Graduate School News

Ariely asks graduates “What kind of future are you going to design?” and Berke receives mentoring award

May 11, 2013

Dr. Dan Ariely, keynote speaker

Dr. Dan Ariely, keynote speaker

The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School held the 2013 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 11 in the Dean E. Smith Center. Nearly 300 students participated in the ceremony. Each graduate came to the stage to receive their academic graduation hood conferred by a faculty member and the Provost.

Dr. Dan Ariely gave the keynote address at the ceremony, offering insights including the following: “As fellow academics, you are in charge of designing the next version of the world. Think about it: Everything we have, starting from health-care policy to physical products to foods to regulations—all of those are things we are designing, manmade, and you're going to take part in this design. And the question is, 'What kind of future are you going to design?'”

Ariely is the author of three New York Times bestselling books. He received his master's degree and doctorate in cognitive psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill. He went on to receive a second doctorate in business administration from Duke University. He is currently the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke, where his academic affiliations span business, cognitive neuroscience, economics and medicine.

Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presents the 2013 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring to Dr. Philip Berke.

Dean Steve Matson (left) presents the 2013 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring to Dr. Philip Berke.

Dr. Philip Berke, a professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning, received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring at the ceremony. He has been a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty since 1995.

Berke received nominations from alumni and current doctoral students. One nomination letter said the following:

“Throughout our doctoral studies, Dr. Berke has exhibited an ideal mixture of high expectations and unrelenting standards for the quality of our work, compassion and patience as we refine our thinking, skills, and habits in fits and starts, and genuine care and concern for our evolution into productive scholars capable of working independently and in collaborations.”

The Graduate School presents the annual award to a faculty member who has: encouraged graduate students to establish their own records of scholarly activity, provided a supportive environment that brings forth the very best from students, and achieved a successful record of graduate degree completion among students he or she has advised.

Provost Bruce Carney and faculty advisor Dr. Philip Berke place the doctoral hood for Ward Lyles, a doctoral graduate in City and Regional Planning.

Provost Bruce Carney (left) and faculty advisor Dr. Philip Berke place the doctoral hood for Ward Lyles, a graduate in City and Regional Planning.

Family, friends and other well-wishers celebrate doctoral alumni achievement.

Family, friends and other well-wishers celebrate doctoral alumni achievement.


Keynote speech by Dr. Dan Ariely


As fellow academics, you are in charge of designing the next version of the world. Think about it: Everything we have, starting from health-care policy to physical products to foods to regulations—all of those are things we are designing, manmade, and you're going to take part in this design. And the question is, What kind of future are you going to design? What kind of environment are you going to design for people to take actions in?

And I know that you're going to design things that are compatible with human limitations. Now we have a choice: Are we designing things for human beings so we can make better decisions or are we designing things for people to make worse decisions?

And, in advance, I know that you'll take the right path, and I want to thank you in advance for helping us design a better future, and “May the force be with you.


Video of full Hooding Ceremony