Hey everyone! My name is Emma Zubak, and I’m from Chicago!

As the daughter of two Bosnian immigrants, I am primarily shaped by my cultural values, and each of my Bosnian family members has influenced a different part of my personality. My grandmothers showed me generosity and hospitality, opening their arms and their homes to me, and always looking for ways to make those around them comfortable, safe, and happy. My grandfather, who lost both of his legs in a car accident, is a model of resilience. His immense strength in the face of adversity is something that I look up to and deeply respect. And my parents raised me to always show empathy towards others. They often remind me that most of the time, we know less than half of people’s internal struggles and what they are going through, and because of this, we should always strive to show kindness and look for ways to cheer people up.

On that note, if you’re ever feeling down, I’m happy to hang out, talk, and make some Bosnian food together! (or try to make some. Let’s just say that cooking/baking/making food is not my strong suit. I once tried “washing” some guacamole I made because I thought it would be a good way to dilute the massive amount of salt I put in it. Needless to say, it did not work in the slightest).

At Duke, I want to double major in public policy and Chinese (and potentially take some econ courses along the way) in hopes of one day founding a political consulting company that helps women navigate through the process of running for and getting elected to office. Outside of school, I love all things women’s empowerment - some of my proudest achievements from high school were founding Ambitiously Empowered Voices, an international women’s empowerment organization that inspires young girls to be leaders, and serving on the Board of Directors for SheVotesIL, a political action committee that seeks to educate voters on women’s issues. Beyond that, I enjoy writing poetry, working out, watching romance-related reality TV, spending time with my sister, singing a little too loudly (I learned the hard way that the Alspaugh walls are that thin), and going on random adventures with friends! The best types of hangouts are the spontaneous ones where you end up in an entirely different place than you started. 

The last thing I’ll say is that I’m thrilled to be joining Baldwin this year! I’m the best version of myself in communities of strong, passionate women that support me and push me to grow. I can’t wait to learn from and become best friends with such an impactful group of girls!