Students (2017-2018)

Sarah Jean Barton, Teaching Assistant

Doctor of Theology, Class of 2019

As a clinician and community advocate with over ten years of experience working alongside people with disabilities, GANDHI’s commitment to the critical area of care transitions parallels both my clinical focus on children with disabilities and my theological research investigating the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in faith communities.  I am strongly committed to interdisciplinary work and am excited to engage the diversity of intersections with disability among the collaborators in our project group.  


Jackie Xu, 
Project Coordinator

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Class of 2019

I want to spend my career building stronger health systems around the world. GANDHI aligns with this career interest given its perspective on disability research. Understanding health systems requires such complex analysis that GANDHI inherently aligns with the Bass Connections ideals of interdisciplinary, team-based learning. I believe the GANDHI Bass Connections team has amazing potential to shape the way we approach systems change in healthcare.



Lillian Blanchard

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Minor in Global Health, Class of 2019

Over the course of my current time at Duke I have become fascinated with the idea of shifting the way we look at health globally. Often, disability and mental illness are overlooked in terms of the way we approach global health solutions. I am thrilled to be able to join a research time examining the needs of disabled individuals after acute care. I believe my participation in the Bass GANDHI team will help me gain a more holistic understanding of health and the factors required to sustain health for disabled individuals.


Alex Dai

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Visual Arts, Class of 2018

As an aspiring physician, I’ve come to learn during my time here at Duke that it is just as crucial to be knowledgeable of the healthcare system and its role within society as it is to be knowledgeable of how to treat a patient’s illness. We often get so caught up in the biology and chemistry of medicine, that we lose sight of how the way we deliver care affects patients. As part of the GANDHI team, I hope to be able to do work to better our understanding of the patient experience across the care continuum and that can hopefully lead to meaningful policy decisions within health systems.


Chunxi “Tracey” Ding

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Class of 2020

As a Biomedical Engineering student, I would like to provide a special perspective for Bass GANDHI team. I look forward to seeking for practical applications of scientific researches to improve aid to disability and searching for possible solutions to specific problems with respect to cultural and technical backgrounds in different countries and regions. I am willing to build my knowledge base on global health through GANDHI, and explore the area of healthcare from different angles.


Isabelle Doan

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Class of 2020

As a pre-medical student with a strong interest in health policy, I am thrilled to be a part of the Bass Connections GANDHI team. I hope to be able to improve health outcomes through policy practices and public health measures, especially for individuals living with disabilities. Through our interdisciplinary research on acute disability in global health systems and the care continuum, GANDHI will bridge the gap between my public policy and health related interests.



Anne Gross

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Class of 2018

My goal is to explore the impact that culture has on our beliefs about health as well as expand my knowledge of global health and the psychology of health, disability and wellness. The GANDHI Project is an exceptional chance to further my understanding. I hope to represent my profession competently while working towards a more preventive and quality based system. I am eager to engage with other professionals and appreciate their education, culture, and view on health care. By understanding how patients see their health status, I hope to determine ways to improve patient education and medical interventions.


Gabrielle Harris

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Class of 2019

My longterm goal is to improve the psychosocial recovery of young adult stroke survivors by assisting them in establishing normalcy in their lives, specifically returning to meaningful roles such as parenting. GANDHI’s mission to determine the services and support needed for newly disabled adults aligns perfectly with my research interests and is a great opportunity to further expand my knowledge. I am excited to engage with students, faculty, and professionals at all levels across multiple disciplines to begin to improve individuals’ quality of life after an acute injury or illness.


Alexandria Hurley

Bachelor of Science with a Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Science and Society Certificate, Class of 2019

I hope that one day I will be a part of a team of people that helps many patients get back on their feet again after an illness, accident, or trauma.  However, in primary care it is easy to overlook the other aspects of care a patient needs to become truly well again once they go back home.  I hope that participating in Bass Connections GANDHI will help me learn about the full care continuum needed by people with disability.  With this knowledge I will be better able to help my future patients before they leave my office, and I will be able to maximize the part of their continuum that I am directly involved in.  


Chelsea Liu

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Chemistry minor, Class of  2018

I am interested in technology and healthcare, so naturally I wanted to contribute to a project using technology to improve health outcomes. I became aware of the problems surrounding access to care when I moved to Durham and realized that socioeconomic status was very closely related to overall health. After learning that many people could not access the services provided at Duke Medicine and other community clinics because of mobility issues, I decided that I wanted to be a part of the team that works to connect them to this essential service.



Elish Mahajan

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Computer Science minor, Class of 2018

Someday, somehow I want to be involved in medicine in a larger roll. While the organic chemistries and human physiologies give the meaty science behind health, I want to exposure to the community health side. Disability is such a prevalent issue, and while we understand the biomechanical side of functional impairment, we don’t have a perfect grasp on the ‘living’ side.




Maaz Mulla

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Computer Science, Class of 2018

Duke is really an institution that pushes its undergraduates to make a difference. Through programs, such as Bass Connections, I am not held down by the fact that I am an undergraduate. I get to work with medical students, professors, and graduate students on a project that we are all interested in. There is such a large gap in how we treat patients with disabilities. It is not enough to simply discharge these patients after a hospital visit. We need to innovate health services for these patients, and we must tailor our care while keeping their disabilities in mind.


Alexandra Paulenich

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Global Health, Class of 2020

Though disability universally affects populations worldwide, it is overlooked and underfunded when compared to the attention given to communicable diseases. GANDHI seeks to research disability and its impact on quality of life, and better understand how to improve care for disabled patients, both in hospitals and in patients’ homes. I am interested in healthcare both in the United States and around the world, and I believe that participating in interdisciplinary research, a staple of Bass Connections, is essential for addressing significant problems associated with healthcare and disability worldwide.


Sahil Sandhu

Program II: Health Disparities, Class of 2020

Bass Connections is a unique platform to apply what I learn in the classroom to the real world. I am currently designing my own degree in health disparities. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, I hope to study the processes and paradigms that result in a lack of access to care and poor health outcomes for certain populations, including disabled individuals. At the intersection of medicine, policy, and culture, GANDHI is the perfect conduit for pursuing my research interests in holistic healthcare.



Rachel Shapiro

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate

A primary reason for selecting Duke was to engage in academic offerings that transcended traditional classroom instruction – such as Bass Connections. I am interested in the interface of healthcare, the impact of disability, and health policy in different cultures, which all should be relevant for this project. My background in clinical research in a hospital setting provides a foundation for me to contribute to the planning for the research as well as being immersed in the research process itself. The GANDHI project is a unique experience to explore my interest in healthcare and create positive change in the world.


Athina Vrosgou

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology, Minors in Biology and Chemistry, Class of 2019

My interests are rooted in the development of cultural competency in the context of health and serve as a driving force behind my decision to study Cultural Anthropology on a pre-medical track. GANDHI offers a collaborative landscape to apply a combined education in natural sciences and anthropology classes to global disability research. Cultural competence can be a vehicle for reducing disparities in health care access and quality in health care systemic structure, leadership, workforce, and clinical applications. This project has the potential to shape my career prospects by giving me the opportunity to organize community health models that incorporate sociocultural considerations.


Natalie Yu

Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, Class of 2020

Healthcare has been an integral part of my research and community outreach work for a long time. I believe the cross-cultural approach that GANDHI adopts in examining health policy is meaningful, as it promises to generate insights into how we can better ease the hospital-to-home transition for newly disabled persons around the world. I would like to contribute my knowledge on healthcare systems in Singapore specifically, and also to learn as much as I can from passionate teammates and faculty members.



Alessandra Zhang

Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science, Minor in Global Health, Class of 2019

I have always been passionate about the healthcare sector in the society – I hope to help people get back to their normal life after treatment. Participating in Bass Connection GANDHI team is a great opportunity for me to learn about the global health policies and how patients are feeling exactly. I hope that I can use my knowledge to contribute to the team and better help with the patients to recover from illness or trauma.