Christopher Kelsey

2020 Faculty/Staff Recipient 

Christopher Kelsey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology within the Duke Cancer Institute, and the faculty/staff/graduate student recipient of the 2020 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Duke University. This award seeks to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service of Algernon Sydney Sullivan by recognizing and honoring such qualities in others.

Chris was nominated by six colleagues and members of the community. One of them shared,

. . . Chris’ spirituality, integrity, selflessness, and commitment to others is exemplified in the level of care he provides his patients, his interactions with co-workers, the love he shows for his family, and his dedication to serve in important ecclesiastical responsibilities.

Chris is an alumnus of Brigham Young University and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He was an intern at Health One Alliance/PSL in Denver Colorado and later a resident at Duke University Medical Center. Upon completing his residency, he joined Duke as a faculty member, where he has cared for patients, mentored students, residents, and faculty, and driven innovative research. He has served as a member of numerous academic committees, panels, and mentor programs, is active in multiple professional societies, and has received many accolades for his teaching and mentoring.

In addition to his work within Duke University, Chris serves his community and church through his leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He took on the role of bishop in 2010, managing a congregation of around 350 members in Durham and in 2014 became stake president, overseeing 11 congregations in the area. As stake president, he oversees bishops, and provides counsel to members needing assistance, helps ensure basic needs, such as housing, and facilitates donations for other community organizations. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence, for example, he helped activate a large contingent of volunteers to support clean up on the coast in the storms’ aftermath.

In all his responsibilities, from caring for patients to supporting faculty, staff, students, and residents, to publishing research, he is always accessible, exhibits an exemplary degree of care, and puts others’ needs in front of his own. One of his nominators stated, “He always lives as if his values are part of every decision and action. He is trustworthy, humble, and patient. He will never try to make himself seem greater than anyone else. He serves because he loves people.” Furthermore, he wrote, “His life and values help people when they are able to stay a bit longer in this world and also when it is time to leave.”

Chris’ nominators describe him as a gracious compassionate, genuine, unassuming, and caring individual. One writes, “His selfless acts of kindness have reached members of my family that live states away. They have all expressed their gratitude for his kindness.”

Duke University is proud to name Christopher Kelsey as the faculty/staff/graduate student recipient of the 2020 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for his many contributions to his Duke, Durham, regional and church communities, as well as his unwavering service to others.