David Rabiner Recognized as 'Dedicated Devil': Rising to the Challenge During COVID-19

Thursday, April 9, 2020
David R

"We had our lives turned updside down very quickly."

As a university community, we face tremendous challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  Duke staff and faculty everywhere are stepping up to keep the important work of the university and health system going. Working@Duke highlights these contributions in a new feature titled "Dedicated Devils". With nominations from colleagues, Dedicated Devils will showcase the work of Duke employees who go above and beyond during this trying time. If you would like to nominate a staff or faculty member who has risen to the challenge, please share here. The full article below was published in Duke Today on April 7, 2020.

Academic Advising Center

March is “bookbagging” season for the Academic Advising Center (AAC), when nearly 300 college advisers assist first and second-year students with selecting courses for the next semester. It’s David Rabiner's busiest time of the year and then came the decision for Duke to continue the academic year with remote learning due to COVID-19. 

“Like everyone, our AAC staff and all the volunteer advisers had our lives turned upside down very quickly,” said Rabiner, director of the Academic Advising Center and senior associate dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. “All of a sudden, it wasn’t just about making sure students sign up for the right courses. Our purpose as advisers was also to make sure students didn’t feel isolated away from campus and to help them feel connected to Duke.”


Rabiner and his AAC colleagues provided online-only advising sessions through Microsoft Teams to complement the work of the volunteer advisers, provided additional advising hours for students in different time zones and provided regular communications to assist roughly 300 college advisers. He also found time to help pack up and mail students’ belongings.  

Many of Rabiner’s colleagues took notice: 11 wrote to us to nominate Rabiner to be a Dedicated Devil during these trying times. 

“He has done and continues to do a yeoman's job of keeping everyone in the Academic Advising Center, first and second-year students and the 300 or so college advisers informed throughout the COVID-19 situation.  He even volunteered to help pack up students' belongings to be shipped to them. He truly has everyone's best interests at heart,” said Deborah Johnson, Duke college adviser.

"He has done an excellent job keeping staff up to date with everything going on at Duke and still manages to be an active and present adviser for his students,” said Shalonda Drake, staff assistant for the Academic Advising Center.