Duke LIFE Staff

Dr. Sachelle FordDr. Sachelle Ford

Director, Duke LIFE/Rubenstein Scholars

Sachelle Ford, who grew up in Georgia, brings over a decade of experience in research and curriculum development, assessment, teaching, program coordination and student development to her new role as director of the Duke LIFE (Low Income, First-generation Engagement) Office and the Rubenstein Scholars. She most recently held the position of interim director at the African American Cultural Center (AACC) at N.C. State University.

Dr. Ford is actually returning to Duke, where she served as lecturing fellow of Duke University’s Thompson Writing Program from 2014-2018. Her courses examined the Black Power movement, the history and culture of African American families, Caribbean literature and contemporary African American literature. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Brown University and a B.A. in English from Emory University, where she was a first-generation, low-income undergraduate student.

Her direct line is 919.360.3716.


Angel WigginsAngel Wiggins

Program Coordinator for Duke LIFE

Angel is a native North Carolinian. She is the first in her family to attend college. At NC State University, Angel earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. Because of her commitment to helping youth recognize their academic aspirations, Angel continued her graduate studies to earn a Masters of Science in School Counseling from NC AT&T State University and a Masters of Arts in Career Counseling & Placement from North Carolina Central University.

Angel is dedicated to her mission to pay-it-forward. She is happy to continuing this mission of supporting first-generation college students at Duke University.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and traveling.

Her direct line is 919.660.3612.



Beatriz VelázquezBeatriz Velázquez

Program Coordinator for Duke LIFE

Beatriz’s roots originate in San Luis Potosí, México. At the age of 4, she immigrated to the United States and settled in Salisbury, North Carolina with her family. They wanted Beatriz and her three siblings to have better opportunities. Her parents’ countless sacrifices, hard work and unconditional support paved the way for Beatriz. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school – and at the top of her class – as well as to become the first to attend college. In 2013, Beatriz earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In college, Beatriz mentored Latinx high school youth; providing access to higher education through support and encouragement. Her experiences with their challenges inspires her continued commitment to her mission to connect underrepresented populations with opportunities for personal and academic development.

Her direct line is 919.660.3646.