The faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.
– LG 31
The laity can be called to cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the sake of its growth and life. This can be done through the exercise of different kinds of ministries according to the grace and charisms which the Lord has been pleased to bestow on them.
– Paul VI, EN 73
At the heart of our formation of students as disciples is our Small Group Ministry. Both graduates and undergraduates have been tasked with meeting the spiritual needs of our community by gathering once a week with their peers to encounter Christ in Scripture. Through diligent prayer and personal outreach, these student leaders form the heartbeat of our Catholic community, and are helping to shape the future of the Church at Duke and beyond.
Undergraduate and graduate students also serve as Student Directors and Coordinators in the Duke Catholic Center. They are an essential part of every aspect of ministry at Duke. They are responsible for assisting in the development of programs and coordinating student engagement in liturgy, justice and service, intellectual and spiritual formation, and community building. Through serving in their respective ministries, these Student Directors live out the baptismal call, sharing personal gifts and talents within the Duke Catholic community with an eye toward lifelong service to the Church and the world.
Small Group Leaders for Fall 2017
My name is Reagan Portelance, and I am a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering. I was involved in a small group throughout my freshman year, and am very excited to lead one this fall! Small group has helped me to get more involved in the community, and given me new opportunities to share my faith with my peers. My other interests include running and reading, and I’ll be an RA for freshmen on East this academic year.
I am Quinton Tran, a Vietnamese-American guy from the suburban town of Lawrenceville, GA. As a cradle Catholic, I have always been immersed within the practices of the faith, but I never considered my beliefs seriously until the end of of high school. When I finally arrived to Duke, I wanted to evaluate whether there was more to believing in God other than attending mass and checking it off as another Sunday chore. I decided to attend a small group to find answers to my questions and challenges, and I was graciously surprised to establish not only a foundation of knowledge but also a relationship with Jesus. I love to read about the Church and physics as well as watch dance videos! Although I consider myself an amateur, I’ll rarely turn down a chance to dance, whether its sloppy break-dancing or Zumba.
Hello, I’m Joseph Griffiths III, and I hail from South Carolina as a senior pre-med student. A longtime DCC leader, I have been a part of our Awakening retreats, but this year I’m going to take a stab at leading my own small group! When I’m not pitching in with Catholic Center ministry, you can find me fishing or playing a round of golf (still waiting for a tee time, Fr. Mike!). I’m excited to meet new faces and get small groups going this year!
Hi! I’m Dylan Legaspi Tamayo, a junior from Long Island, New York. A member of the McNamara Lab of the medical school’s neurobiology department, I’m studying neuroscience on a pre-med track. I first became involved with the Duke Catholic Center through the music ministry and small groups in freshman fall, and the DCC community has since become one of the focal points of my college experience. I hope that I can welcome others as I was welcomed, and to share the faith that has grown in me throughout my time at Duke.
Hello, my name is Michael, and I’m a junior major in History and intent on going to law school after Duke. I enjoy exploring Durham’s local restaurants, hanging out with friends, and playing strategy games and squash. In addition to the Catholic Center, I’m involved in student organizations such as Moot Court, DSG Judiciary, and Duke History Union. I first started becoming active in the Catholic Center in my freshman year because of his positive small group experience, and now leads a small group in order to create similar experiences for other Duke students.
I’m Joseph Tan, a junior from Singapore. Having done two and a half years of military service prior to studying at Duke, I’m passionate about character and values education, as well as living a healthy and active life. On campus, I sing with the Duke Chorale and Catholic Center Music Ministry, tutor in local schools, and watch Duke basketball (even though I know nothing about basketball trivia). In my free time, I can sometimes be found baking, running at the WaDuke trail, or taking too many afternoon naps. I love learning about different cultures and perspectives, and I’m excited to grow in faith and love with the Catholic community here at Duke.
Hi! My name is Tim Skapek, and I’m a sophomore from Dallas, Texas. At Duke I am pursuing a double major between mechanical engineering and economics, as well as a certificate in aerospace engineering. Outside of the classroom, I am a kicker on the varsity football team, on the executive board for the undergraduate Admissions Office tour guides, and a member of TEDxDuke and Dukes and Duchesses. I’ve been on one Duc in Altum retreat with the DCC, and it was truly an inspirational experience. I’ve had the opportunity to make many lasting friendships through the DCC and to spend too many weeks in a tent in K-ville to earn a prime spot at last year’s Duke-UNC home basketball game. I’m super excited to have the opportunity to lead a small group and to spend more time with the wonderful community at the DCC!
Hey! I’m Audrey, a junior from Spartanburg, South Carolina studying mechanical engineering. I joined a small group my freshman year and it really helped me develop my personal relationship with Jesus and so I’m excited to get a chance to share that experience with others as a facilitator! Aside from leading small groups, I also am a proud member of the DCC’s music ministry and I enjoy building up the community and helping them get to know Christ through peer outreach!
My name is Lucas Rocha-Melogno, and I’m an Environmental Engineering doctoral student at Duke. I was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia and went to Honduras to get my Degree in Environmental Engineering and Development from Zamorano University. I’ve been part of the Catholic Center since 2016 when I came to work as a research scholar. I love playing the guitar, hiking and traveling. I decided to stay for my doctorate in part because the Catholic Center became my second home abroad, helping me to find a good work-life balance. I look forward to welcoming more graduate students to be part of our small groups and our community!
Hi! I’m Elizabeth, a research technician for an HIV lab in the Duke medical center, and I graduated from Davidson College in 2016. Since coming to Duke I’ve been active in music ministry, small groups, and a regular face at Tuesday Night Dinner. I have loved the chance to grow in faith through the Scriptures in small group ministry this past year and meet fellow Catholics at Duke, both grad and undergrad, in such a vibrant Catholic community. A lover of cats, science fiction, Jane Austen heroes, Pier Giorgio Frassati, and playing the harp, I’m super excited to be leading a graduate and young professionals small group this year!
Hey guys! I’m Nancy Wiebelhaus, a first year Chemistry PhD student at Duke, and a recent graduate from Western Carolina University. While new to the DCC community, I have already found the foundation for my Catholic faith through the people I have come in contact with and the community I have been generously welcomed into. I led small groups at my previous university, and I am very excited to continue that ministry here at Duke with new people who can bring different perspectives on life. While I’m not being a student or a teaching assistant, I love spending my time outdoors enjoying nature by hiking, kayaking, and biking. I’m also am an avid reader and fan of G. K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis. I look forward to growing in faith with DCC this semester!
Student Directors for 2017
Directors of Liturgy
Juan Pablo Gonzalez is a Physics and Electrical Engineering major at Duke. He was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. Outside of the Catholic Center, he enjoys finding new roads to bike around Duke. Coming from a very religious family, Juan Pablo was very thankful to have found the Catholic Center Community at Duke. He first got involved with the Catholic Center through small groups in his freshmen year. Now, he is really excited to serve as Liturgy Director and hopes to help Duke’s students strengthen their faith.
Jennifer Dietzel is a senior studying Biology and Chemistry with medical school aspirations. Born and raised in rural southwest Wisconsin, she loves running, spending time with family, exploring the outdoors, and, of course, cheering for the Green Bay Packers. On campus, she enjoys working for Duke Sports Information, volunteering and tutoring in the Durham community, and being a passionate Duke Basketball fan. The vibrant Duke Catholic Center has greatly enriched Jennifer’s Duke experience and she is incredibly excited to serve as a Liturgy Director and hopes to enhance student engagement in the celebration of our faith.
Director of Tuesday Night Dinners
Luke Duchemin is from Hockessin, Delaware (You know, that small state you’ve probably driven through on your way to a more exciting place.) He is a proud English major, having converted from his previous Neuroscience/Pre-med track. Luke is also a third year Resident Assistant on East Campus in Blackwell and he works as cashier in the Bryan Center Lobby Shop. In his spare time you might find him reading, writing, cooking, or grabbing a meal with a friend. Luke became involved with the Catholic center by joining a small group and by attending Tuesday Night Dinner each week. He started cooking with TND in the spring of his freshman year. As Student Director, he really hopes to encourage others to feel at home in the Duke Catholic Community–while also making sure that they leave the Falcone-Arena House every Tuesday night with a full stomach!
Director of Service and Interfaith and Development
Michelle Moffa, originally from New Jersey, is a civil engineering major with an emphasis on environmental engineering and water resources. She’s a Pratt peer adviser and is involved in several research projects studying global water and sanitation access. Michelle first found a home in the Duke Catholic Center freshman year when she started eating lunch with the homeless through Encounter and playing the flute in music ministry, and her faith and friendships in the DCC have been growing ever since. She’s excited to help other students find opportunities to serve the Durham community and talk about social justice issues as director of Encounter, and to continue to engage alumni of the DCC as director of development.
Director of Lecture Series
Maria Luisa usually lives in Houston, Texas, but can often be found traveling across the world to places like Brazil and Morocco. Maria Luisa has a passion for recording and podcasting, having developed multiple projects on her own, and is looking forward to sharing her talents to help educate Duke Catholics on the faith!
Director of Music Ministry
Laura Naslund is a junior from Raleigh, NC majoring in biology with the hopes of being a ecologist one day. Outside of school you can find Laura identifying spiders for her lab, wandering around the gardens, or waiting in line for a Duke basketball game. Laura first got involved with the Catholic Center when Andrew accosted her at TND to ask if she played an instrument and she has been doing that to other people ever since. She is thrilled to serve as the Student Director of Music Ministry with a team of very talented coordinators and hopes to continue to build a community of musicians that love and serve Jesus.