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The guiDE program provides DukeEngage alumni a pathway to continue their commitment to service and civic engagement by providing leadership, mentorship and service opportunities that support wider DukeEngage efforts on campus and beyond.

Ryan Gallagher smiling


DukeEngage Partner Organization: Engineering World Health

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Contact Ryan:

Ryan is a Senior studying Biomedical Engineering. While on DukeEngage with Engineering World Health in Nicaragua, he met and worked with friends and peers in hospitals to build, repair, and replace equipment. There, he developed his curiosity for global health and gained new perspectives on global issues such as poverty and healthcare policy. As an avid fan of travel, Ryan loved exploring Nicaragua from the beaches to the volcanoes, and then had a single day layover back home between his DukeEngage in Nicaragua and his study abroad in Sydney, Australia. These experiences shaped Ryan’s view of the world and he hopes other students at Duke can share similar experiences. After Duke, Ryan hopes to pursue a career in medicine or somewhere else influencing the healthcare sector. Ultimately, he hopes to improve the lives of people in the United States and the rest of the world.

Resource Guide for DukeEngage Nicaragua

Following his summer working with Engineering World Health in Nicaragua, Ryan developed the following list of resources for students who are interested in that program — or similar programs.

Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook and DuoLingo were the most useful tools for me in learning Spanish, coming from no formal background.


EWH Summer Institute provides a month of Spanish training which is extremely beneficial in learning Spanish before working in a Spanish speaking hospital

EWH hosts a dinner series for upcoming participants that outlines the program and procedures that is very helpful to learn about the specific regions and the issues related to the healthcare in them.


Find Global Health talks throughout the semester, or any talk by Dr. Bob Malkin would be extremely useful to understand the complexities involved in the healthcare systems of these countries.


Lonely Planet: Nicaragua was by far the most useful book I had that taught about the political, cultural and social history of Nicaragua. It is also a very thorough guide of the country for weekend trips.



There are tons of articles about the history of the Nicaraguan-United States relations. Those are useful to understand the possible apprehension some Nicaraguans still have to Americans.


In the first month, the Spanish school showed us a film on the history of Nicaragua from its foundation to modern day, with much detail on the Sandanista revolution.


There are plenty of YouTube videos that outline the Sandanista Revolution and discuss some of the driving factors. Perusing those and understanding the basics of the political history of Nicaragua and America’s influence in the Contra War will help participants understand the friction in Nicaraguan-American relations.

Duke Engineering World Health Chapter
Duke Engineers for International Development
Developing Healthcare Technologies Lab (Dr. Malkin)

Health Technology Forum Innovation Conference at Stanford University

Duke GANO lets students volunteer tutoring Hispanic adults in Durham in English as a second language, a good learning experience for those who already have Spanish experience.

DEID Durham project offers the opportunity to volunteer in Durham on an engineering project.