Amanda Curtin Soydan, Ph.D.
Director of the SPIRE Fellow Program. Academic Dean for Trinity transfer students. Editor for Trinity Requirements & Academic Deans Website.
I was born and raised in South Africa, and am an outdoors/nature fanatic! After high school I worked and traveled around the globe for a few years before being the first in my family to attend university. I earned a B.S. in Zoology and Geology, along with an Honors degree in Palaeontology and a Master’s in Zoology from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. I came to the US to complete my Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and Technology at Drexel University. I was interested in revisiting my paleobiology roots, so started postdoctoral research with the amazing Dr. V. Louise Roth at Duke around the evolution of dwarfism in large mammals, e.g. elephantids. Through my own experiences as a student as well through exploring the scholarship of teaching and learning as an instructor, I developed an interest in higher education, particularly the fields of student development and learning sciences. This lead me to the Academic Resource Center (ARC), where I was the Senior Learning Consultant and a STEM Learning Specialist. I was also a Researcher in the Office of Undergraduate Education Research unit along side Dr. Molly Weeks. Being able to partner with staff, faculty and especially students, on evolving learning experiences is a source of real joy for me. In my free time I enjoy traveling with my husband Ben, going on long hikes with our dog Bodie and love the nature, music and foodie vibe in Durham! Some fun facts about me, I have lived on 5 of the six continents, I know 4 languages and can hold a conversation in a couple more, I play the drums (and my husband does too) and love working on creative and artistic projects!