Get to Know Rhiannon

Meet the Communications Assistant for the John Hope Franklin Center.

-By Charles Givens

May 17, 2024

What’s your favorite part of working at Duke so far?

What are you most excited to learn in this role?

  • In this role, I’m most excited to continue to learn how to bring a creative flair to content produced in a university setting and how to break down the walls of the box we as creators can sometimes feel confined to. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of what is expected of me and strive to produce more innovative content than the day before.

What’s your go-to method for staying productive?

  • My go-to method for staying productive throughout the day is to have lofi music playing in the background while I work. Whether it is hours of Lord of the Rings or Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks playing, it keeps my space calm without the distraction of lyrics.

What’s your dream project?

  • At the John Hope Franklin Center, my dream project is to create a virtual art gallery space that would allow anyone around the world to view our exhibits, even if they don’t live in the area. We have such inspiring and amazing galleries located in the center, but they are limited to the eyes of those who can travel to our space. A virtual gallery would be accessible to all with a computer or smartphone and can carry the message of the art work beyond the Duke community.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

  • One of the best pieces of career advice I have received is “How will you know if you never try?” The important people in my life continue to remind me that change can only come when you put yourself out there and give it your best. When I first found the job application for the position I’m in now, I hesitated to apply at first, doubting my skills and knowledge. My coworker at the time urged me to apply anyway, reminding me that I’ll never know unless I send in an application, and now I work full time at Duke University!

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

  • Outside of work, I love thrifting and going to estate sales! On the weekends, you can find me waking up early to walk through estate sales all across the city or exploring different booths at the Raleigh Flea Market. I am passionate about learning the function and history of unique objects, and I get a thrill out of finding items I’ve never seen before. I have furnished and decorated most of my space from thrifting and each piece has a fun story behind how I came to own it. 

What’s the last book, movie, or podcast you really enjoyed?

  • I really enjoy watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy (which happens every couple of months at this point). I am working through my favorite one, Two Towers, in part due to the length of them (each extended movie is 4+ hours long). I grew up watching them with my dad, so the series has become comforting to put on when I’m stressed, happy or anything in between.

What’s a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know?

  • Some people may not know that I’m an avid concert-goer! A few years ago, I started keeping a list of how many artists I have seen and of those I remembered to write down, I have seen 110+ artists/bands in venues of all sizes across several different states. By the end of the year, my list should be around 130!

What’s one thing you’re really good at that most people wouldn’t guess?

  • Identifying plants is a secret talent of mine! I got my degree in Natural Resources with a concentration in Ecosystem Assessment, so a lot of my class work dealt with identifying various aspects of different environments. My dendrology class taught me how to ID 180+ plants by their scientific name, common name, and family, and I’m always trying to find time to go on nature walks to keep practicing and adding to my knowledge. 

If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be and why?

  • Bob Belcher [from the TV show Bob’s Burgers] after he has made us each a burger from his “Burger of the Day” special and has had a few drinks. If you know, you know.