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2005-2006 Participants

2006-2007 Participants

Lissett Babaian
Trinity '07
Public Policy major
Studied abroad in Brazil

Lissett Babaian was born in New York. As a child, she hated school so much that every Sunday night she suddenly yet consistently became ill. Between 6th grade to 10th grade she got to travel throughout the tri-state area, switching schools yearly and getting the opportunity to experience and critique public schools, private schools, and Catholic schools.

In 10th grade she tried out the Waldorf School of Garden City where she had the opportunity to direct her own learning and create her own personalized and terribly innovative independent studies. This along with finding several loving mentors made her school work bearable and sometimes even interesting. Her love for learning overcame her angst and the nerd in her emerged and she graduated as valedictorian.

At Duke, she participated in the Forging Social Ideals FOCUS which introduced her to service-learning pedagogy. She became slightly obsessed with this pedagogy and as a result served as the LEAPS program coordinator for two years and conducted many community based research projects.

Lissett has studied, traveled, lived and served extensively in Latin America and Europe. However, among all her travels her time in Bolivia has had the greatest impact on her, opening her eyes to many social justice issues she had previously been unaware of. Integrating her profound desire to address the needs abroad and her passion for service learning, Lissett became interested in the possibility for service learning in Duke Study Abroad programs. This academic and personal passion inspired the creation of SEE! the World.

In summer 2006, she interned with Mercado Global, a fair trade organization that links the world's most rural and economically disadvantaged cooperatives to the U.S. market through a financial model that provides both fair wages and investments in local educational projects.

Lissett will be participating in the School for International Training's Social Justice: Culture and Development program in Fortaleza, Brazil. She hopes to serve street children in whatever capacity she can. She is very excited to be a participant of SEE! 2006-2007 and is very excited to see how the program grows and evolves.

In 2007, she will graduate with a major in Public Policy Studies. She will also graduate as a Scholar for Civic Mission and of course with honors in Awesomeness!

In addition to her academic interests, Lissett enjoys Bikram yoga, listening to any kind of music with loud drums, dancing everywhere (car, your kitchen, public parks), and reading children?s books. She also is an incredible latte artist even though she herself doesn't drink coffee.


Read Lissett's October reflection piece here.
Read Lissett's December reflection piece here.

Zoe Baer
Trinity '08
Arabic and Cultural Anthropology major

Studied abroad in Syria

Zoe is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and a rising Junior at Duke University. She is Majoring in Arabic (in the African and Asian Languages and Literature Department) and Cultural Anthropology.

Zoe will be traveling to Syria this upcoming Fall, studying Arabic Language at the University of Damascus. In the Spring she hopes to travel to Jordan and conduct her own research in the field of Cultural Anthropology concerning popular conceptions of politics and ethnicities in the capital of Amman, Jordan. Last spring semester she was a research assistant for Professor Katherine Ewing in the Cultural Anthropology department, interviewing and researching the South Asian Muslim community in the Research Triangle. While abroad she hopes to teach ESL.

Joy Basu
Trinity '08
Public Policy Major, History Minor, Markets and Management Certificate
Studied Abroad in Strasbourg, France

Joy, born and raised in Naperville, IL, identifies strongly as a citizen of the world. Her parents were born in Eastern India, settled in the States in the early 1970s, and promote an atmosphere of biculturalism and multilingualism in their home. Joy is very close with her two older brothers, Anupam and Pat, who are completing their residencies in Radiology. She speaks English and Bengali fluently, French proficiently, and is competent in Italian.

She is currently a Junior in Trinity College majoring in Public Policy. She spent her summer interning for the State Department in Paris; she served on the US Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This taught Joy a great deal about economic policy, American interests abroad, and the faced paced world of diplomacy. This Fall, she is studying in Strasbourg, France, which is a town in the Alsace region on the border of France and Germany. Her coursework focuses on policy priorities in the EU, an international analysis of human rights, and understanding the trajectory of this continent. She believes Strasbourg is an amazing place to understand the political, economic, and social infrastrucute of contempory Europe, and compare it with our values in the US. She is living with an Alsatian family, and is eager to continue immersion into the French way of life. As one might suspect, she loves to travel, engage with dynamic individuals, and laugh.


Read Joy's October reflection piece here.

April Edwards
Trinity '08
Biological Anthropology and Anatomy and Religion major
Studied abroad in Madrid, Spain

April Edwards is a Trinity Junior studying abroad in Madrid. She is from Greensboro, North Carolina and is double majoring at Duke in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy and Religion. She is premed, but could never restrict her love of learning to just the sciences. She has a love that borders on obsession for music (listening to it and playing it), good conversation, naps and musicals.

April is participating in NYU in Madrid, and hopes to work with the "Fundacion Triangulo" or the Triangle Foundation, which is the center for homosexual and transgender population. The organization does various activities around Madrid to raise awareness about safe sex practices and STDs. She became interested in sex education and awareness after spending a summer in Kenya and working with high schoolers whose ignorance of these issues often fed the spread of HIV/AIDS.


Read April's October reflection piece here.
Read April's December reflection piece here.

Kimberly Jerdan
Trinity '08
Pre-Medicine, History of Science, Medicine and Technology, Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate, and Spanish Minor
Studied abroad in Madrid, Spain

Kimberly Jerdan hopes to work with an ESL program in Madrid. This is a continuation from the Partners for Literacy Program at Duke that teaches Spanish-speaking employees at Duke English.

Kimberly has done extensive journalism research on the disparity issues pertaining to Hispanics and healthcare in Durham, so equality and awareness in healthcare is an issue she is most passionate about. She has found there are unnecessary boundaries and hopes to break those down, for instance, breaking down the language barrier through ESL tutoring. While abroad, she hopes to address those barriers that bar others from receiving the proper attention. With that in mind, Kimberly is most interested in serving the unemployed/poverty sector by teaching English and making people more marketable.


Read Kimberly's December reflection piece here.

Colleen Jeske
Trinity '08
Public policy major
Studied abroad in Argentina

Colleen is a junior B.N. Duke Scholar at Duke University. She grew up in nearby Greensboro, NC, and is majoring in Public Policy with a possible minor in Cultural Anthropology. She is interested in grassroots activism and social policy, especially related to domestic violence.

Colleen began her Duke experience as a Pratt engineering student, but by second semester had switched to Trinity. She began involvement with the Catholic Student Center through a spring break service trip to Kingston, Jamaica. She is also a lector and has helped staff multiple Awakening retreats. After her freshman year, Colleen interned with two nonprofits in South Carolina. She worked as a legal advocate for Citizens against Spouse Abuse, providing counsel for clients in abusive relationships, drafting orders of protection, and being a supportive presence in the courtroom. At the Children’s Recovery Center which provides support for children who have suffered sexual abuse, she provided emotional support for the children, assisted with forensic interviews, and helped increase awareness in the community with mass mailings.

Inspired by the advocacy of this summer, she returned to Duke with the desire to major in Public Policy. She attended training at the Durham Crisis Center to become a Crisis Line Advocate, and has since been a regular volunteer on the line. As part of Betsy Alden’s course “Women as Leaders,” she developed and co-taught the house course “Developing Personal Activism to End Violence Against Women.” The summer after sophomore year, Colleen took classes on Spanish and social justice through the Institute for Central American Development Studies in Curridabat, Costa Rica and then interned in rural Guacimo, Costa Rica, working with several community development and human rights organizations.

Colleen is thrilled to continue her study of the Spanish language and human rights issues in Latin America fall 2006. She will study abroad in Argentina through the School for International Training’s program “Social Movements and Human Rights.” She has not yet determined her service placement but will work with her director upon arrival to find her volunteer opportunity.


Read Colleen's October reflection piece here.
Read Colleen's December reflection piece here.

Allison Kenney
Trinity '08
Public Policy major
Studied abroad in Berlin, Germany

Allison was born and raised in Beverly, Massachusetts, a coastal suburb of Boston. She gradutated from Beverly High Schol in 2004 and is a member of Duke University's class of 2008. She is double-majoring in Public Policy Studies and German.

In the fall of 2006, Allison participated in the Duke-in-Berlin Program at Humboldt Universitaet in Germany's capital city. She and twenty other students studied German culture and language while living with families and enjoying excursions across Europe. While in Berlin, Allison volunteered at the Robert-Koch-Oberschule which is located in the city's immigrant ghetto. She worked with Turkish and Arab students who study English and helped them prepare for exams and presentations. This service experience inspired Allison to return to Berlin this summer to conduct an anthropological research project to study the immigrant minority in Germany and how "Generation Y" is facing the future.


Read Allison's October reflection piece here.
Read Allison's November reflection piece here.
Read Allison's December reflection piece here.

Claire Lauterbach
Trinity '08, Political Science and History major
Studied abroad in London, England

Claire Lauterbach was born in Nevers, France, and has lived in Europe and Africa before coming to the United States and completing her high school education at Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA. In 2008, she will graduate as a double major in political science and history. In summer 2005, she worked at the National Security Archive on post-9/11 policy in Afghanistan, and petitioning the government under the Freedom of Information Act for the release of documents pertaining to U.S. policy regarding the Taliban. This past summer, she completed a minority rights fellowship with Humanity in Action in Warsaw, Poland, where she researched the status of the HIV positive in Polish society.

Claire spent fall 2006 in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies. During her time there, she volunteered at a bookstore run by Oxfam, whose proceeds fund their campaigns against global poverty. Claire is a University scholar, and a member of the Baldwin Scholars Program, a women's leadership program where she pursues her academic and personal interests in human rights. As a result of a research trip to Kenya that examined girls' secondary education, Claire is working this semester with Duke students and Kenyan administrators to lay the foundation for a boarding school for the girls of Muhuru Bay. She is also working on an independent study to compile last summer's data into a publishable format. This summer, she will be working with the Institute for Justice Sector Development, probably in Central Africa, where she will be researching the intersection of national and international law in post-conflict situations. She hopes to use her SEE experience to think critically about how to reconcile activism and academia, one of her personal goals.


Read Claire's October reflection piece here.
Read Claire's December reflection piece here.

Rachael Massell
Trinity '08, Public Policy major
Studied abroad in Cameroon

Rachael Massell is a junior from Glassboro, New Jersey. She is majoring in Public Policy while also pursuing a minor in Cultural Anthropology and a Certificate in Documentary Studies. At Duke, she also sits on the Honor Council, serves as staff for Project WILD, and is a member of the documentary/activist group Students of the World, which most recently traveled to Porto Alegre, Brazil to document that city's efforts toward sustainable transportation for the Clinton Global Initiative. As a Robertson Scholar, she has interned at the community media/ documentary center Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky and created an interactive, multimedia online databse of traditional musicians; volunteered as a teacher's aide at the Peace Village orphanage for children with Agent Orange-related birth defects at Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and taught English to rural middle-school students as part of the Vietnamese Youth Union's Green Summer Campaign. She is very grateful for the opportunity that SEE! the World has presented to connect her experiences at Duke with her upcoming semester in Cameroon with the School for International Training through service-learning.


Read Rachel's October reflection piece here.

Kim Ocheltree
Trinity '08
Public policy major
Studied abroad in South Africa

Kimberly Ocheltree is the Trinity Junior from Long Island, New York. This fall she will be traveling to Durban, South Africa with the School for International Training to study public health. She is a public policy major, cultural anthropology minor and health policy certificate. Within global health, her major interests are maternal and infant health, and infectious diseases. While in South Africa she hopes to volunteer with health programmes targeted for children and infants particularly those dealing with newborn nutrition.


Read Kimberley's October reflection piece here.

Kayleigh O'Keefe
Trinity '08
International Comparative Studies and Spanish Major

Studied abroad in Madrid, Spain

Kayleigh is a proud member of the Duke class of 2008! She lives in Weston, Florida with her two brothers, sister, and wonderful parents, but maintains a soft spot for New England since she was born in Massachusetts and travels in the area often. Kayleigh will be studying in Madrid, Spain while living with the Luisa Gonzalez Gordillo family next to El Retiro. She is an International Comparative Studies and Spanish major, so her time in Madrid is essential to put her studies into real world practice!

On campus, Kayleigh plays goalkeeper for the women's club soccer team, and hopes to play a little futbol while in Madrid as well. She also volunteers as a mentor through Big Brothers, Big Sisters at E.K. Powe Elementary school and as an English tutor through the Duke-student run, G.A.N.O. She works for Duke Sports Promotions, coordinating the Read with the Blue Devils elementary school reading program, and throwing out those cool t-shirts at basketball game time-outs. In Madrid, she hopes to volunteer as a youth group leader at a local church. Working with Madrid's teenagers, she hopes to understand the social justice issues that most interest them and use those interests to coordinate weekly service projects with them. She may also be interested in working with the city government of Madrid.   Overall, however, she just can't wait to finally become fluent in el español, explore Spain and Europe, and develop a better understanding of the Spanish culture and people.


Read Kayleigh's October reflection piece here.
Read Kayleigh's December reflection piece here.

Laura Robinson
Trinity '08
Studied abroad in Paris, France

Laura Robinson is a junior from Zionsville, Indiana. She is majoring in Cultural Anthropology and minoring in French and Chemistry. At Duke, she has been involved with Project Child, working with an after-school tutoring program at West End Community Center. In addition, she is involved with the Duke Human Rights Coalition and DanceSlam. For the past 5 summers, Laura has been a volunteer counselor and cabin leader at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s week-long summer camp. This past summer, she also worked (but mostly played!) with youth with disabilities as camp staff at Bradford Woods in Indiana, an organization that focuses on individual development and empowerment through experiential learning.

This semester, Laura will be studying with the EDUCO program in Paris, France. She is excited about the opportunity to explore and get to know this beautiful city and to integrate her formal education with hands-on service experience.


Read Laura's October reflection piece here.
Read Laura's December reflection piece here.

Andrea Rush
Trinity '08
Political Science major
Studied abroad in Florence, Italy

Andrea is a Junior Political Science Major and Italian Minor looking forward to her semester abroad in a small town on the outskirts of Florence, Italy.   This will be her first journey to Europe and a non English-speaking country, but she is very excited to immerse herself in the Italian culture--the language, people, landscapes, and general splendor.   As Florence is one of Italy and Europe's artistic capitals, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the art and architecture of Florence, while experiencing village life--where she will be living in a restored villa with the other students in the program.   Being in the heart of Tuscany will also afford amazing opportunities to engulf herself in a dream of walking through the wine country, seeing the beautiful sunflowers and going to local shops.   Intellectually, her desire to work toward fluency will hopefully be satiated through living in Sesto Fiorentino and volunteering in the community.

For the SEE! placement, she has contacted various sources and done some preliminary research.   While Italians seem to volunteer their time and energy as a nation, it seems difficult for foreigners to find placements in Italy, especially when not in the country, because most are local and low key.   Because immigrants, both legal and illegal, are increasing in Italy, and human rights within immigration interests her, she would like to volunteer with an organization doing work to help immigrants adapt to Italian life and live a decent life.   There are a few organizations both international and local that do such work, but it seems that contact will need to be made once in country.   Also, through the study abroad program, there is a connection with a local elementary school to teach English to the children after school once a week.   If other placements with adults do not work out, she will look into this program.


Read Andrea's October reflection piece here.
Read Andrea's November reflection piece here.
Read Andrea's December reflection piece here.

Evan Stewart
Trinity '08
Political Science major and History minor
Studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile

Originally from Frankfort, Kentucky, Evan is a Duke junior majoring in political science and minoring in history.   Although he has yet to decide upon a concentration in his political science major, he is interested in international affairs and issues of human rights.

During his two years at Duke, Evan has sought to expand his understanding of the world through the courses he has taken.   A member of the Twentieth Century Europe freshman FOCUS program, he studied how the previous century of conflict, decolonization and globalization has helped to create today's global society full of contrasts and contradictions.   Classes discussing the history and politics of South Asia and political change in Asia have also served to broaden his horizons.   In fact, interested by the political situation in Burma (Myanmar) as a result of this second course, Evan applied and received a grant to perform research on the Thai border with Burma.   This grant, sponsored by the Deans' Summer Research Fellowship, allowed him to research the work that Burmese political refugees within Thailand have done to oppose the military dictatorship ruling their home country.   By conducting interviews with leaders of local organizations, Evan hoped to discover the prospects for democratic change in Burma.   He plans to continue this research when he returns to Duke in the spring of 2007.

Evan also has volunteered in middle and high schools throughout the past two years.   He began tutoring at the Durham Nativity School, a local middle school, during his freshman year as part of the Robertson Scholars Colloquium and has continued ever since.   In the summer of 2005, he interned at Summerbridge New Orleans, an educational enrichment program for inner city youth in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he taught a research course entitled "Model United Nations" to incoming sixth graders.   The following year, he volunteered at a high school in Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa where he aided tenth and twelfth grade mathematics students as they prepared for their June examinations.  

This semester, Evan will study with the School of International Training's "Culture, Development, and Social Justice" program in Valparaíso, Chile.   He looks forward to improving his Spanish skills and learning about the Pinochet dictatorship, as well as the causes for its peaceful end in 1990.   While in Chile, he will volunteer with a local organization that has yet to be chosen.  


Read Evan's December reflection piece here.

Allie Theis
Trinity '08
Studied abroad in Madrid, Spain

Allie is a junior at Duke, and is proud to say that she hails from Syracuse, NY, or, "upstate". She has been an avid ski racer her whole life, and is active on the Duke Ski Team (yes, Duke has a ski team). She also enjoys people, animals, and life in general.

In high school, Allie traveled to the Dominican Republic to volunteer at a women's health clinic and construct housing for underpriviledged Dominicans. She had volunteered extensively in various soup kitchens and hospitals, including the Pediatric Bone and Marrow Transplant Center at Duke Hospital. She still spends time working with the kids there this semester, and is always inspired by their vitality and attitude throughout their illness. She has been using her Spanish skills to translate for Spanish-speaking patients, and she hopes to someday be able to combine her love for speaking Spanish with her future medical career.

While studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, Allie volunteered at Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pilar. There she taught English to kindergardeners and 8th graders. The experience opened her eyes to the education system in Spain, and she conducted an independent study on how the new education law perceives early education as a way to reduce cognitive inequalities. "Her kids" also taught *her* a lot about their language and culture. Their enthusiasm to learn about the U.S. firsthand was impressive, but made her to reflect on the basis of different cultural aspects. She still communicates with a few of her students via e-mail.


Read Allie's October reflection piece here.
Read Allie's November reflection piece here.
Read Allie's December reflection piece here.

Caroline Whistler
Trinity '08
Public policy major
Studied abroad in Brazil

Caroline Whistler is a junior Robertson Scholar from Barrington, RI. Freshman year, Caroline participated in the Humanitarian Challenges focus program and began volunteering in Durham at A New Day juvenile detention center. After FOCUS, Caroline continued volunteering in Durham by coordinating the Durham Nativity School eighth grade service project, which she continues to help run. The summer after freshman year, Caroline worked for two months in New Orleans, LA doing refugee resettlement work with Catholic Charities. After her internship, she traveled to Ghana to live and work on a refugee camp with similar populations that she was working with in the US.

Sophomore year Caroline co-directed the Center for Race Relations community-building fall retreat called Common Ground , which helped to intensify her interests in diversity work as well as African and African American Studies. The summer after her sophomore year, Caroline traveled to Brazil, Argentina and Chile learning Spanish and using an RSL research service-learning grant to assist a rural school outside of Salta, Argentina. Caroline is very excited to return to South America so as to learn a new language (Portuguese) and combine her interests in African and African American Studies with political science.


Read Caroline's October reflection piece here.
Read Caroline's December reflection piece here.

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