Student Stories

Biomedical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering

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

Environmental Management

I am confident that my education and experiences at Duke are preparing me to make a true impact in the energy sector after I graduate.

Jaslyn Zhang
Computer Science, Statistical Science

I joined the team and hope to find out if incorporating active-learning techniques can improve current college STEM education and thus help increase retention rates of women and minorities.

Mechanical Engineering

The most rewarding aspect of my Bass Connections experience was learning how to approach a real-world problem with my Engineering background and iterating on a solution through research and testing.

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.

Cultural Anthropology, Global Health

One of my favorite experiences of our Bass Connections project so far was the debate. This debate was a great learning experience for me on how to argue for a different side than I originally thought and helped me improve my own debate skills.

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.

International Comparative Studies, Public Policy

I joined the Schooling and Parenting Bass Connections team eager to find greater understanding of the education research that may ultimately influence policy.

Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering

I’m really willing to learn new things every day, and I’m always trying to explore new areas of expertise.

Cultural Anthropology, Global Health

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

Alexandra Paulenich
Biology, Global Health

I believe that participating in interdisciplinary research, a staple of Bass Connections, is essential for addressing significant problems associated with healthcare and disability worldwide.


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.

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.

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.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

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


For other nursing students considering Bass Connections, I’d say it’s something new and challenging because you need to work with undergrad students and with people outside the nursing field. It’s a really fascinating experience working with different people.

Global Health

Bass Connections was a really good way to participate in a larger research project that gave me more data to work with, and more flexibility and options.


The interdisciplinary aspect of Bass Connections provides a unique opportunity to learn from and collaborate with students and faculty from different disciplines while working toward innovative solutions to current global health issues.

Global Health

Bass Connections is a great way to work toward the same goals with people in different disciplines from all over the world. It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’ve already learned so much from the collaborations and experiences made possible by this project.

International Comparative Studies, Political Science

Bass Connections has provided me with an academic passion that extends outside of the walls of the classroom.

Global Health, Sociology

Witnessing the teamwork required for a project’s implementation and continuation from an inside perspective was inspiring.


Perhaps the most thrilling part of this project for me was getting to interact with graduate students and faculty from multiple disciplines and learning from them in the process.

Global Health

It’s been wonderful having the undergraduates in our group. They’re so excited, and they’ve already added new sides to the work we’ve been doing. We’re all just really excited.

Biology, Global Health

There has been no prior research conducted to formally describe the migration and illness experiences of the population living in las colonias.


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.


Flexibility and establishing relationships were key ingredients to this team’s productivity. We had a wide range of research skills and experiences across our diverse group and we had to learn more about each other to appropriately pace progress toward each goal.

Global Health

The GANDHI project targets a very neglected part of Uganda’s healthcare system and I think that if done well, embarking on this project will result in several positive externalities that will be beneficial to Uganda’s healthcare system as a whole.

Physical Therapy

I am eager to engage with other professionals and appreciate their education, culture, and view on health care.

Biology, Global Health

Juntos was no longer a research project that I was simply interested in; it grew into so much more. It became our team’s social entrepreneurship venture that we all have been working on so tirelessly to bring it to new heights.

Computer Science

The GANDHI project is a unique experience to explore my interest in healthcare and create positive change in the world.


As a clinician and community advocate with over ten years of experience working alongside people with disabilities, this Bass Connections project’s commitment to the critical area of care transitions immediately struck my attention.

Global Health

I care deeply about promoting patient and family quality of life and am excited to work towards helping patients, families, and communities to not merely survive, but truly heal.


There are many moving parts which are difficult to deal with even as a team, but I know the end goal of creating a sustainable resource for teachers to be able to teach this class is so worthwhile.

Global Health, Neuroscience

I am excited to be a part of this team and hopefully use some of my background knowledge in research with neuroscience to better understand autism as a whole.

Global Health

The team has been great. Everyone gets along really well, which makes it easy to get our work done and have fun.

Program II

I think the combination of our different experiences and what we bring to the table is going to create a really meaningful product in the end, and will really have a true impact on the community.

Environmental Management

We’re looking at [this issue] from a whole community perspective. How can this community move forward, but in a way that helps preserve the local environment and natural capital for future generations?

Global Health, Neuroscience

I am an undergraduate team member on a Bass Connections research team that has collaborated with a non-profit music therapy program called Voices Together.

Public Policy

It was so interactive, and for me, that was really cool. I saw research come to life.

Global Health

The MSc-GH program has plenty of strengths on its own, but it was the Bass Connections program that enabled me to find like-minded students and really delve into evolutionary medicine.