AprilDudash Keeping it on the record.

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Opening up about death: Duke professor brings hospice experience into the classroom

Posted December 20, 2013 at 17:05 in

Jehanne Gheith’s Duke students hovered over pieces of paper during their last class of the semester and concentrated on writing a letter to their future selves.

The personal paragraphs were sealed in an envelope. Its contents revolved around what they’d hope to remember four years from now about Gheith’s class on hospice care, about the difficult and somewhat taboo topic of death and dying.

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The organists at Duke Chapel

Posted November 25, 2013 at 20:08 in

Liz Paley’s fingers rolled across the top of the organ’s keyboards, quick and calculated as if the keys were hot, and the sturdy Flentrop replied to her with a voice of 5,033 pipes.

It was a Tuesday, midday within Duke Chapel, and a couple holding hands in the nave glanced up, trying to find the mysterious organist behind the booming Bach Gigue Fugue.

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Family and friends gather to remember "Man-Man"

Posted November 25, 2013 at 20:08 in

A group gathered near a manhole cover in the middle of Morning Glory Avenue Saturday, staring at the gray asphalt, then up at the gray sky.

“This is the exact spot where he was laying,” said Selenta Jones. “I’ll never forget it.”

On Nov. 5, JeVontez DeShawn Massey, nicknamed “Man-Man” by his family, was shot along Morning Glory Avenue, near Belt Street. He died, only 22 years old, and left a 1-year-old daughter behind.

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Open Doors | New N.C. Central LGBTA center sets stage for historically black universities

Posted August 5, 2013 at 19:07 in

NCCU sophomore Deatrin Sutton said he now has a place to hang out, to chill with other students on campus.

But more than that, he has a haven of acceptance, where he can talk with other students, faculty and staff who can relate. Sutton came out in high school on Twitter. He’s the NCCU president of COLORS, the student organization focused on Creating Open Lives for Real Success. And his boyfriend’s vice president.

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Smiles & Pranks | Teen with rare immune system condition makes most of long Duke Hospital stay

Posted August 5, 2013 at 19:07 in

Past the pink butterflies and fat alligators drawn on the pediatric floor windows is Derek Icenhour’s room. He watches the bustle of the nurses’ station from his bed, where he’s hooked up to an IV 20 hours a day.

The other four hours mean freedom to Derek, who has spent almost three months on the fifth floor of Duke University Hospital. His father, Tony, can say they’ve spent 129 days in the hospital this year without looking at a calendar.

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Airborne op brings together German and Fort Bragg paratroopers

Posted May 2, 2013 at 01:01 in

Twenty-seven paratroopers were packed like matchsticks in the belly of a roaring German C-160. The aircraft growled with violent vibration as it took off, its chains and static lines swaying.

The jump

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Two military perspectives, one high school

Posted February 1, 2013 at 01:01 in

Dorian Wright is vice president of his sophomore class, command chief master sergeant of the E.E. Smith Air Force JROTC and lives on Fort Bragg with his military family. Yolanda Shorts served 8 years in the Army as a wire systems installer, and this is her first year teaching physical science at E.E. Smith. Both have different perspectives of serving, but they share the same love for their school.

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Oldest serving Army reservist retires

Posted January 22, 2013 at 23:11 in

The Army is celebrating its 238th anniversary this year, and Hector Morales has served a quarter of that legacy.

He is the oldest serving member of the Army Reserve, and he’s stationed at U.S. Army Reserve Command on Fort Bragg. On Thursday, generals to privates honored Morales’ 60 years of service during his retirement ceremony.

Morales was born in Puerto Rico in 1931, the year Herbert Hoover was U.S. president, Bing Crosby’s crooning was all the rage and a gallon of gas cost 17 cents.

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Operation Toy Drop

Posted December 17, 2012 at 00:12 in

The paratroopers always look like jellyfish to me. I watched hundreds of them in action at the beginning of the month during Fort Bragg’s Operation Toy Drop, where soldiers donate a toy for a chance to earn foreign jump wings. I teamed up with two kick-butt videographers to help shoot and produce this video.

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Among the birds

Posted December 2, 2012 at 20:08 in

I’ve spent a lot of time the past two weeks at Pope Field, Fort Bragg’s air field, covering the future of military aviation.

Two C-130s under maintenance

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Hello There

I currently live in Raleigh, N.C., and am a writer within Duke University’s Office of Communication Services (Working@Duke).

I’m a former higher education reporter for The Durham Herald-Sun, military reporter at The Fayetteville Observer, and staff writer for Elite Magazine, the first military lifestyle magazine to serve North Carolina. I also am president of the of Society of Professional Journalists North Carolina chapter.

I am a University of Florida graduate (Go Gators), and I have worked for the Society of Professional Journalists national headquarters, The Independent Florida Alligator, The North Florida Herald in High Springs, Fla., WCJB TV20 and ABC News On Campus.

I also love to collaborate on creative projects, whether it be with music, poetry, fiction or improv. If you need help editing a chapter of your short story or are looking for someone to jam with, I’m your gal.

If you would like to get in touch with me, feel free to e-mail me at aprildudash@gmail.com.

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