Hi there! My name is Noelle and I'm super stoked to be a part of Baldwin!

I grew up in a city called Knoxville, in the eastern part of Tennessee, with my mom and younger brother. It was simple and quiet, and in hindsight really fueled my ambition to find places that were restless with lots of energy and change. Much of my early life was split between school and soccer. I'm thankful for my mom because despite being a single parent she worked really hard to support me and never doubted my perseverance and adaptability. I look back fondly on memories of post-game celebrations and late-night school projects knowing that those moments lead to where I am now and shaped who I am today.

In high school, I especially loved my art classes and being a part of the leadership team on the Art Honors Society. Art has always been a way for me to connect with people and challenge myself, and it was through that community that I got to help paint my first mural. In addition to that, I studied a lot of STEM subjects and writing.

I greatly broadened my scope after high school, when I took a gap year with the first Duke Gap Year Program cohort. That decision changed my life. I traveled to Indonesia with a program called Year On in my first time out of the country, first time being far away from home, and first time truly feeling the freedom and possibility I had to design my life in really cool ways.  I spent ten weeks there as a computer skills teacher and at the end of my trip painted my first four-wall mural-- an extensive collection of ocean imagery.

After that, I traveled to San Francisco which was another first for me. Living in the center of such an innovative city was extremely energizing and clarified many aspects related to my personal and professional development. In the end, I am so thankful I took that opportunity as it really improved my self-confidence and made me think critically about how I want to spend my time at Duke. Through all of those crazy experiences, I now consider myself more capable and open to trying new things. Having multiple chips on my shoulder- low income, black, and female- I didn't always have that sense of limitlessness. It was through tenacity and a strong network of people that I was able to continuously reinvent myself. I am so excited to be a part of Baldwin because I've actually never had the honor/privilege of a powerful female-centric space. I am eager to deepen my relationship with all parts of my identity and help others to do the same.

At Duke, I am planning to study Computer Science and Art. I think STEM and creative fields complement each other well, and I hope to continue growing as an artist for the rest of my life. I am super passionate about movie and game design, Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality technology especially for therapeutic purposes, neurophysiology, conceptual art, and writing. Using technology to enhance creative pursuits fuels me to learn more about the intersections between these disciplines.

I love meeting new people!! My email is ong3@duke.edu - feel free to reach out!