Bass Connections Teams Share Research Highlights in 2021 Virtual Showcase

June 21, 2021

Virtual Showcase.

During three live, online sessions on April 15 and 16, Bass Connections project team members presented lightning talks and hosted virtual breakout “tables” to share their research with over 600 guests at the 2021 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase. Many teams also shared research highlights through student-authored team profiles, digital presentations and research posters, which are gathered in this year's Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase digital exhibit.

Ebony Boulware, Vice Dean for Translational Sciences in the School of Medicine, kicked off the live event with opening remarks. Judith Kelley, Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy, opened the second session, and Ed Balleisen, Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Studies, opened the final session.

Ebony Boulware.

“As a physician, research scientist and educator, I know firsthand about the value of interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle complex problems. We need to work together, and we need expertise and perspectives from different areas of knowledge to solve important problems. That’s what I love about the Bass Connections program. It embodies the best of Duke, integrating faculty research with student education and bringing all corners of the campus together to dig into tough challenges in deep partnership with our local and global communities.” –Ebony Boulware

Megan McGufficke, Samuel Corwin, Lizzie Hunsaker and Erik Wibbels

An alumni panel moderated by Erik Wibbels, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Bass Connections Faculty Advisory Council, featured three former members of Bass Connections project teams: Megan McGufficke (International Comparative Studies ’16); Samuel Corwin (Environmental Sciences & Policy ’17); and Lizzie Hunsaker (Ph.D. in Chemistry ’19). 

Watch Lightning Talks


Students from nine project teams shared lightning talks at this year’s live showcase. Talks featured research ranging from the development of novel gene therapies to fight against Alzheimer’s disease to the policy and economics of regenerative grazing in North Carolina to the design and use of 3D-modeling software for reconstructing historical maps and images.

Check Out the Winners of the 2021 Poster Competition

The Sex and Contraception Among College and Graduate Students During COVID-19 project team was the winner of this year’s Bass Connections Poster Competition Judges’ Selection prize. 

Research poster.


Research posters.

Three teams received runners-up honors:

Explore the Virtual Showcase

Showcase icons.

See more posters as well as team profiles, presentations, videos, websites and more from the 2020-2021 project teams in the Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase. Here are just a few examples of what teams worked on this year:

Learn More