These Ph.D. Graduates Played Key Roles in Their Bass Connections Projects

May 17, 2018

On May 12, about 250 doctoral students participated in The Graduate School’s Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony at the Durham Convention Center. Among them were many students who helped lead their Bass Connections project teams. Below are a few of them; see more photos and videos. Congratulations to all of this year’s graduates!

Stephanie Reist, Romance Studies

The Cost of Opportunity? Higher Education in the Baixada Fluminense

Stephanie Reist

As someone who’s interested in romance studies and Portuguese and Latin American culture and public policy, I have very broad interests. So for picking a dissertation project, Bass Connections helped me focus.

Reist received the Dennis A. Clements Outstanding Service Award in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Jordan Hashemi, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Information, Child Mental Health and Society and The Lives of Things

Jordan Hashemi

Bass Connections has allowed me to further my research for my dissertation and to greatly improve my communication capabilities. Since our team members have vastly different backgrounds and experience levels, I have learned to formulate and present my ideas to a wide range of audiences. My advice to other graduate students is to take advantage of this unique opportunity to work alongside experts and teachers across multiple domains.

Hashemi was part of the Duke team that developed Autism & Beyond, an Apple ResearchKit app.

Anna Johns Hrom, History

Reviewing Retrospective Regulatory Review

Anna Johns Hrom

The best thing about my Bass Connections project was that, much like in the real world, the “problem” we sought to address had never been answered—it was not an assignment generated to test a skill set, but rather a totally open-ended question. The experience emphasized the value of each of my degrees [Law and History] independently and together in a dynamic, problem-solving environment.

Hrom will serve as a law clerk for the U.S. Courts.

Yuting Song, Nursing

Community Care of Frail Elders in Cross-cultural Settings

Yuting Song

I gained more knowledge about care needs of residents who live in Chinese nursing homes, in addition to those of community-based frail elders. In combination with this Bass Connections project, the knowledge of older adults’ needs both in community settings and nursing homes will inform curriculum development for the healthcare workforce across different care settings.

Song received a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Alberta.

Alexandra Oprea, Political Science

Citizenship Lab: Civic Participation of Refugee Youth in Durham

Alex Oprea

Oprea’s dissertation is titled “Children or Citizens: Civic Education in Liberal Political Thought.” She is a research assistant professor in politics, philosophy and economics at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Meghan O’Neil, English

NC Jukebox and Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film

Meghan O'Neil

Bass Connections has helped me grow as a critical thinker, relationship builder and project manager. It has also inspired me to pursue a career in interdisciplinary curriculum development and educational innovation.

O’Neil served as co-chair of the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council and as the Bass Connections graduate intern for 2017-18.

Hanzhang Xu, Nursing

Community Care of Frail Elders in Cross-cultural Settings

Hanzhang Xu

Xu was first author on a publication related to her Bass Connections project, “Validating a scale of health beliefs in preventive health screenings among Chinese older adults,” in the Journal of Transcultural Nursing. She received a doctoral certificate in global health from the Duke Global Health Institute.

Nadia Brashier, Psychology & Neuroscience

Aging and Heuristics: Do Older Adults Use Different Cues to Evaluate Information?

Nadia Brashier

Brashier mentored the undergraduates on her project team over two years and helped them present Reading “Control Weight” and Remembering “Lose Weight”: Aging, Knowledge, and Memory for Inferences at the Cognitive Aging Conference. She will be a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Ali Daraeepour, Environment

Modeling Tools for Energy Systems Analysis

Ali Daraeepour

Daraeepour’s research focuses on the evolution of electricity market design to enhance the grid integration of intermittent renewable energy resources and power system efficiency. He has a position as postdoctoral research associate with the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment at Princeton University.

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Photos courtesy of The Graduate School