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On Wednesday, September 7, The Chronicle reported that "Much Ado About Nothing" will be preformed at Duke and Durham by the Castle Theatre Company, a result of the relationship between Durham, England, and Durham, North Carolina, fostered by DukeEngage.
"This 'Much Ado' also has a broader significance, both at home and overseas. It is the next step for DukeEngage Durham-Durham: since 2012, Duke students have been visiting our Sister City every summer to do community service. This visit will further strengthen the bond between Duke and Durham University, and hopefully anticipate more student collaborations in the future."
Working with Ms. Amanda Moore McBride of the University of Denver, Eric Mlyn, the executive director of DukeEngage, has published an essay on social innovation and civic engagement, which can be found in Diversity and Democracy's summer issue as well as here, on the Association of American Colleges and Universities website.
"Look at the traffic in your email inbox over the last week. If your inbox looks like ours, take note of the number of emails you have received, from both internal and external colleagues, announcing a new undergraduate competition for the best innovative solution to a social problem, a new course on how to construct a business plan to start a social impact organization, or a competition for funding to start a new campus organization. To us, the volume of these emails is stunning, and it speaks to a broader trend in the higher education system."
“It was the most amazing marriage of creativity, engineering and art that I’d ever seen,” DukeEngage alum Diana Anthony recalls of her time spent volunteering at the Range of Motion Project (ROMP) lab in Quito, Ecuador during the Summer of 2014. ROMP, a mobility organization, supplies prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces to those who do not readily have access to these services.
“I loved my time in the lab,” Anthony adds, “getting the hands-on experience of building a substitute for a human limb—the opportunity to help build the leg that would help someone walk again for the first time, and to watch them take their first steps—what an amazing experience!”
Anthony believes that some of the most valuable aspects of the volunteer program include working within a small team environment and witnessing first-hand ROMP’s impact on patients. “Volunteers get to interact with those they are volunteering to help. They are able to directly see the benefits of their work.” Anthony adds, “Not only are you able to help and give back, but personally, you learn a lot about the field of prosthetics and public health in the developing world.”
After finishing her degree, Anthony returned to Quito to work at ROMP full time as the Operations Manager for ROMP Global. Her responsibilities include managing a 3D printing project that she had started while she was a DukeEngage volunteer. “Taking the lead on the 3D printing project two years ago helped solidify my role as the manager of our 3D printing labs in all of our locations,” Anthony explains, “I scout new technologies or companies that I think might benefit ROMP, and then I get us involved.”
DukeEngage and ROMP celebrated their 5th year of partnership this summer. In her current role, Anthony works with DukeEngage volunteers and encourages more to apply. “Do it!” she says, “No matter if you think your Spanish isn’t quite there yet, or you aren’t sure what direction you want to take your studies or career. This organization and the people it serves are some of the best people you will ever meet, and they will show you a whole world of inspiration, dedication, and a desire to better themselves and the people around them. I can’t tell you exactly what this experience will do for you or how it may shape you, but I can tell you that it is worth it.”
This article was written by Brandi Thomas, guest writer.
On Monday, July 25, Duke Today reported that Dr. Eric Mlyn will continue in his leadership role with DukeEngage.
"Eric Mlyn has been reappointed to a third term as the Peter Lange Executive Director of DukeEngage, announced Steve Nowicki, dean and vice provost for undergraduate education.
Duke regularly conducts five-year reviews of deans and senior administrative positions, and Mlyn’s recommendation for reappointment follows an evaluation by a faculty committee headed by sociology Professor Martha Reeves."
Glamour Magazine recently named DukeEngage alum Suhani Jalota as one of its 2016 College Women of the Year. The magazine annually selects ten young women who have made a serious impact in either their local communities or on a global scale. In May 2015, Jalota founded the Myna Mahila Foundation, a social enterprise that helps facilitate access to menstrual hygiene products in impoverished areas of India.
Jalota’s passion for global health has long been an aspect of her Duke experience. In 2013, Jalota participated in a DukeEngage Independent Project, which focused on improving sanitation systems and awareness in Maharashtra, India, through partnership with NGOs in the area. Jalota and the Myna Mahila Foundation have since worked to improve women’s health in the Mumbai area by selling high quality feminine hygiene products at a low cost.
The award from Glamour Magazine, along with the $20,000 grand price, honors Jalota’s ongoing impact on the welfare of women in the slum communities of Mumbai. To read the feature in Glamour Magazine, click here.
Although the DukeEngage program was introduced only nine years ago, the spirit of global outreach and education has long been a focus of the Duke experience. A newly uncovered 1962 report from Duke’s “Project Nicaragua” exemplifies the University’s longstanding dedication to civic engagement — and almost uncannily resembles the goals of today’s DukeEngage program. The similarity between DukeEngage and this civic engagement endeavor from more than 50 years ago speaks to the Duke’s enduring support of experiential education and global service. Interestingly, members of the committee that created DukeEngage in 2006-2007 had no prior knowledge of the Nicaragua program.
Project Nicaragua sought to provide Duke students with an opportunity to learn more about life in Latin American communities through hands-on volunteer service in an elementary school and hospital. Students’ time in Nicaragua was focused on providing aid to public institutions within Managua and developing a personal connection to the people who worked to keep them running. Similarly, the strong relationships formed between DukeEngage participants and the organizations with whom they partner are central to the success of each program.
Although DukeEngage offers a diverse array of service themes, those related to Project Nicaragua (education, youth services, health, and community development) are some of the most popular issues currently addressed by program participants. In addition to meaningful service work, cultural immersion plays a primary role in all global engagement efforts.
Students who traveled to Nicaragua in 1962 were in near constant contact with native Nicaraguans, including children who attended school in a building next to the group’s housing quarters. The cultural exchanges facilitated by this kind of interaction are evident in every DukeEngage program today. For example, many DukeEngage programs place students in homestays to ensure that immersion takes place alongside their volunteer work. The programs also share an emphasis on effective service, as well as student integration into each community’s unique culture.
The parallels between “Project Nicaragua” and DukeEngage expand beyond the fundamental mission of each program, as the two mirror each other in their objectives and their means of accomplishing them. The 1962 trip to Managua, Nicaragua, included eight students and two group leaders. Applicants underwent a rigorous selection process based on a diverse range of credentials, comparable to those used to select DukeEngage participants today. Students were made familiar with the culture of Nicaragua prior to their departure, in sessions that parallel the DukeEngage pre-departure training designed to prepare students for their service.
Many logistical elements of the two programs remain comparable, save one prominent difference. While Project Nicaragua required students to raise individual funds for their experience, DukeEngage allows students to travel with all necessary funding provided.
Perhaps most notable about the 1962 report in comparison to current DukeEngage programming is the common language used to describe elements and objectives of each program. The Project Nicaragua report states that students reflected deeply about life back on campus, gained new perspectives, and grew towards real independence and maturity. In a remarkably parallel fashion, the DukeEngage mission and goals highlight thoughtful reflection and profound transformation. The Project Nicaragua report also discusses specific examples of organizational and operational problems the Duke students could help solve. Recognizing opportunities to make a real impact within the community is a major theme surrounding today’s DukeEngage service, as well. Independent and group projects often tackle specific challenges with tangible, lasting solutions, such as designing curriculum, building physical structures, and advocating for the rights of community members.
The discovery of the Project Nicaragua report in the Duke University Archives is evidence that dedication to civic engagement is definitely not a new concept is to the Duke community. (Our thanks to Amy McDonald, Assistant University Archivist, for sharing the report from the collection: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/uastuactrc/)
DukeEngage would like to congratulate the twelve Duke graduates recently named Fulbright Scholars. This year’s group of scholarship recipients includes six alumni of various DukeEngage programs, each of whom graduated last year. The former DukeEngage participants will be continuing their commitment to global outreach in countries all over the world, including South Africa, Germany, Nepal, Turkey, Malaysia and Taiwan. Carlton Allan and Inder Takhar both participated in DukeEngage in 2012, working in Uganda and Nicaragua, respectively. 2013 DukeEngage participants include Megan McCarroll (DukeEngage Kenya WISER), Reed McGinley-Stempel (DukeEngage Cape Town, South Africa), Sruti Pisharody (DukeEngage Jodhpur, India), and Anana Raghuraman (DukeEngage Egypt). The Fulbright Scholarship program allows recipients to promote intercultural exchange and mutual understanding in a broad range of international locations. The DukeEngage community is proud to recognize our program alumni for this incredible achievement. To read the full story, click here.
Two North Korean defectors recently reconnected with DukeEngage South Korea alumni to speak at Duke about their experiences living in and escaping from North Korea. The DukeEngage program in South Korea places students at the Malmangcho School to teach English. During the summer of 2105, the Duke students and the two refugees, Sam Kim and Bomhyang Lee, met and began planning this visit. The refugees’ talk was not only an inspirational story of reunion; it was also a valuable dialogue aiding in the elimination of stereotypes surrounding North Korean citizens. DukeEngage is happy to have helped bring the young defectors to campus. The Chronicle published an article about the visit and lecture (2/22/2016).