Burke Scarbrough

Degree and Year: 
BA 2003
Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor of English Education
University of Minnesota Duluth

Professional Background: 
After Duke, I completed a master's in English Education at Columbia's Teachers College, then helped to open a new public high school in NYC. That work sent me back to grad school for a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. I now coordinate UMD's undergraduate English Education program, helping shape the next generation of middle and high school English teachers in Minnesota while conducting classroom literacy research. My other research interest, in the roles that summer does (or could) play in youth development and educational opportunity, is informed by 15 years (and counting) teaching at Phillips Exeter Academy's Summer School.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
I left Duke with a broad foundation in literature and a strong confidence in my ability to tussle productively with texts. That disposition to see reading difficulty as pleasure and play is one that has framed my teaching of learners from middle school to graduate school, in struggling public schools and elite private schools alike. The mentorship and personal outreach that I enjoyed from so many Duke English professors has also informed the kind of teacher and advisor I am today. Finally, I found a close-knit community within Duke's cohort of English majors that includes my wife and several of my closest friends; the chance to commune around a shared passion for literature and writingäóîboth on campus and in the wonderful Duke in New York programäóîis such a large part of what I value in my Duke education.
Burke Scarbrough