I am Estefany Noria, a recent Duke graduate with an A.B. in Environmental Sciences and Policy. I aim to pursue a career in urban planning and am especially interested in regional policies addressing affordable housing, public transit, and urban agriculture. Ultimately, I see planning policy as a critical tool for promoting and ensuring social equity. I am energized by the intricacies of these processes and my potential to contribute to a vision where thoughtful urban design allows economic viability, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability to abound.

My undergraduate career at Duke has been defined by rediscovery, with my experiences as a Baldwin Scholar having played a key role in my personal renewal. Academic components of the Baldwin program, including a freshman year negotiation segment and senior capstone class examining the role of women in the professions, allowed me to contextualize my personal aspirations as a woman, a Latina, a first generation college student, and the daughter of immigrant parents.

Equally as important was my Baldwin-sponsored transformative summer experience, which I leveraged to explore the intersection of food security, environmental policy, and community development for a six-month period in Ecuador. My learning included work with an organic farming enterprise, an environmentally themed children’s summer camp, and a WWOOF ecological preserve. Upon return to Duke, I was inspired to pursue environmental design within an academic context with the ultimate goal of spearheading urban planning policies within our country’s largest cities.

I can confidently say that I would not be the student, thinker, dreamer, and voice I am today without the support afforded to me by the Baldwin Scholars program. Baldwin has exposed me to modes of thinking I would not have experienced otherwise, provided me with unique opportunities for personal and academic development, and equipped me with the skills and determination to carve out my own path as a woman at Duke and the world beyond.