Students (2016-2017)

Team focused on health and care for adults


Michelle Roberts, Project Coordinator

Master’s in Global Health, Class of 2017

In working as GANDHI’s Project Coordinator, I have had the opportunity to help develop this project at each step. This has helped me to understand not only our goals, but also the depth of peoples’ needs in this area – transitional care, continuity of care, and rehabilitation are vitally necessary. This project thinks beyond survival, to the very human aspect of patient care – his or her everyday life beyond diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. 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.


kiraKira Battle

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Class of 2018

My main career aspiration is to further the international exchange of physical therapy practices through research and collaboration in order to increase access and quality of care globally. My interest is in post-crisis regions, where the hospital-to-home transition will naturally play a large role in recovery. To work in this area I think it is vital to appreciate the variability in health care access, practice and management across cultures and health care models. Lastly, I value and am excited to be part of an ever-growing collaboration of Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy students with other programs at Duke and abroad.


mattMatt Conley

Master’s in Business Administration, Class of 2017

Coming from a lean six-sigma background, it is my passion to drive efficiency and quality with the consumer in mind. This interest has drawn me to the GANDHI project and health sector. Patient-centered care must evolve beyond the walls of traditional health services to truly meet the needs of the patient. How to do this in a feasible manner is a major challenge for health systems worldwide. GANDHI enables us to develop tangible, impactful solutions that address complex problems like this, supported by our diversity in expertise and unity in mission.



deenaDeena El-Gabri

Master’s of Science in Global Health, Class of 2017








anneAnne 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.


sophieSophie Haet

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Class of 2017

I want to apply my education outside of the classroom and make a difference in society. I want to be apart of a project that will have a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities. I also love solving problems and using analytical and strategic thinking skills, and want to apply these skills in a real world setting.




yuhkaiYuhkai Lin

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Computer Science minor, Class of 2017

Bass Connections is an excellent opportunity to work on a project that required collaboration across a variety of disciplines. I want to take a step outside of my major while putting my skills and knowledge to use solving a real world problem. Participating in Bass Connections is a way to develop myself as a student, a team member, and a leader. GANDHI resonated with me because I’m reminded that being healthy and able-bodied is not always the case. Any progress made towards improving quality of life for those of disabilities could have significant effects on health and happiness.


chelseaChelsea 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


elishElish 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.



maazMaaz Mulla

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Global Health minor, 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.


shemShem Opolot

Master’s of Science in Global Health, Class of 2017

Being from Uganda, I am very passionate about helping to build capacity and improve delivery of health services within the country. 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.



rachelRachel Shapiro

Undeclared, Class of 2019

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.


alissaAlissa Stavig

Doctor of Medicine, Class of 2017

Through my experiences as a medical student, I have worked with many patients who are faced with a new disability or illness. Indeed, most of my experiences involve labeling individuals with this new disability and recognizing my limitations in supporting them in dealing with the challenges that they will face once they leave the clinic or the office. I am interested in understanding ways of viewing illness and disability as well as developing systems to support patients newly diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability in order to allow them to achieve their highest quality of life.


jackieJackie Xu

Bachelor’s in Global Health and Public Policy, Class of 2019

The goals of this project resonate strongly with my career goals, a mixture of global health and public policy. This project presents me with the opportunity to marry my two different academic interests together.





Team focused on health and care for children & adolescents



Brittney Sullivan, Teaching Assistant

Doctor of Nursing, Certificate in Global Health, Class of 2017

Translating team-based learning from the classroom to the field is a great opportunity to expand my research skills. Working across disciplines provides an unique opportunity to broaden my skills. Learning with peers and mentors with diverse interests allows us to have better informed research questions and hopefully will strengthen our project.





Sarah Jean Barton

Doctor of Theology

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.  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.  I am especially looking forward to specific collaborations in the area of children and adolescents, especially since this is the clinical population where I currently work at Duke.


mathamaMathama Bility

Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Policy, Global Health & Documentary Studies minors, Class of 2018

I would like to work to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. I am interested in exploring the intersections of health, culture, and policy as it relates to disability.






Nelia Ekeji

Bachelor’s in Biology and English, French minor, Class of 2019

Increasing the standard of living for the physically disabled requires providing resources, be it ramps for all public buildings or external wheelchair access buttons. Being a student at Duke, it is easy to see how this university does not make many accommodations for the disabled. This makes me question how other areas of the world accommodate those with disabilities. 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.


chrisChris Fitzgibbon

Doctor of Engineering, Certificate in College Teaching, Certificate from Center for Bimolecular and Tissue Engineering, Class of 2019

I wanted to have a direct impact. The research sciences are a powerful force, but without action to influence our world today the importance is muted. After graduation I plan to enter the Health Care Sector, and similar to my goals with this project, I hope to directly improve the lives of those in need.



annaAnna Martin

Master’s in Public Policy, Class of 2017

I lived in Kenya for 5 years before coming to Duke. I initially served as a Peace Corps Volunteer working with Deaf children predominantly. This work also allowed me to see into the lives of the broader population of people living with disabilities (physical, intellectual, etc). There were many challenges I saw them facing on a day to day basis that seemed to stem from the lack of policy implementation. I am now focusing on disability policy within an international context so that I can move back to East Africa and work more effectively with a sharpened set of policy analysis skills.


jazzyJasmine Seider

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Class of 2018

One of my hopes for my career is to provide physical therapy services to underserved populations either in the U.S. or abroad in some capacity and I see great importance in growing in my understanding of how individuals might experience disability differently. I would also love to learn more about health systems implemented in other countries and the effect of each on individual access to resources and overall wellbeing. I look forward to interacting with other students with similar interests and learning from their different perspectives and experiences.


joaoJoao Vissoci

Post-doctoral student in Global Health