of Chicago Basic Program in Liberal Education where he is learning Homeric Greek to enable reading some of our oldest stories in their nearest original form.