Duke University | Baldwin Scholars Program

Kate Van Buskirk


Kate Van Buskirk

My name is Kate Van Buskirk and I am from Brampton, Ontario, Canada.  I have been a competitive runner for the past 8 years, and was drawn to Duke by the incredible combination of athletics and academics.  I am currently a member of the Duke Varsity Women’s Track and Cross-country teams.

Aside from running, my two biggest passions are music and exploring world issues.  I have played piano for 12 years, sang with a community choir called the Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) for 10 years, and am a current member of the Duke Chorale. I love all forms of art, and enjoy attending concerts, plays, dance performances, and visual art exhibits.  Growing up so near Toronto means that I have spent most of my life in a very diverse, multi-cultural community and this is something that I am always trying to surround myself with. 

Between running and singing, I have been provided with some of the most amazing opportunities to travel; I toured with the TCC to England, South Africa, and several places within Canada and the US, and competed in the World Cross-country Championships in France (2005) and Japan (2006).  Traveling globally instilled in me a great understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, and I developed a fascination with the peoples and customs of the places I visited.  These experiences have led to a desire to explore the world so that I may continue to learn about rich traditions and practices around the globe, and so that I may pass this knowledge onto others with the goal of opening minds and creating positive change. 

This aspiration was my main reason for wanting to be a Baldwin Scholar; the women that comprise this group come from a myriad of cultural backgrounds, and have unique stories and experiences to share.  They are strong, intelligent, open-minded, inspired individuals who have bold dreams and creative ideas for realizing them. 

If there is one word that I use to describe myself, and the types of people I want to work with, it is passion, and I truly hope and believe that I have found this in the Baldwin Scholars.