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Our team agrees in that we would like to engage in the type of analysis we have done this summer after the formal DukeEngage program ends. On Thursday, however, after we present findings in front of a virtual audience, what will realistically continue?

Our weekly meetings will not, but the research program has ingrained several habits into my routine:

  1. I read Latin American news. Each day, after reading articles in the New York Times, The Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal, I purposefully seek out a couple of Latin American headlines—just to know what is happening in the region. I expect that this habit will enable me to make better connections between countries, politicians, and cultures.
  2. I follow influential Paraguayans on Twitter. Reading a couple of news stories is great for context and reading what Paraguay’s top reporters and intellectuals will help me track Paraguay-specific content. If I am able to travel to Paraguay at some point, this habit will assist me in being a more informed and respectful visitor.
  3. I am genuinely interested in work that other students and research teams publish, and I take extra time to learn from my classmates. This summer, the vast majority of my peers worked on virtual projects. This has resulted in a number of reflections on my LinkedIn feed. Learning from other work has and will continue to expand the breadth of my knowledge base.

Maintaining these structured habits requires discipline. I expect that once class resumes next month and I begin to juggle my academic and co-curricular obligations, I will not always prioritize the ‘little things’ on which I am not graded. Yet, hopefully seeing a friend from my DukeEngage team around campus will spark my curiosity and remind me of how much I can continue to learn from this summer’s experience.