Bass Connections Teams Share Research Highlights at 2022 Showcase

June 7, 2022

Showcase.
2022 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase (Photos: John West, Trinity Communications)

On April 13, students from our 2021-2022 project teams shared their research highlights at the sixth annual Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase in Penn Pavilion. 

More than 350 people from the Duke community, including faculty, staff and students, took part in the event, which was held in-person for the first time in two years. Students presented their research through lightning talks and poster presentations as well as through interactive displays, which were a new feature of this year’s showcase.

Provost Sally Kornbluth gave opening remarks. “I really think Bass Connections is one of the jewels in the crown here at Duke,” she said. “All corners of the campus are represented here and people bring their disciplinary expertise to bear on truly interdisciplinary, problem-directed projects … The faculty leaders starting these projects don’t actually have the answers … Students learn to embrace the uncertainty and excitement of research and learn to work in teams that are diverse – demographically, culturally and intellectually – while finding common languages to speak across disciplines. These are incredibly valuable skills no matter what you do in life, so I think it’s exciting that students are partnering with faculty and a whole array of organizations … to develop solutions that really work for the community.”

Lightning Talks

Students from six project teams presented five-minute lightning talks at this year's showcase. These teams were selected to highlight the breadth of research being conducted through the program. Videos of this year's talks are forthcoming.

Bioremediation of Plastic Pollution to Conserve Marine Biodiversity

Ella Gunady ’23 and Bea Schleupner ’22.
Ella Gunady ’23 and Bea Schleupner ’22 represented the Bioremediation of Plastic Pollution to Conserve Marine Biodiversity project team. (Photo: Milena Ozernova)

American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis

Ryder Buttry '23 (MPP) and Eli Levine '23.
Ryder Buttry ’23 (MPP) and Eli Levine ’23 represented the American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis project team. (Photo: John West, Trinity Communications)

Revaluing Care in the Global Economy

Zoe Macomber '24.
Zoe Macomber ’24 represented the Revaluing Care in the Global Economy project team. (Photo: Milena Ozernova)

Strengthening Partnerships Between Durham Public Schools and Local Universities

Destiny Baker '22 (NCCU), Alexis Clagon '24 (NCCU) and Jasmine Daniel '23.
Destiny Baker ’22 (NCCU), Alexis Clagon ’24 (NCCU) and Jasmine Daniel ’23 represented the Strengthening Partnerships Between Durham Public Schools and Local Universities project team. (Photo: Milena Ozernova)

Language, Music and Dementia

Audrey Costley '23.
Audrey Costley ’23 represented the Language, Music and Dementia project team. (Photo: John West, Trinity Communications)

Policy Surveillance of Financing for Universal Health Coverage

Katie Thomas '22 (MS in Global Health) and Shawin Vitsupakorn '23.
Katie Thomas ’22 (MS in Global Health) and Shawin Vitsupakorn ’23 represented the Policy Surveillance of Financing for Universal Health Coverage project team. (Photo: Milena Ozernova)

Interactive Displays

This year, eight teams shared their research through interactive displays, which featured prototypes, simulations, field tools, digital media and exhibits, pamphlets, maps, infographics and more.

Members of the A City and Its River project team showing off their interactive display at the Bass Connections Showcase.
Maria Morrison ’22 of the A City and Its River: Durham's Ellerbe Creek Watershed project team shares the team’s research through an interactive display at the Bass Connections Showcase. (Photo: Milena Ozernova)

A panel of judges selected A City and Its River: Durham's Ellerbe Creek Watershed as the winner of the inaugural award for best interactive display. The runner up was Engineering a Low-cost Device to Monitor Irrigation in Rural Kenya.

Poster Competition

Over 50 project teams shared research posters with showcase guests. A panel of judges that included program alumni and affiliates as well as members of the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council selected the winners of the 2022 Bass Connections Poster Competition.

Runner-up poster.
James McIntyre and Jada Purkett stand by their poster, which was one of two runners-up in the 2022 Bass Connections Poster Competition. (Photo: Milena Ozernova)

Winner

“North Carolina Guide to Green Roofs,” Energy and Environment Design and Innovation (Alex Bussey, Audrey Hicks, Colin Lee, Ginny Naughton, Emma Quig, Sagar Shah, Ava Weinreb)

North Carolina Guide to Green Roofs poster.

Runner-up

“Driver's License Suspension and Self-Sufficiency,” Justice Reform Efforts and Effects on Self-sufficiency (Anna Gassman-Pines, Clinton Boyd Jr., Adrienne Jones, Warren Lowell, James McIntyre III, Jada Purkett, Richard Qi, Katherine LoBue)

Driver's License Suspension and Self-Sufficiency poster.

Runner-up

“Effect of Defaunation on Tropical Forest Ecosystem Services,” Impact of Declining Animal Populations on Tropical Forests (Enikoe Bihari, Christina Boxberger, Camille DeSisto, Sara Haas, Maiya Hayes, Courtney Horn, Aubrey Knier, Jessica Lipschultz, Vincent Maicher, Halina Malinowski, Sari Palmroth, Tyler Pelletier, John Poulsen, Laura Toledo)

Effect of Defaunation on Tropical Forest Ecosystem Services poster.

Awards and Grants

At the showcase, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Edward Balleisen recognized this year’s award winners for leadership and mentorship, as well as the recipients of this year’s student research grants.

Kyle Bradbury, Jordan Malof and team.
Jordan Malof (far left) and Kyle Bradbury (far right), joint winners of the 2022 Leadership Award, with members of their project team (Photo: Courtesy of Kyle Bradbury)

Bass Connections Leadership Award

Joint winners: Kyle Bradbury and Jordan Malof (Assistant Research Professors in Electrical and Computer Engineering), Creating Artificial Worlds with AI to Improve Energy Access Data

Bass Connections Award for Outstanding Mentorship

Aislinn McLaughlin (Master of Environmental Management), A City and Its River: Durham’s Ellerbe Creek Watershed 

Bass Connections Student Research Awards

Ten graduate students and twenty-two undergraduates will pursue faculty-mentored research projects this summer and next year with grant funding from Bass Connections. Their projects explore a diverse range of topics, including community-based interventions for epilepsy and sickle cell disease in Uganda, the effects of artistic practice on mental health and well-being, biodiversity conservation in Madagascar, the use of creative media and storytelling to explore neuroscience, and more.

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