Meet the Members of the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council

October 25, 2023

Collage of council members against a background of a photo of Duke Chapel.

Interested in learning about Bass Connections from a student perspective? Get to know the members of the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council!

The Bass Connections Student Advisory Council (SAC) serves as a hub for student perspectives, ideas and insights relating to Bass Connections and interdisciplinary education at Duke. This year’s council includes 11 students, all of whom have participated in Bass Connections through a year-long project teamsemester-long course or summer program. One of this year’s members has also received a Bass Connections Student Research Award.

2023-2024 Council Members

Morayo Abbey-Bada headshot.Morayo Abbey-Bada ’25

Major: Neuroscience

Morayo is a junior Cardea Fellow, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in chemistry. She was a member of the 2022-2023 Building Sustainable Neurosurgical Systems in Developing Countries team, which investigated existing neurosurgical systems in Uganda and Nigeria to be able to compare the findings to global standards. From there, the findings were extended to other developing countries: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal and Zimbabwe. On this project, she was a member of team Nigeria, where she helped prepare a Neurosurgical Systems Operational Action Plan (NSOAP) for Nigeria and develop the surveys used to collect data on the current state of neurosurgical service delivery in Nigeria during the summer of 2023. Outside of Bass Connections, Morayo works as a fitness counselor for Duke Rec, serves on the executive board for Duke Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), and works as a writing consultant for the Thompson Writing Studio. She is also pursuing independent research through a collaboration between the Motivated Cognition and Aging Brain Lab at Duke and Psychology of Sport Injury Lab at UNC-CH, exploring neuroplasticity in ACLR patients.  

Perisa Ashar headshot.Perisa Ashar ’25

Majors: Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science

Perisa is a junior Robertson Scholar pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering and computer science on the premedical track. She participated in the 2022-2023 Developing Nursing Resources for LGBTQ+ Older Adult Care Using Human-Centered Design project team and is currently a member of the 2023-2024 Closing the Gap on Health Disparities and Outcomes in Hypertension team. She is also involved with the Big Ideas Lab, where she researches the implementation and improvement of multimodal sensing wearable devices in cardiorespiratory fitness. Through her Engineering 102 course, she has also worked to develop low-cost, portable teaching models of postpartum hemorrhage uteri for health care professionals to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment, which have been tested locally and in Kenya. In addition, she is part of the general executive team of Duke Remote Area Medical and an ambassador and lead of the programming committee of Muser, and leads her non-profit organization, STEMinate, to increase STEM resources to underserved students. As a premed student, she aspires to use knowledge gained in engineering and healthcare policy (especially in health disparities) to deliver optimal patient care as a future physician.

Krish Bansal headshot.Krish Bansal ’26

Majors: Computer Science and Statistics 

Krish Bansal is a sophomore from New Delhi, India (and a bunch of other countries!) double majoring in computer science and statistics. He is a member of the 2023-2024 Refining and Expanding Duke’s Wearable Infection Detection Platform team, where he is currently working on creating a web application to detect COVID-19 using data from wearable devices that the team is building. Additionally, Krish is part of Club Rugby and Club Golf, an executive member of the Statistical Sciences Majors Union, and a Muser Ambassador. He is also currently doing research for the Duke AI Health Lab and for the Duke Men’s Basketball Team. Outside of work, he loves to play all sorts of sports, hang out with friends and play the guitar.

Fedora Castelino headshot.Fedora Castelino ’25

Major: Biological Sciences and Neuroscience

Fedora Castelino is a junior and dual student at Duke and North Carolina State University studying neuroscience and majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in integrative physiology and neurobiology. She is currently a member of the 2023-2024 Bioethics and the Use of Real-World Mental Health Data project team and focuses on the implementation and ethical sustainability of private data collection in underrepresented groups of the United States. Outside of Bass Connections, Fedora advocates for legal immigration reform in Washington, D.C. and is involved in global health research on cervical cancer and women’s reproductive health. 

Shatanshu Choudhary headshot.Shatanshu Choudhary ’24

Program: Master of Engineering Management 

Shatanshu is a second-year master’ student pursuing a degree in engineering management at Duke. Driven by a passion for innovating healthcare solutions and making clinical care more accessible and effective, he serves as project manager for the 2023-2024 Data Science in Clinical Care team. In this role, Shatanshu aims to develop processes to guide policymakers and practitioners in implementing clinical decision support tools. He is excited about exploring innovations at the intersection of artificial intelligence and healthcare. Through his graduate work and research, he hopes to continue bridging gaps between emerging technologies and improved patient outcomes. When he’s not studying or researching healthcare solutions, Shatanshu enjoys playing squash and soccer. 

Martha Deja headshot.Martha Deja ’24

Major: Neuroscience

Martha is a senior majoring in neuroscience with minors in global health and chemistry. She has been a member of the Eye Tracking: Objective Assessment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth Athletes team since fall 2021. In this project, Duke students and faculty are using oculomotor (eye-tracking) assessments in comparison with in-season head-impact exposure data derived from a wearable earpiece (DASHR) in order to assess whether poorer eye tracking is linked to head-impact exposure. Using these tools in conjunction with questionnaires, the team hopes to gain insight into the development of better diagnostic tools and return-to-play protocols for mild traumatic brain injury in youth sports. Her work on the team has introduced her to the importance of teamwork and collaboration with community volunteers for conducting meaningful research.

Foxx Hart headshot.Foxx Hart ’24

Major: Global Cultural Studies in the Program in Literature

Foxx is a senior majoring in global cultural studies in the Program in Literature. They have participated in three Bass Connections project teams: Big Data for Reproductive Health (2021-2022), Developing Nursing Resources for LGBTQ+ Older Adult Care Using Human-Centered Design (2022-2023), and currently Mental Health and the Justice System in Durham County (2023-2024). They’re broadly interested in psychoanalytic theory, the philosophy of science and public (mental) health. Bass Connections has been an opportunity for them to develop applied research skills and interests outside of coursework. 

Brendan Kelleher.Brendan Kelleher ’24

Major: Neuroscience

Brendan is a senior from Charleston, South Carolina pursuing a major in neuroscience and minors in chemistry and biology. He is a third-year member of the Alcohol Use Behavioral Phenotyping Test for Global Populations project team, which focuses on understanding differences among drinking behaviors based on psychometric constructs like reward valuation, relative reward efficacy and proportionate reinforcement due to alcohol. Outside of research, he frequently engages in medical volunteering, tutoring in the Durham community through Bull City Scholars and mentorship through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle.

Annie Qin headshot.Annie Qin ’25

Major: Biology

Annie is a junior majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. During her time in Bass Connections, she was a part of the 2022-2023 Financial Burden in Patients With Health Disparities team. This allowed her to learn about a novel research method called Photovoice: for this project, people living with dementia and their caregivers took photos to represent their personal experiences with dementia and financial burden. Outside of Bass Connections, she is involved in RNA biology research. Her hobbies include fishing, finding new podcasts and playing the New York Times Connections puzzle every day.

Finnie Zhao headshot.Finnie Zhao ’24

Major: Economics and Environmental Sciences and Policy

Finnie is a senior double majoring in economics and environmental sciences and policy with a certificate in sustainability engagement. She was a member of the 2021-2022 Empowering Youth Civic Action on Plastic Pollution team, where she created a curriculum for action-civics education outreach on plastic pollution and policy solutions, and the 2022-2023 Exploring Links Among Ecological, Social and Personal Resilience team, which researched across disciplines on a toolkit for ecosystem restoration projects to increase community resiliency. Supported by the Bass Connections Student Research Award, Finnie is now investigating key attributes that future policies should incorporate to increase climate resilience among coastal communities in North Carolina.

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