The Kenan Biddle Partnership, funded by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, was initiated in 2009 to foster collaboration between students at Duke and UNC. The Partnership annually awards $55,000 to projects led by students at both universities. Applicants are invited to propose an innovative initiative that addresses a social or environmental need within the campus communities, Triangle, or beyond.


Wendell McCain

Honorary Alumnus, Onset Capital Partners

Wendell McCain is the Chairman and CEO of Onset Capital Partners, a global asset management firm. Prior to founding Onset, Wendell was co-founder and managing partner of Parish Capital Advisors, a global private equity firm with $2 billion under management. He received a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School. McCain currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National African Art Museum and is on the Board of Trustees for the NC Nature Conservancy, UNC College of Arts and Sciences, UNC Civil Rights Center. 

Kevin Trapani

Honorary Alumnus, The Redwoods Group

Kevin A. Trapani is president and chief executive officer of The Redwoods Group, an insurance provider dedicated to protecting YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers and nonprofit resident camps around the nation. He also is president of The Redwoods Group Foundation. A 1979 Duke University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Trapani is a member of the Advisory Committee for Duke’s CASE (Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) that promotes the entrepreneurial pursuit of social impact through business. 

Jakelin Bonilla

Campus Y at UNC-Chapel Hill

Sista Jakelin “Jaki” Bonilla graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2012 with a major in Global Studies and a minor in Entrepreneurship. At UNC, she founded Linking Immigrants to New Communities, which helps ease the transition of recent immigrants through student interaction and awareness-raising in the community, and served on the UNC Emerging Communities Taskforce that established the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative, dedicated to developing a greater awareness of Latina/o issues, cultures and identities. Jakelin also conducted ethnographic research and volunteered in Central and South America, served as co-chair of the Great Decisions Program, mentored in the Scholars Latino Initiative, and worked as a Senior Intern in the Bonners Leaders Program at the Campus Y. After graduating from UNC she served as the director of the Campus Y’s Global Gap Year Fellowship for three years before she was awarded the Henry Luce Scholarship and worked at the United Nations Official Migration Agency-International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Thailand. Jakelin has recently returned to the Campus Y to continue supporting students' social justice and social innovation initiatives. 

Callie Brauel

UNC Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Callie Brauel received her BA and BS in Business Administration and Economics respectively from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2009. Since December of 2016, she has worked as the Assistant Director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Previously, she has worked as a Production Assistant for Innovate Carolina. In August of 2010, Ms. Brauel co-founded A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN), an organization that strengthens impoverished rural communities in Ghana, West Africa. Brauel has received numerous awards from UNC Chapel Hill including Kenan Flager Young Alumni of the Year in 2012 and UNC Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year in 2014.

Matt Nash

Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

Matthew Nash is the Managing Director for Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University, designing and managing university-wide social innovation and entrepreneurship programming for the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. He is also a visiting lecturer at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Nash received both his BA and MBA from Yale University. Before coming to Duke, Nash worked as a senior consultant in strategy and change management with the public-sector practice at IBM Business Consulting Services. He also led the Leadership Institute at Yale’s Center for Public Service. Nash has received multiple awards, including Vice President Al Gore’s Hammer Award for reinventing government.

Amanda Graham

Carolina Performing Arts

Dr. Amanda Jane Graham is Associate Director of Engagement at Carolina Performing Arts. She is former Visiting Professor of Media and Society at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern University. Graham has also worked as a community organizer, art gallery director, and public school art teacher. She received her Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from University of Rochester, M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from York University, and M.S. in Education from Brooklyn College. Her scholarly articles on dance, art, and media have appeared in Art Journal, Dance Chronicle, ASAP/J, and a number of curatorial catalogues.

Yalitza Ramos

Campus Y at UNC-CH

Yalitza is a double Tar Heel, having earned from UNC a Masters in Social Work in 2014 and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish in 2005. Between studies, Yalitza has worked for Carolina on local, statewide, and global projects in the areas of program evaluation, early childhood education, high-quality instruction, educational access, asset development, and financial empowerment. As part of her field work and in partnership with Volunteers for Youth, Yalitza taught a service-learning course for Buckley Public Service Scholars in the SMART Mentoring program. For over a decade she volunteered in the community with organizations such as the Orange County Literacy Council, Girls on the Run of the Triangle, former Family Violence Prevention Center, and Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools. Most recently, she was at Durham’s Partnership for Children working to ensure high-quality standards and compliance for funded partners, build strong partnerships within communities, and engage families and communities in leadership and advocacy. Yalitza lives in Durham with her husband and daughters.

Leslie Babinski

Sanford School of Public Policy

Leslie Babinski is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Babinski also works as an associate director of the Center for Child and Family Policy, the director of the Child Policy Research certificate program, and co-director of the Duke School Research Partnership. She received her BS from the University of Scranton in 1985 and both her MA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 and 1993, respectively. Babinski is a principal investigator for two Institute for Education Sciences-funded grants. Babinski has co-authored numerous journal articles including “Teachers’ Expectations and Self-Efficacy for Working with Bullies and Victims” (Psychology in the Schools, January 2014) and “Safe Passages” (Journal of Teacher Education, September 2003).

Professor Daniel Gitterman

UNC Public Policy

Daniel Gitterman is the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill. He serves as Chair of the UNC Department of Public Policy, and Director of the Honors Seminar in Public Policy and Global Affairs (Washington, DC). At Carolina, he has received fellowships from the Institute of Arts and Humanities (Academic Leadership Program; Chairs Leadership Program) and the Global Research Institute (inaugural program Globalization, the Economic Crisis and the Future of North Carolina). He has received the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the John L. Sanders Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Service at Carolina. Professor Gitterman received a BA from Connecticut College, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and an AM and PhD in Political Science from Brown University.

Leslie Parkins

Duke Office of Civic Engagement

Leslie Parkins is the Assistant Director for the Duke Office of Civic Engagement. She has more than 13 years of experience developing community partnerships and faculty civic engagement. At Duke she is expanding and strengthening efforts to connect the campus with communities through meaningful and reciprocal partnerships. Leslie studied communication at the University of South Florida and holds a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate from North Carolina State University in higher education administration.

Ryan Nilsen

Carolina Center for Public Service

Ryan B. Nilsen works as a senior program officer for community engagement with the APPLES Service-Learning and Buckley Public Service Scholars programs in the Carolina Center for Public Service at the UNC-Chapel Hill. He received his master’s degree in theological studies with a focus on experiential education from Duke University and a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership from the School of Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill. His undergraduate degree is in English and international studies with a minor in mathematics from North Carolina State University, where he was a Park Scholar. Ryan has also worked for DukeEngage, Duke Service-Learning, the National Farm Ministry and FaithAction International House.

Professor Pedro Lasch

Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Pedro Lasch received his BFA from Cooper Union in 1999. Lasch has taught art, art theory, and visual studies at Duke University since 2002. He divides his time between Duke and New York, where he leads ongoing projects with immigrant communities and art collectives. Lasch has created many solo exhibitions and projects including Open Routines (Queens Museum of Art, 2006), Black Mirror (Nasher Museum of Art, 2008), and Abstract Nationalism & National Abstraction (The Phillips Collection, 2014). In addition to his solo projects, Lasch has also authored two books.

Professor Jonathan Weiler

UNC Global Studies

Jonathan Weiler has been the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill since 2005. He has taught courses in Russian Politics, Human Rights, European Politics, Sports and Globalization, and Comparative Development. In September of 2016, Weiler was awarded the Philip E. Converse Book Award for his book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics (Cambridge: 2009), co-authored with Vanderbilt University political science professor Marc Hetherington. He was also awarded The Global Partnership Award in 2015-16 and has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post since 2009, on topics including American politics, global affairs and college athletics.

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The Kenan Biddle Partnership promotes collaboration between Duke and UNC students. Ideal projects will offer innovative solutions to a social or environmental need within their campus, local, or global community.