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What is Blue Devil Buddies?

Blue Devil Buddies (BDB) is a one-on-one mentorship program that matches incoming students with current Duke students based on similar hobbies, interests, and/or personality characteristics. The program — designed by the Duke Student Government — aims to help students navigate their transition to Duke by fostering a connection with a student who can provide support and advice for the fall semester. Whether it's picking classes and clubs or adjusting to the college environment, mentees can receive support from their mentor on a wide range of topics. We hope the BDB program will ease incoming students’ transition and allow mentees to jump-start some connections with their peers both before the fall semester starts and as we move into the academic year.



Over the summer, mentors and mentees fill out a survey to get matched. Once the pairings are released, the rest of the summer is spent flexibly getting to know ones Blue Devil Buddy. Come Fall, each mentee will have a one-on-one mentor!

Sign-up form

The matching survey will remain open until June 24 at the link above (BDB22.CARRD.CO).

pairings released

The mentor/mentee pairings will be released on July 4. 

coming soon

Mentor videos, graphics, testimonials, conversation starters, and more!


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6



Meet the team

Project Leads

Brandon Qin

Class of 2024

Navya Belavadi

Class of 2024

I am a rising Junior from Austin, Texas. At Duke University, I am studying Biology, Computer Science, and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate. When I am not leading Blue Devil Buddies, I am serving as a senator in Duke Student Government, coordinating community service with Project BUILD, giving tours as a Tour Guide, and being a part of Duke Cru. Blue Devil Buddies played an integral role in my first year, and I am so excited to continue to shape the future of the program!

To my future blue devil buddy — I’m a rising Junior from Greensboro, North Carolina and I am studying Economics, Finance, Psychology, and the Decision Sciences certificate. When I am not leading Blue Devil Buddies or doing Duke Student Government projects, I am involved in Scale & Coin, SHAPE, DIIG, The Standard, Student Founders, and research. I also love music, drinking coffee, working out, and trying new restaurants with friends! Can’t wait to go to one of my favorite places on campus with you: Vondy cafe, Red Mango, or the Gardens!


Akhilesh Shivaramakirshnan

Class of 2025


Chloe Decker

Class of 2025


Ishaan Brar

Class of 2025


Matthew O'Stricker

Class of 2025


Rosa Golchin

Class of 2024

Akhilesh: I'm going to be a sophomore at Duke this fall! I'm majoring in global health and public policy with a minor in psych. In my free time, I like to run, and right now, I'm binge watching Grey's Anatomy. On campus, I love the food at Ginger & Soy and Tandoor (but also marketplace breakfast!) and hanging out in WU. I'm looking forward to implementing BDB this year!

Chloe: Coming to Duke can be intimidating, and I think the mentorship of older Blue Devils is SO helpful as you transition into your new life in Durham. I am a rising sophomore studying Public Policy, with a focus on education, gender inequity, and law. On campus, I am involved in Duke Student Government, Women in Politics, and research at the Sanford School. Off campus, I work with Durham residents at the Community Empowerment Fund.

Ishaan: I'm a second-year interested in studying Global Health and Biology on the Pre-med Track. Outside of Duke Student Government, I'm also involved with TedxDuke, the Duke Medical Ethics Journal, Duke Tour guides, tented this past semester, and do research at the Jones Lab. My favorite chill spot is the BC Plaza, and my favorite place to eat is Ginger and Soy. In my free time, I love to watch and review movies. My Blue Devil Buddy was amazing and helped me acclimate to Duke, and I want to be a BDB to help do the same!

Matthew: I love to play video games, listen to music, make playlists, and occasionally draw. Public Policy is my major; however, I also have a great interest in Marketing and Sales. My main decision in wanting to be a Buddy stemmed from my desire to leave an impact on the community I’ve been blessed to be a part of for the last 2 years. On campus, you will usually see me in the Gardens by the pond, studying at WU, or in the gym.

Chase Barclay.jpg

Chase Barclay

Co-Lead; Class of 2024

Sophie Smith

Co-Lead; Class of 2024

I am an Economics and Math double major from Dallas, TX! In my free time, I like to run, play tennis, travel, watch the Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks, and play fantasy sports. On campus, my favorite things are Ginger + Soy Shanghai bowls, tenting in K-ville, and working out in Wilson. Being able to share and pass forward what I have learned while at Duke and become a mentor figure like so many upperclassmen were for me really foster my desire to be a Blue Devil Buddy.

I wanted to be a Blue Devil Buddy because I have had the privilege to participate in various organizations, professional tracks, and extracurriculars while at Duke. These range from Duke Student Government and Bass Connections research to Duke Admissions work, A Cappella, and Program II involvement! I hope to impart what I have learned along the way to someone in need of guidance and most of all, develop a relationship with yet another Blue Devil!


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Alex Dray

Class of 2025


Kunmi Ojo

Class of 2025

Sam Sheekey

Class of 2025


Viktoria Wulff-Andersen

Class of 2025

David Surzykiewicz

Co-Lead; Class of 2025

Nicole Rosenzweig

Co-Lead; Class of 2024

Kunmi: I am a rising sophomore majoring in Economics and on the pre-med track. I truly believe the best thing about Duke is the people and the diverse communities that you can be a part of. That is why I think this mentor program has the potential to be so great. It can give incoming freshmen a chance to meet upperclassmen and know of the amazing spaces that exist at Duke. Outside of BDB, I'm on the club tennis team, house council, Black Student Association, and Duke Africa. I'm also Christian and involved in a student-led bible study on campus!

Sam: I took a gap year after High School, working on a political campaign and camping in Hawaii. At Duke, I am a tour guide, a member of Business Oriented Women, and a senator of the Duke Student Government. Although I have not yet declared my major, I am planning on an interdepartmental major in Public Policy and Psychology with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. My BDB helped me answer countless questions and support me through the highs and lows of my first year.

Viktoria: I'm a sophomore from Danbury, Connecticut who is thrilled to be a part of the Blue Devil Buddy content team. Outside of academics, I serve many student organizations—from acting as the Secretary-General of the Duke International Relations Association to operating as the historian for the Duke Justice Project and more. In my spare time, I enjoy classical literature and horror movies.

I'm excited to be part of Blue Devil Buddies!

In my experience as both a Blue Devil Buddy mentee and mentor, I've seen how amazing this program is, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet people in different class years at Duke. Helping the student government team coordinate Blue Devil Buddies over the past couple of years has been very rewarding and enjoyable. Outside of student government, I'm involved in Duke Moot Court, SHAPE, and Jewish Life at Duke. I look forward to seeing the Blue Devil Buddy program continue to grow and connect students with each other!

Implementation & Evaluation

James Zheng

Lead; Class of 2023

I'm a proud Colorado native and a rising senior pursuing a double major in Biomedical and Electrical/Computer Engineering. My hobbies include watching cooking shows, exploring nature, maintaining an amateur VSCO page, and playing the piano. I am very excited to continue working with the Blue Devil Buddies team and hope that the connections formed through the program will be meaningful for upperclassmen and first-years alike.

Have Questions about the BDB Program?

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