News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Program Report: Dan Kimberg – StudentU

StudentUWebDurham is indeed fortunate to be served by a vibrant organization committed to fostering the intellectual, social and pre-professional development of mostly needy students in the sixth through twelfth grades.  Executive Director Dan Kimberg co-founded StudentU to awaken unknown dreams and to help these students achieve goals—graduating from high school, getting a college degree, gaining rewarding employment—they would never otherwise have imagined.  It seeks to instill in students the notion that they are all “brilliant.”

When he founded StudentU people derided his dream as, among other things, crazy, naïve, unrealistic, and idealistic.  The facts, however, have proved the naysayers wrong.  From fifty students in 2007 the program has exploded to 340 currently.  Beginning on a shoestring, StudentU now has an operating budget of roughly $1.4 million.  Student reading scores eclipse those of not only their economically disadvantaged peers but Durham Public Schools students as well.  Nearly all high school students will have taken at least one Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Honors course. Last year 74% of all grades earned by middle school students were A’s or B’s.  Students are reading above grade level and all 40 of this year’s students are on track to graduate.  Student motivation—as well perhaps as personal well-being or parental expectations—is evidenced by the fact that StudentU participants missed an average of 6 days school compared to the 11 days missed by average Durham Public School students.  Twenty-eight of the graduating class of 40 have so far gained admission to over 90 colleges.

Dan believes there are three principles or factors that account for the success of StudentU:  Partnership, Passion and People who “make the dream possible.”  Major partners include Durham Public Schools, Durham Academy, the four major local universities and businesses.

Admission to StudentU is highly competitive.  All 5th grade students are eligible to apply although added weight is given to economically disadvantaged applicants; and rising 6th grade students are given preference over students in upper grades.  After an initial screening, applicants are chosen randomly.

High school students receive mentoring by staff, guidance counselors and others to prepare them for college and careers.  Alex Zagbayou who heads the high school program related the ways in which StudentU assists students to achieve their goals.  Not only is academic achievement stressed but students are encouraged to participate in after school clubs and to experience internship opportunities.  Prepping for tests such as the ACT which is required by most colleges, guidance in filling out applications, writing essays and experiencing mock interview for college admission or employment are other benefits of the program.  Additionally, tours of college campuses enable StudentU students to gain first hand knowledge about different campuses and to interact with students at those schools. 

One of the highlights of the program was Daniel O’Day, a senior at Jordan High, who was introduced as the embodiment of the ideals of StudentU.   Daniel spoke passionately about how the program had benefitted him, not only academically but in personal well-being including eye examinations, healthy food and even a yoga class.  Being connected to a community of people who helped his development was especially rewarding.  He has gained so much that he feels “an obligation to give back” which he has done by serving as a mentor to younger students and performing 600 or so hours of community service.  Because he spoke with such poise, eloquence and conviction I found it difficult to believe his confession that he used to be shy and quiet.  Daniel indeed embodies the ideals embraced by StudentU.

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg

Ranger Report: Y.E. Smith Goes International

Congratulations to  Chief Reading Ranger Todd Taylor  for organizing a teleconference connecting Y.E. Smith students with Indian students visiting Todd’s office in Ahmedabad. Credit goes to  Communications  Chair Mark Lazenby and Phyllis Coley for getting the great placement on page A-3 in Sunday’s (March 23, 2014) Herald-Sun.  Thanks too, to Duke Corporate Education (where Todd’s other job is) for the generous use of their facilities. Yee-Haw!

This is the picture that appeared with the story and the copy that appeared with it is below.  The link to the story on the Herald-Sun website is here or click on the picture.

Elementary students participate

in global teleconference


Six students from Y.E. Smith Elementary School joined six counterparts from India on Friday in a global teleconference organized by the Durham Rotary Club and Duke CE. At the end of the 70-minute conference, participants on both sides of the globe joined in group photo with Duke CE’s Todd Taylor, the program organizer, Principal Letisha Judd, Coach Smith, Victoria Robinson, and Darlene Escudero, with six AIG students from Y.E. Smith and students and teachers from New Bricks School in Ahmedabad, India, on screen.

Paul Harris Fellows – Vandana Dake and Mark Higgins

MarkandVandanaPHFwebFoundation Chair Dallas Stallings presents Paul Harris Fellow pins to Mark Higgins and President Elect Vandana Dake. This is Plus 4 for Vandana. Congratulations!

Program Report: Advanced Medical Instructor Training

AMITprogramSome of these write-ups are harder to do than others. Monday was one of those. Three different speakers, one roaming with the handheld microphone, over thirty slides packed with information including several that were not in the handout and me forgetting to wear my hearing aids, made for the perfect storm. It’s difficult to capture in 400 or 500 words the essence of a program with a name 17 words long and presenters with titles to match. Nevertheless, here goes.

Eric Miller introduced the presenters who included Amelia Drake, MD, Executive Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the UNC School or Medicine, Bruce Cairns, MD, Director, North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC, and Dr. Prema Menezes, MHS, PhD – Director, PA Program at UNC. What they were there to inform us about was the Advanced Medical Instructor Training (AMIT) for Special Operations Forces Medics and Development of the UNC PA School Program.

The AMIT is a collaborative effort between the University of North Carolina, the School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina Hospitals both based at Chapel Hill and the United States Army Special Operations Command for Medical Training (USASOM) based at Fort Bragg.

Dr. Cairns made a couple of striking observations that seem to underlie the genesis of the program. The first is that there is a deficiency of about 125, 000 medical personnel in the state with rural areas affected the most.  Second he illustrated with some dramatic stories how remarkably capable the medics trained by the army are, especially, as you might expect, in emergencies.

Most inspiring was the story of SFC Karl Holt who survived a helicopter crash where 10 died. With no aid bag, Sergeant Holt tended to 16 other wounded survivors while suffering himself from a broken back, leg, and ankle, dislocated shoulders, facial fractures, missing bone and a brain injury, all while under attack.AMIT medallion

AMIT focuses on furthering the medical training and education of these personnel in the setting of an academic medical center for the purpose of providing professional clinical internship, clinical observation and hands on experience in clinical medicine as well as trauma and burn trauma management of the critically injured.

This 160-hour program prepares these brave soldiers for combat missions around the world. Dr. Cairns reminded the group that we have military bases in 138 countries around the world as well as providing a transition back into the civilian world to use their skills. He noted that the majority in the service come from rural communities and want to go back to these, thus helping to solve the shortage problem.

Dr. Cairns recognized the veterans in the club by personally handing them medallions with the program’s insignia. More were then distributed to the rest of the audience.

More information is available on the website of the UNC Burn Center at  More about the backgrounds of Dr. Drake can be found at; for Dr. Cairns at; and for Dr. Menezes at

Submitted by Jay Zenner

Rotary Minute: Sam Miglarese

SamMiglareseI spent 16 years in Catholic schools, was an altar boy many of those years, and vaguely remember getting a prize in some oratory contest designed to recruit priests. The theme was “many are called, few are chosen.” I also taught 4 years at my old high school and the piece of literature I used to teach the novel was Morte d’ Urban about a worldly priest.  During those 20 years, I encountered many priests.  However, any consideration of being one disappeared somewhere around puberty after I realized the full implications of the vow of chastity.

Therefore,  listening to Sam Miglarese tick off his background in the priesthood…which somehow he seemed to do while still sounding humble…it was obvious to me that he was the kind of superstar priest every diocese would trade a roomful of gold chalices for.  He studied and was ordained at the Vatican, returned to South Carolina where he built one church, restored another in Charleston, was a chaplain at the Citadel and organized a Synod, which is church speak for strategic planning. Knowing Sam, I would bet along the way there was a lot of the counseling and good works that come with the job. Maybe a little missionary work too, since South Carolina isn’t known as a hotbed of Catholicism.

When Sam joked that now as a husband and father he may have gained a little more perspective on counseling people with marriage problems, I felt happy for him but a little sad for the church, even though my ties to Mother Church died many years ago.

However Sam feels about the transition from priest to ex-priest, there are at least three or four organizations that he mentioned that have benefited from his being where he is now. One is Duke University where he is Director of Community Engagement. This, of course, puts him in a leadership position to marshal the vast resources of Duke to the community’s benefit.  So Duke and Durham are glad he’s here.

And then there is Rotary.  Sam’s turn as president was in 2009-2010. He led our highly successful participation in the Million Meals campaign and the refurbishment of the Rotary Bandstand at Bennett Place, where the Civil War really ended. He also traveled to England and helped establish our relationship with Durham England as a Sister City and a partner in Rotary projects with their Rotary Club.

His most enduring Rotary legacy may be using his Synod experience to initiate with another past president, Susan Ross, a strategic planning process that left a strong foundation that each new president now builds on. We have MaryAnn Black to thank for sponsoring Sam back in 2004 and putting him on a fast track for Club leadership.

Lest anybody think that leaving the Catholic Church meant Sam was turning away from his God, please note, that even with everything else he does, he is also an assistant pastor for First Presbyterian Church in Downtown Durham.

Concluding, Sam mentioned that it should be obvious that he had a few left turns along the way or, as he quoted a Spanish proverb, “God writes straight with crooked lines.”


New Members: Lisa Miles and Craig Brown

CraigBrownLisa Miles

Lisa Miles is born and bred in North Carolina; originally from Graham, she earned her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies at UNC-G before attending Campbell University School of Law.
Lisa has worked as a criminal defense attorney since 1991. For the past eight years, she has dedicated herself almost exclusively to death penalty litigation, representing death row inmates in both pre-trial and post-conviction scenarios. Lisa previously worked for the state, then last year opened her own private practice in an office on Broad Street. Lisa and her husband Mark are passionate Durham-ites who live just on the outskirts of downtown. In their free time, the couple enjoys horseback riding, fine dining, and travelling together.

Judge Craig Brown

1)   Early Life

a)   Born in Iowa City, Iowa

b)   1979, B. A. , Political Science, UNC CH

c)   1983, J.D. , UNC

d)   1983, Masters Degree in Public Policy, Duke University

e)   1983 – 1996 Practiced law in Durham

f)    1984 – Lost his sight

g)   1985 – NC Lawyer of the Year Award (for his work in establishing TROSA)

h)   1996 – Governor James B. Hunt appointed him to the District Court Bench

i)     2008 – Retired from the bench for medical reasons

2)   Author

a)   Blind Justice, 2009

b)   A Fork in the Road, 2011

3)   Awards

a)   US Senate Youth Scholar – William Randolph Hearst Foundation (2 from each state)

b)   UNC Chancellor’s Award

c)   Visionary Leadership Award for the development of a comprehensive truancy court system for elementary, middle and high school, Durham Public Schools, Ella B. Spaulding Mediation Center

4)   Politics

a)   Safety Patrol Captain in 5th Grade

b)   Ran for SBP @ UNCCH (lost)

c)   District Court Judge

5)   Craig is a legacy Member – his Dad was an active member of this Rotary club for many years

Brown Family Scholarship @ TCF Benefitting Emily K Center