2013 Staff Recipient
Geoffrey Mock is the recipient of the 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.
Geoffrey’s nominator writes that
The award’s criteria read like a description of Geoffrey, who is unfailingly selfless, generous, spiritual and a model of character and integrity.
Geoffrey holds a significant position at Duke, serving as the editor of Duke Today, which he helped to create. In this role, he gathers, edits and presents news from every corner of the campus, a task that requires deft political judgment and diplomacy along with high-level journalistic skills. Under his leadership, Duke Today has become a central source of information for the campus community and others, winning prestigious national awards along the way. Countless faculty members, administrators, students and others can attest to Geoffrey’s skill and professionalism, which are also apparent through his leadership with emergency communications and other tasks.
What is even more remarkable about Geoffrey Mock is his unflagging spirit of service, for which he received the Duke Employee Community Service Award in 2011. As that award noted, Geoffrey “embodies a spirit of service,” raising money for local school groups, creating outdoor learning environments for kids, volunteering with Odyssey of the Mind and much more. He leads a team of Duke Communications professionals who buy, cook and serve food monthly at Urban Ministries, providing a vital service for some of Durham’s poorest citizens. This team has provided more than 7,000 meals over the past five years, with Geoffrey usually planning the menus, buying the food, collecting the money and scheduling the volunteers. Within the News and Communications office, Geoffrey has been an enthusiastic mentor of several North Carolina Central University students who have served as communications interns – yet another example of his commitment to diversity and the Durham community. He also has been a terrific mentor for numerous Duke work-study students who have learned writing and editing under his guidance.
All of the aforementioned volunteer and service experiences have taken place in the DukeDurham community. But Geoffrey is also acting global as well as local. He has been active in Amnesty International for many years, most recently as the national chair of their Middle East programs. In other words, in his “spare time” from the pressures of his job responsibilities at Duke and leading several local volunteer programs, he has held a senior unpaid position with a prominent human rights organization to prevent people from being tortured in some of the world’s most volatile regions. He’s been especially busy over the past couple of years trying to protect people in places such as Egypt and Syria.
He is a devoted husband and dad to two sons, who both attend Durham Public Schools. Everyone who interacts with him respects him and becomes a member of his fan club, which is especially striking given his quiet and unassuming personality.
Geoffrey is an extraordinary human being who warrants extraordinary consideration. The Algernon Sydney Sullivan award would be enhanced by being associated with someone whose contributions to Duke, Durham and the wider world embody everything the award represents.