Daniel Saurborn

Degree and Year: 
BA 1992
Professional Title: 
Co-Founder and Chief Wellness Officer
Employer: 
PrayerSpark

Professional Background: 
After graduating from Duke with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences and English Composition, I spent a year as Personal Assistant to Reynolds Price, Duke Professor of English. I was blessed by Reynolds' constant mentorship while he actively encouraged me to pursue a humanistic blending of the medical sciences and the writing arts. It was grand advice indeed. After receiving my advanced medical training at Harvard Medical School and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (where I published extensively and received numerous awards, including the Harvard Medical School Teaching Award, and the Pendergrass Award for Medical Education), I went on to co-found several companies in the emerging fields of TeleMedicine, TeleHealth, and Connected Wellness. These companies include Radiology 24/7 (a leading provider of medical imaging services), PrayerSpark (a novel platform to send prayers and positive affirmations to anyone in the world regardless of religious affiliation), and Arete World Enterprises (developer of iSurvive personal safety app, myQuitTime smoking cessation app, and SunMinder skin cancer prevention app).

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
All doctors graduate medical school with the tools necessary to care for their patients, but not everyone graduates with the ability to communicate scientific information in lucid prose. Under the guidance of Reynolds Price, Melissa Lentricchia, Lee Smith, Michael Moon, and Elizabeth Cox (my Duke English professors), I learned to explore and refine my written voice. Although one would expect that such talent is best suited to writing fiction, it is remarkably effective for crafting informative business communications that invigorate rather than fatigue. This is a skill that I rely upon every day in my professional career. It is my pleasure and privilege to call Duke English my Alma Mater.