Student Stories

Chloe Ricks
International Comparative Studies

My senior thesis, which compares my home region to the Baixada Fluminense, a peripheral region of Rio de Janeiro that serves as the basis for our project, reflects how I have come to situate my own experiences in the Delta within a broader experience after both being a student at Duke and, more particularly, traveling to Brazil.

Katie Kanter

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.

Sandra Batakana

This experience has been life changing for me, not only because it fulfilled my wish to get a closer look at the fields of neuroscience and neurosurgery, but because it has actually altered my path in unexpected and exciting ways.

Robert Steilberg
Computer Science

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.

Maaz Mulla

Not only were my contributions valued, but they were held on equal grounds with all of my other team members regardless of major, year or level of education.


The most meaningful aspect of Bass Connections has been the ability to simultaneously delve into my passions and conduct interdisciplinary, real world applicable and implementable research.

Environmental Management

The path from policy proposal to rule of law is certainly long and winding. But who knows? Maybe, by the time our recommendations are ripe for congressional action, we’ll be the ones writing the bill.


...I learned valuable information and collected important data, but perhaps nothing was more meaningful than what I learned during my travel to these places.

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.

Environmental Sciences & Policy

The most meaningful part of Bass Connections was engaging with faculty and doing a deep dive into an interesting topic!

Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering

Bass Connections gave me confidence in my technical skills and made me realize the extent to which they can be used to solve engineering problems encountered in industry.

Computer Science, Statistical Science

My thesis is related to computer vision, which was first introduced to me in the Bass Connections project.

Mechanical Engineering

The most meaningful part of Bass Connections was the end-to-end development of a project.

Jennifer Ling
Evolutionary Anthropology

Working on the STEM for ALL Bass Connections team allowed me to approach research through an interdisciplinary lens and watch how a project grows and develops over many years.

Shashank Rajkumar

Bass Connections provided me the opportunity to work towards a project that had meaningful impact in the world.


As a result of having worked with a multidisciplinary team, my writing changed and improved with the goal of reaching wider audiences.

Anna Johns Hrom

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.

Adair Citlalli Necalli

All I can do is be grateful for the experiences and opportunities for growth it has given me, both personal and academic.

Mercy DeMenno
Public Policy

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.

Travis Knoll

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.