Duke University | Baldwin Scholars Program

Mia King


Mia King

I am honored and blessed to have been selected to be a Baldwin Scholar as a member of the class of 2019 and look forward to the next 4 years with my Baldwin sisters. 

I consider myself half Georgia Peach/Southern Belle and half Pacific Northwest Granola Girl. I grew up in the south, but halfway through fifth grade, my family picked up and moved to Seattle, Washington. Coming to Duke was a way of returning to my roots, but the Robertson Scholars program has eased my transition nonetheless. The South and the PNW have two notably different cultures, and having experienced both is perhaps what first inspired my passion for traveling and experiencing new cultures. Through various ambassador programs, global service learning trips and summer courses, I have been able to travel to Stratford Upon-Avon, England; Kobe, Japan; Mastatal, Costa Rica; and Dindefelo, Senegal.

While I know that travel is definitely in my future, I am more unsure when it comes to what my academic futuremight hold. I have a wide variety of interests and am working diligently to funnel them into a potential major/minor configuration before next spring. Areas I am passionate about include math, computer science, and literature. I am especially interested in the overlap between all three areas, and enjoy coding intricate math processes in my spare time. I was able to further develop these skills during a software engineering internship at Microsoft this past summer. In my spare time, I enjoy working to improve my photography skills and love taking portraits of my friends and family, using both film and digital photography. 

I am also an avid reader whose material ranges from African American literature to historical fiction to science fiction. My love for words, and the journey that can be found between the covers of a book are perhaps what inspired my passion for experiencing new cultures not only on the pages, but also first-hand. I have learned what power letters can have when strung together, positively, negatively, or even naively. Within my own school community, this passion inspired me to bring awareness to the vast and varying life experiences present and how people’s backgrounds factored into their on-campus experience.

I founded, and helped lead, a committee charged with promoting the discussion of typically taboo topics like race and socio-economic class. In doing so, I combatted hurtful forces like micro-aggressions which were rampant in my community.
I have since continued this journey at Duke and have recently been selected to serve on the University Task Force on Bias and Hate Issues. Next semester I will also be conducting an independent study. I will be applying Affect Control Theory (a sociological concept capturing how social interactions affect our identity) to the internal mechanisms behind Stereotype Threat as introduced by Claude Steele in his book Whistling Vivaldi, furthering my passion through research.

My other extra-curriculars include Duke Business Oriented Women, being a columnist for The Standard- an online publication, and a member of the Duke Debate team. I was originally drawn to the Baldwin program by its promise to surround me by strong women equally, if not more, passionate and determined as I am. The support and warmth that emanates from my Baldwin sisters has, and surely will continue, to make all of the difference in my Duke experience.