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Duncan Knox: ASU Envoy

November 17, 2014

For the past three years, ASU senior Duncan Knox has spent almost as much time as an emissary for the university as he has just being a student.

A history major from Ozona and member of the ASU Honors Program, Knox first represented ASU at the 2012 Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC) Conference in Kansas. Since then, he has been all over the country, most recently making a presentation at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Conference Nov. 5–9 in Denver. Just prior to that, he was in Washington, D.C., as a presidential fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Fall Leadership Conference.

“The major component of the fellowship is a research paper,” Knox said. “We write a 16-30-page paper on a specific topic dealing with the U.S. presidency and congress. There are also two conferences, one in the fall and one in the spring. I attended the first one in October.”

“There were several speakers from institutions like Gallup and Politico, and the deputy secretary of labor was there,” he added. “We also broke into roundtable discussions on our research paper topics to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our research and how we should move forward. At the second conference in the spring, they will hand out awards for the best papers.”

Knox actually kicked off his 2014 travels by representing ASU at the 55th annual Air Force Academy Assembly in Colorado Springs in February. He followed that up with a summer internship in the Office of the Curator at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I’m a history major, so I’m not as interested in the political aspects of the Supreme Court as I am about the history behind it and the history that has been made there,” Know said. “The Office of the Curator is the department that is responsible for chronicling the court’s history, archiving court artifacts and visitor programming.”

“My internship was targeted at two major components, the first being visitor programming,” he added. “So I gave courtroom lectures and tours of the building. The second component was working with the court photographer. I catalogued photographs, attended events where new photos were taken and also helped with making several videos.”

2013 was just as active for Knox as he attended the GPHC Conference in Kansas, the NCHC Conference in New Orleans and the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in Annapolis, Md. He also got to represent ASU overseas as the first-ever ASU student chosen for a Fulbright Summer Institute for Young American Leaders at the University of Bristol in England.

“The theme was ‘Slavery and the Atlantic Heritage,’” Knox said. “We were there for a month and stayed in the Bristol University dorms. We also got to take side trips to Plymouth and other places associated with slavery, but also with our own Atlantic heritage of people who went directly from England to America. We also talked a lot about different industries as Bristol used to be the largest port in England and was built totally on slavery.”

“It was also very interesting in that we studied slavery and Atlantic heritage through history, English and archeology professors,” he added. “We had a different professor for every class, but we had one academic advisor who helped us shape all the diverse lectures into one narrative.”

At each one of the conferences, internships and institutes he has attended, Knox has been part of a select group of students chosen from colleges and universities throughout the U.S. While fulfilling his personal goals and padding his résumé with some very impressive accomplishments, he has also extended ASU’s academic reputation at each stop along the way.

He has also remained incredibly active on the ASU campus. Currently, he is president of the Honors Student Association, Phi Alpha Theta national history honor society and Pi Gamma Mu international social sciences honor society, as well as president pro-tempore of the Student Senate. He is also a member of the Sigma Tau Delta national English honor society and Beta Beta Beta national biology honor society, and he has served on several local nonprofit boards through the Honors Program’s Community Engagement Initiatives. Around all that, he still finds time for intramurals and community service.

After he graduates in May of 2015, Knox plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history with the ultimate goal of a career as a university professor and researcher.