Student Stories

Evolutionary Anthropology

We are each writing our own published research paper, so I’ve had to go through the process of getting my IRB protocol done and approved, and writing survey questions.


We’re not just researching problems; we’re also coming up with solutions for problems.

Evolutionary Anthropology

I have appreciated being on the organizing and designing side of a research project that has such a great potential to impact children with autism on a larger scale.


The funding allows us to do important research in a setting where it is needed, but also the way it is set up—with undergrads, master’s students, and doctoral students, along with staff and faculty, collaborating together—really works.

Environmental Sciences & Policy

My advice to students considering Bass Connections—other than to seize this unique and worthwhile opportunity—is to be flexible as the project evolves.

Environmental Sciences

Data+ gave me a broader perspective of what data science research is.

Evolutionary Anthropology

We’re working with people with dementia who are living in the Durham community.

Environmental Sciences

Finding the right problem that we thought we could tackle, coming up with solutions and working together to brainstorm all the different pathways and solutions is one of the biggest learning experiences I had at Duke.

Environmental Management

Fortunately, even though the road is long and hard, a bright future is waiting for us, and waiting for Duke.

Environmental Management

The project not only involved solving a real-world problem using skills learned in classes, but it also had to do with working closely with clients and collaborating with students from different academic backgrounds.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

We worked with the World Bank and actually got to present at the World Bank, which was a really cool experience. 

Biomedical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering

My participation in the Data+ program has shown me how to successfully work with a dynamic team.


I would encourage students to take advantage of Bass Connections as an opportunity to meet smart, interesting and engaged people who think and solve problems in different ways than they do.

English, Psychology

Armed with my amalgamation of resources, I’m excited to put everything into action next semester.

Biology, English

I want to work with this research team to study different global policies geared towards supporting the disabled and discover ways to change existing policies that limit the physically disabled.

Lauren Shum.
Electrical & Computer Engineering

My Bass Connections experience has been instructional in two key areas: it has shed insight upon the dynamics of a successful team, and it has allowed me to explore pathways to institutional change.

Education, Psychology

It exposed me to this whole community of students with autism and special needs. 


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.

Economics, English

This project exposed me to actual policy research, a field that I hope to go into in the future.


I loved the subject of the research from the beginning, but I hadn’t realized how challenging designing an intervention and analyzing the collected data could be.

Economics, Psychology

Our team leader really encourages us to learn how to conduct this research ourselves.

Cultural Anthropology, Psychology

We tried to meet our community partner where they were, and our deliverables reflected this.

Cultural Anthropology, Global Health

The opportunity to receive mentorship from many different professors and leaders in the field has been incredibly rewarding.

Cultural Anthropology

This project has the potential to shape my career prospects by giving me the opportunity to organize community health models that incorporate sociocultural considerations.

Business Administration, Environmental Management

For the Bass Connections Campus Digester Team, the trip was an opportunity to see first-hand what a functional waste-to-energy anaerobic digestion system looks like.

Business Administration, Environmental Management

Effective teams have a diversity of thought processes, skill sets, and preferences that balance each other.

Business Administration, Global Health

My participation on the Bass Connections team has further developed my creative problem‐solving, leadership and cross‐cultural competencies that will set me up for success in my future endeavors.  

Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering

My advice to students is to develop good relationships with your peers and mentors—it makes the learning process more fulfilling and will help you in the future.

Chemistry, Global Health

The close collaboration across disciplines have been formative experiences and helped me become more conscious in all of my studies. 

Chemistry, Computer Science

Bass Connections is an excellent opportunity to work on a project that required collaboration across a variety of disciplines.

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.

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.

Business Administration

GANDHI enables us to develop tangible, impactful solutions that address complex problems like this, supported by our diversity in expertise and unity in mission.


Throughout the project, my team and I met some incredible people who made the experience all the more valuable to me. It was one of the most impactful summers of my life.

Art, Art History & Visual Studies

The most rewarding part of this experience has been the multiple view points and interdisciplinary conversations that have occurred.

Environmental Engineering

As this was my first field research experience, I learned a ton, but the most important lesson was that you have to be flexible and adjust to changes.

Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Public Policy

This project has helped me learn to think in a truly creative way by combining and synthesizing information from a variety of sources. 

Biology, Global Health

I learned that involving the community and collaborating with its members are cornerstones to improve public health. I also learned that one of the pillars of community health work is community empowerment.

Global Health

In 2019, we are planning to transition to a more expanded network of healing sites. 

Political Science, Public Policy

When I complete my dissertation, I plan to disseminate the findings to policymakers. I hope the evidence will provide important insights for policy design in rapidly urbanizing areas in the Global South.