Yuxian "Adela" Guo

2023 Student Recipient

Adela Guo holds framed plaque with Jennifer Francis
Yuxian "Adela" Guo with Interim Provost Jennifer Francis

Adela Guo is an outstanding undergraduate student earning a dual degree in Political Science and Psychology. She has distinguished herself at Duke in many ways, having received recognition as a Baldwin Scholar, Stanback Fellow, and honoree of the Dean’s List with Distinction. Adela is an impressive and thoughtful scholar, yet today we celebrate her for the profound positive impact she has made in the Duke and global community through her generosity for others, her intellectual humility, and her selfless devotion to community care.

Adela was nominated by Colleen Scott, Director of the Baldwin Scholars program, along with four of her professors and nine of her peers. In offering comments on why Adela is so special, fellow Baldwin Scholars said:

“Adela is one of the most kind-hearted and genuine people I know. Every time we speak, I feel she is sincerely listening to me...”

“Adela is very thoughtful, empathetic, and caring — she… plays a significant role in helping me feel more comfortable at Duke as an international student.”

“Ever since I was a freshman, Adela has shaped my Duke experience for the better.”

“From the moment I met Adela, her capacity for empathy and depth of generosity has astonished me. Since she stepped foot on Duke’s campus, she has worked tirelessly in service of both her peers and the greater Durham community.”

“Adela's sheer intent in her actions inspire[s] me to be a better person...”

Professors describe Adela as the type of student who builds positive classroom culture, modeling for her peers’ open-mindedness and the power of well-researched perspectives. She is known by many to present with vulnerability and to not shy away from difficult subjects around social justice and equity, yet she does so with passion and kindness. Her sincere interest in social initiatives is evidenced by her advocacy around gender equity, issues affecting the Chinese community, and overall intercultural understanding.

Adela has collaborated on many scholarly projects and award-winning analyses, such as in her nine-month role as Project Lead in Anhui, China, evaluating local gender equity work done by the United Nations Population Fund. Adela has gone on to complete research on the impact of gender and student classroom behavior, and launched into analysis on government response to gendered violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is most known for her powerful leadership within Progress. PERIOD., a Duke student group seeking to educate and reduce stigma around menstruation, on and off Duke’s campus. Adela has done outreach and advocacy for Progress. PERIOD. diligently since 2019. As a fellow student stated, “[Adela] is someone who isn’t just interested in social justice, she lives in her values.”

This is only a selection of the many ways, big and small, that Adela has impacted Duke University and the larger global community. For her commitment to living with a generous spirit, in selfless humility and service to others, Duke University is proud to name Yuxuan “Adela” Guo as the undergraduate student recipient of the 2023 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.