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CORRECTION: Joshua Lovett was unintentionally left out of the Duke Today article. His project is described below. We regret the error.

Duke RIPP (Research in Practice Program) focuses on community-driven research projects where business, nonprofits and scholarship can most effectively intersect for outcome-oriented solutions. RIPP takes an interdisciplinary approach, working across the university and throughout the area’s business and research communities, to provide academically rigorous, collaborative projects that build on students’ experiences in and out of the classroom. The RIPP-Engage Summer Fellows program is an application-based, competitive program that selects DukeEngage program alumni for a follow-up “Engage” experience. These students, designated RIPP-Engage Summer Fellows, create a plan to build on some aspect of the of their previous DukeEngage experience.

The following students were named RIPP-Engage Fellows for 2016 and have received funding to support their summer research:

In the summer of 2014, Katie Becker (‘17) was part of the DukeEngage-New York City group, which focuses on women’s empowerment and advocacy for women’s rights. As a RIPP-Engage Fellow, she will return to NYC as a legal intern for Sanctuary for Families, where she’ll be a Latina Community Advocate. The nonprofit runs a network of shelters and services for victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and female genital mutilation. In her position as legal intern in the Immigration Intervention Project, Becker will assist survivors of gender violence in obtaining legal immigration stats, permanent resident status, and citizenship.

Conner Guest (‘17) was one of three DukeEngage students to pursue an engineering-based independent project helping to design and build a bridge in Rwanda during the summer of 2015. His RIPP-Engage work in Indonesia this summer will contribute to a Bass-Connections project assessing the impact of micro-hydro plants that deliver power to underserved populations. IBEKA in Indonesia has been constructing mini-hydro electrification projects for over 20 years, and Guest will be working to find quantifiable insights into the factors that lead to economic and social gains from the electricity.

Rishabh Kumar (‘18) was a participant of the 2015 DukeEngage Guatemala program held in collaboration with Social Entrepreneurship Corps. This summer, he will intern in Bangalore, India, with Unitus Capital, a financial advisory firm that develops finance structures and raises capital for developing businesses. He will be working with a network of local organizations in India to research and compare microfinance and micro-consignment models and discuss effective practices. Kumar will then write a comparison of the two financial models he has worked with in Guatemala and India when he returns to Duke.

After working in Seoul, South Korea during the summer of 2015, Joshua Lovett (’17) designed a follow-up RIPP-Engage project working with North Korean refugees on a project that will highlight North Korean issues through a documentary. Through this documentary, Lovett hopes to change perceptions on North Korea. He hopes to show the documentary at film festivals and at Duke in an attempt to educate the community on these topics.

Cuquis Robledo (‘17) will return to the Pacific Northwest where she worked with Disability Rights Washington in the summer of 2015 as part of the DukeEngage-Seattle program. Her RIPP-Engage work will build on her progress making advocacy videos for Disability Rights Washington and drawing attention to lagging policies, perceptions and infrastructure. While at DRW, she will continue to help and create short educational videos promoting disability advocacy to be shared online. She will also lead “Community Storytellers,” a group that encourages disability awareness and documents disability issues with videos shared by members all over the world. In addition, Robledo will contribute to various other projects, including website upkeep and legal assistance, and attend a Disability Advocacy Conference to promote the organization.

McCall Wells (‘17) was part of the DukeEngage-Miami program in 2015, which focused on immigration rights and legal policy. She’ll be conducting a 10-week community-based research project in Durham, NC, this summer with two immigrant resettlement organizations. Wells will volunteer for World Relief and World Service RDU, and later focus on documentation of oral histories through interviews with recently immigrated community members. Her research will then be presented to project participants, the partner organizations, and the ‘Refugee Resettlement Project’ at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Click here to learn More about RIPP-Engage