“It’s a privilege to get to be part of a program which offers true service leadership opportunities to our young men and women. With challenging schedules for abroad experiences, the ACE program has opened doors for many student-athletes to grow personally while also staying committed to their sport obligations. The relationships built across student-athletes representing two of the nation’s top athletic and academic programs is unique and special.”
Leslie Barnes, who joined the Duke staff in July of 2006, serves as an Associate Director of Athletics/Director of Student-Athlete Development. Barnes, who was Duke’s Director of Student-Athlete Development from 2006-11 before being promoted to her current position, came to Durham after spending four years as life skills coordinator at The Ohio State University.
In July of 2018, Barnes was named to the newly-created Integrative Performance Excellence Group, a unit comprised of directors in the areas of Sports Performance, Athletic Medicine, Sports Nutrition and Behavioral Health, as well as individuals representing psychological services, team physicians and primary care physicians.
Barnes is a native of Nebraska and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan in 1996. She received a Masters of Education in Counseling/Psychological Services from Springfield College in 1998.
“I have seen first-hand the impact that this program has had on the student-athletes that participate in it and that inspires me to do whatever I can to support the program.”
Linda Franzoni is a Professor of the Practice in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. She is also the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke. Linda’s research area is Acoustics and Structural Vibration, more specifically developing efficient computer models for prediction of vehicular interior noise, sound field variation in architectural spaces, and the structural-acoustic interaction between submersed vehicles and their environment. Her education includes a BS from Yale University (1980), and an MS (1988) and PhD (1991) from Duke University in Mechanical Engineering. Linda worked on structural dynamics modeling of spacecraft while at the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1981 until 1986. She received an NSF CAREER Award in 1995. She has been recognized at the departmental and college level for teaching, mentoring, and advising. Linda is involved in the international accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs and has been a member of the Executive Committee of ABET. Dr. Franzoni has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNCTAM) since 2010 and was elected Secretary in 2012, serving also as one of the five US delegates to the International Union on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) for the last 10 years. On November 1, 2022, she stepped down from those positions. Linda has been a member of the Duke University Athletics Council since 2008, and Chair of the Council from 2018-2022.
“I am excited to support ACE in offering our student-athletes the opportunity to learn about their selves and others by engaging with local and global partners. This is the kind of experience that can feed a student’s mind and soul for years to come.”
Amanda Kelso is Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Duke University. She leads the Undergraduate Experiential Education Division of the Office of Undergraduate Education and serves as Executive Director of the Global Education Office. In an international education career spanning three decades, Kelso has extensive experience in education abroad program development and operations, crisis and risk management, and student advising. Kelso has also taught Spanish at the university level and worked in residence life and international student services. Kelso has held leadership positions in professional organizations, including NAFSA, at the state, regional, and national levels. As an undergraduate, Kelso spent her junior year studying at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain, and later returned to Spain as resident director of a study abroad. She has a B.A. and M.A. in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a graduate certificate in technology and communication from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a doctorate in higher education administration from North Carolina State University.
“I am glad to support a program that provides an international volunteer service opportunity for student-athletes. I also enjoy working with colleagues in the Athletics Departments at Stanford and Duke.”
Elaine is the Assistant Vice President/Director of the Office of Duke-Durham Educational and Workforce Collaboration and in her role oversees all educational and workforce development for the Office of Durham and Community Affairs. Prior to her role in Education and Workforce Development, Elaine was Associate Director of DukeEngage, 2007-2019 and head of the University Council on Civic Engagement, which amplifies and coordinates new and ongoing civic engagement initiatives across campus. She began the Duke Community Service Center in 1993. Elaine was also Associate Director for Duke’s Office of Continuing Education. She holds a J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Chancellor’s Scholar. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Colorado Women’s College and completed graduate work at Brandeis University and the University of California, Santa Cruz.
“I believe service learning and travel both have tremendous value and love learning how ACE has impacted students’ lives.”
Todd Mesibov joined the Duke staff in November of 2006 and serves as the department’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Compliance. He was promoted to Deputy Director of Athletics/Administration and Legal Affairs/Chief of Staff in July 2021. In his role at Duke, Mesibov will continue to manage compliance, serve as the athletics department liaison to student conduct and as sport supervisor for softball, assumes oversight of legal affairs, recreation and physical education, the ACE program, and coordination of strategic planning initiatives and special projects. Mesibov majored in economics and graduated from Carleton (Minn.) College, where he was a three-year letterman on the golf team. In 2002, he graduated from Michigan Law School, where he was Executive Editor of Michigan Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. In addition, Mesibov clerked for the Honorable Terence T. Evans on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the Supreme Court of Palau. A member of the state bars of North Carolina, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Mesibov joined Duke Athletics after working in the Business Law group of Foley & Lardner, LLP in Milwaukee, Wis. A native of Chapel Hill, N.C., Mesibov is married to the former Katie Eyes of West Hartford, Conn., and the couple has two children, Nell and Milo.
“I am so excited to work with the ACE program because it provides an amazing and unique opportunity for student-athletes. I know through my work with student-athletes who have participated in ACE that this program can be life changing.”
Heather Ryan joined the Duke Athletics staff in 2005 and serves as the department’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Student-Athlete Experience & Senior Women Administrator. As defined by the NCAA, the purpose of the SWA designation is to promote meaningful representation of women in the leadership and management of college sports. Ryan previously held positions of Academic Coordinator, Director of Academic Support and Executive Director of Academic Support and Associate Director of Athletics/Academic Services & Senior Woman Administrator before being promoted. She is also a member of the athletics department’s Executive Staff, the top administrative leadership under Vice President and Director of Athletics Nina King. Ryan has oversight of student-athlete development, equipment, be the lead contact for NIL educational efforts while serving as the secondary administrator for football. She will continue to have sport oversight of men’s and women’s swimming and diving. On the national landscape, Ryan currently serves as chair of both the NCAA 4-2-4 Transfer Waiver Committee and the NCAA Region 3 Post Graduate Scholarship Committee. She also is the active vice chair of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Women’s Lacrosse Committee. On Duke’s campus, Ryan serves as a panelist for the Institutional Undergraduate Conduct Board, is a member of the Athletic Oversight Committee and mentors students as a Trinity pre-major advisor. A native of Goodland, Ind., Ryan graduated from Indiana University with a degree in sports marketing and management and later earned a master’s degree in college student personnel with an emphasis in counseling and development from Purdue University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in educational leadership, policy and human development from N.C. State University with an anticipated graduation date of May, 2021.