Faculty Receive Bass Connections Awards to Develop Courses

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Bass Connections has awarded four course development funds to groups of Duke faculty members whose pedagogical ideas will expand interdisciplinary curricular options for undergraduates as well as graduate and professional students.

This Spring an RFP invited Duke faculty, departments or schools to organize new courses or modify existing ones that align with one or more of the Bass Connections themes and are multidisciplinary, open to students at different levels and/or ask questions of societal importance. Such courses will augment theme leaders’ efforts to enrich the curricular pathways available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Managing Networks     

Submitted by Lisa Keister with Susan Alberts, Christopher Bail, Jonathon Cummings, James Moody, Martin Ruef

  • Faculty affiliations: Trinity College of Arts & Sciences (Biology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Sociology, Markets and Management Certificate Program); Fuqua School of Business; Nicholas School of the Environment (Marine Science and Conservation); Center for Population Health & Aging; Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; Duke Network Analysis Center; Duke Population Research Institute
  • Bass Connections theme: Information, Society & Culture

Networks are pervasive in the social, economic, political and natural worlds. Network data and methods – and concurrently our ability to conceptualize and analyze networks – have expanded dramatically in recent years, and Duke is a central location in which this research is being conducted. This course is about the role that networks play in organizations. It will involve multiple faculty from across schools, invite outside experts to provide guest lectures and include project-based assignments. Graduate students and post-docs from various disciplines will participate as assistants and project leaders.

Engineering and Anthropology of Biomedical Engineering (BME) Design in Uganda

Submitted by William Reichert and Kearsley Stewart

Dr. Reichert established the Duke-Makerere University in Kampala (MUK) BME Partnership in coordination with Duke BME, Duke Global Health Institute, Pratt School of Engineering, the Provost’s Office and the Duke Africa Initiative. The goal of this course is to integrate the design and anthropological elements of the Duke-MUK experience into a single course offered to both BME and global health undergraduate and graduate students. It will proceed pedagogically as a design class superimposed with the relevant anthropology of working directly with students in Uganda.

History of Global Health

Submitted by Nicole Barnes and Margaret Humphreys

  • Faculty affiliations: Trinity College of Arts & Sciences (History); School of Medicine; Duke Global Health Institute
  • Bass Connections theme: Global Health

The history of global health contains valuable perspectives for thinking through current health challenges. The course begins with the development of ancient medicine in Europe and China, and continues into the rise of biomedicine in the 19th and 20th centuries. It addresses particular diseases as case studies through which to explore important themes in global health history, and traces global circulations of people and commodities to show how international agencies, charities and governing bodies have spread both disease and the means to fight it.

Integrating Environmental Science and Policy

Submitted by Lori Bennear and Patrick Halpin

  • Faculty affiliations: Nicholas School of the Environment (Environmental Economics and Policy, Marine Science and Conservation); Trinity College of Arts & Sciences (Economics); Sanford School of Public Policy; Energy Initiative; Science & Society
  • Bass Connections theme: Energy

Environmental challenges are inherently multidisciplinary, drawing upon principles from ecology, earth sciences, biochemistry, economics, political science and ethics. Employing in-depth case studies, this course will explore the complex interactions that characterize current environmental problems. Course objectives include: exposing students to interdisciplinary approaches to environmental science and policy; allowing students to develop analytic tools to address environmental issues; and fostering collaborative group-based analytic experiences consistent with real-world environmental problem solving.

Faculty recipients of these course development funds will be invited to share their experiences at a luncheon or dinner at the end of year.

Learn how to get involved with Bass Connections.

Huang Fellows Program

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Deadline: January 31, 2016

The Huang Fellows Program trains students to understand science in the context of and in service to society. Through their participation in the program, Fellows learn how to integrate ethics, policy, and social implications into their scientific research. This highly selective program, created by Andrew Huang, fosters a community of accomplished undergraduate scholars who will be trained in the sciences and grounded firmly in the liberal arts–and who will be well prepared to serve as leaders in sciences and the biomedical professions.

Click here for the application form. Deadline: January 31, 2016
Summer Program Dates: May 31 – August 5, 2016

Program Highlights

  • Immersive science or policy lab placement in the summer before sophomore year
  • Seminar Series concurrent with lab placement
  • Science Symposium at the culmination of the summer experience
  • Year-long programming during sophomore, junior, and senior years
  • Publishing opportunities
  • Mentorship by other fellows
  • Housing is covered for the summer and a stipend for living expenses will be provided by the program

Selection Criteria (Fellows are selected during the spring of their first year at Duke)

  • Academic excellence in the pursuit of scientific knowledge and understanding
  • Demonstrated desire and commitment to productive and constructive collaboration with others
  • Commitment to science in the service of society
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Openness to learning from others, gathering multiple perspectives, and standing outside of your comfort zone
  • Potential for leadership in the responsible use and application of science in society

Application Requirements

  • A cover letter
  • An unofficial Duke transcript
  • High school transcript
  • Resume/CV
  • 2 recommendations/nominations from faculty (including an evaluation form and letter)
  • A one-page statement of interest explaining why you are interested in becoming a Huang Fellow, and why you embody the criteria for selection

Learn More