By far the most valuable part of any Bass Connections experience is the rare opportunity to work with members of the Duke community from a broad range of backgrounds and areas of study.
History, Political Science
Starting from my first year, I was a full-blown researcher, learning how to code, conduct interviews and staff research studies. Participating in this project gave me connections with professors and familiarity with how to engage in direct research.
Bass Connections has gifted me with mentors and peers (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students), resources and the luxury of time to experiment, connect and learn through field experience.
African & African-American Studies, Public Policy
EHD [the Bass Connections Education & Human Development theme] makes room for students who are interested in learning more about education systems and human development. There is a lot of room for educational advocacy.
My Bass Connections experience sparked my curiosity for further research into El Sistema USA through an independent study this year, with a goal of a senior honors thesis next year.
This project has overall been an entirely enriching process, filled with unexpected challenges and rewards that altogether have made me a stronger researcher and learner.
Biology, Global Health
I learned valuable information and collected important data, but perhaps nothing was more meaningful than what I learned during my travel to these places.
My time in this program has provided me with the knowledge I need to continue to pursue the research questions I am passionate about, and I look forward to being able to employ the interpersonal and research skills I’ve learned in future interdisciplinary research projects.
The strong interdisciplinary nature of the project helped frame the issue of climate change through a number of perspectives: science, law, philosophy, engineering, policy, ethics. The project also provided the opportunity to have intimate discussions with leaders of the field.
You may underestimate the numerous intricacies of independent research, but once you get used to it, exciting opportunities abound! Accomplishments are especially personal, and even the perception of progress provides great satisfaction.
This team, which has been such a large part of my time at Duke, is coming to a close. All I can do is be grateful for the experiences and opportunities for growth it has given me, both personal and academic.
Global Health, Sociology
The biggest personal victory for me was learning enough Malagasy and observing my Malagasy teammate conduct enough interviews to administer one by myself.
Computer Science, Neuroscience
To learn about the abstract mathematics from experts like Professor Jonathan Mattingly and then go to the Supreme Court and see the Justices appreciate and cite research our team has dealt with was amazing.
We interviewed employees from the Durham Public Health Department, historians, community health workers, and most importantly, Durham residents living with diabetes. We visited grocery stores and homes in neighborhoods only two miles apart and found shocking disparities.
Bass Connections gave me an opportunity to put the tools gained from both the law and history curricula to use in a problem-oriented setting.
There are dozens of perspectives to the story of the opioid crisis, and my Bass Connections team has given me the incredible opportunity to have a hand in many parts of this story all at once.
Not only have I had the opportunity to meet and learn from a variety of experts ranging from famous atmospheric chemists to former U.S. ambassadors, I also have had the experience of helping build a team of undergraduates, graduates and faculty across an entire year.
I feel lucky having found a project at Duke that is a concrete application of the skills I’ve learned both in class and on my own.
In Bass Connections I have been fortunate enough to work with exceptional students and faculty across the Duke community as we dig into the topic of the history and future of ocean energy.
International Development Policy
Duke teams have been working in the region for almost a decade, and during this time, there has been intensive community engagement that allowed us to be welcomed and reach out to different stakeholders.
Computer Science, Statistical Science
We’re trying to make an impact on the community with our work as well as with some of our community education activities.
Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science
I am willing to build my knowledge base on global health through GANDHI, and explore the area of healthcare from different angles.
Computer Science, Visual & Media Studies
Bass Connections showed me the different ways that research can manifest. Research is not necessarily working in a lab or analyzing vast quantities of data.
Business Administration, Environmental Management
Effective teams have a diversity of thought processes, skill sets, and preferences that balance each other.
Engaging with our fantastic team of interdisciplinary researchers and policymaker partners throughout the RRRR project enhanced the quality of my academic work, enabled translation of individual and collaborative findings into actionable policy recommendations, and provided innumerable professional development opportunities.
Business Administration, Medicine
There’s an energy amongst the faculty, the graduate students, and the undergraduate students that’s probably not paralleled by any other project I’ve participated in at Duke.
This project was challenging yet very rewarding. The fact that the research we conducted resulted in numbers and facts that have never been calculated before, and that will now hopefully contribute to future policy decisions, continues to amaze me.
Computer Science, Statistical Science
The skills I developed and the values I have come to hold will stick with me for the rest of my time at Duke, and hopefully for the rest of my life.
Environmental Sciences & Policy
The most meaningful part of Bass Connections was engaging with faculty and doing a deep dive into an interesting topic!
I hope to be able to do work that can lead to meaningful policy decisions within health systems.
Psychology, Public Policy
The Bass Connections project is a beautiful tie between how the social identity/norms research I do over in psychology can be useful/impactful at a policy or community level!
The skills and experiences I gained from these projects will not only help me better navigate postgraduate life, but will positively affect my upcoming dissertation research and writing.
GANDHI enables us to develop tangible, impactful solutions that address complex problems like this, supported by our diversity in expertise and unity in mission.
Global Health, Neuroscience
The responsibility ultimately rests on us – students – to take the opportunity, when possible, to engage in responsible work outside of the bubble that is Duke.
I had the opportunity to present a paper about Project Vox at the 24th World Congress of Philosophy. As an undergraduate, it was a scholarly chocolate factory where on top of exploring many topics, I was able to see some of my heroes and heroines in person.
I’m excited to see how these building blocks of neurobiology fit into higher-level functions as I take more neuroscience classes and as I continue my Bass Connections research.
What surprised me the most was with all of the funding coming in and a new emphasis on sustainability and energy access as well, that same emphasis on sustainability hasn’t necessarily been extended to the actual business side of the energy access equation.
As a result of having worked with a multidisciplinary team, my writing changed and improved with the goal of reaching wider audiences.
Art, Art History & Visual Studies
The most rewarding part of this experience has been the multiple view points and interdisciplinary conversations that have occurred.
Business Administration, Public Policy
Like the best Bass Connections projects, this experience has presented the team with convoluted questions, competing interests, ambiguous findings, and imperfect processes.