Duke Engage

Parikh Selected as Inaugural Decaminada Memorial Fellow

DukeEngage independent project participant Naman Parikh ’24 was chosen as the first-ever Chelsea Decaminada Memorial DukeEngage Fellow, which recognizes a passion for international service and doing good in the world. The fellowship was established by the Decaminada family in memory of their daughter, Chelsea ’15, who was part of the 2013 DukeEngage-Kolkata (India) program. After graduating from Duke, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in Tanzania before joining the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Wesley Pritzlaff ’20 Shares How DukeEngage Redefined His Career Path

Wesley Pritzlaff’s love of teaching and empowering others–and a desire to experience a completely new culture–inspired him to apply to DukeEngage-Zhuhai in 2019. Little did he know the program would help him discover a new career path. After graduating early, Pritzlaff has been working as a physical therapy aide and will matriculate this fall at Duke’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program as part of the Class of 2024. Learn why Wes thinks everyone should apply to DukeEngage.

Raisa Chowdhury ’15 Discovered a Passion for International Development

Like many Duke students, Raisa Chowdhury came into Duke as a premed major— until she did a DukeEngage Independent project in Chilmari, Bangladesh. Since then, she returned to Dhaka, Bangladesh and later Washington, D.C. to work on projects across a range of topics including rights of vulnerable populations, peace-building, and digital development. She’s now a master’s student focused on international development at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. Read more about Raisa's path.

Adam Petty ’14 on the Value of Community

Adam Petty has worn just about every DukeEngage hat that exists. He participated in the Uganda-Kaihura program in 2013 and returned as a site coordinator in 2016. He’s presented to the DukeEngage Advisory Board, volunteered at the Fortin Foundation DukeEngage Academy, and worked as a program coordinator with ACE, a DukeEngage-like program for student-athletes. Read how all these experiences helped inspire his commitment to community in the workplace.

I realized...I can't always plan


I can’t exactly pinpoint the day I realized I could no longer plan for my future, but it wasn’t long after I received an e-mail informing me that I could not return to campus. I was alone in New Orleans on spring break—a trip I’d planned months in advance. I had bought my plane tickets seven weeks ahead of my departure to ensure the cheapest prices, and I researched places to stay. I knew exactly when I’d brave the crowds to get beignets from Café du Monde, and where I would sit during Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, and I had a weeklong pass for buses and streetcars.

Wendy Xiao ’14 is Transforming Teaching and Learning

Wendy Xiao got a taste for teaching in 2012 when she co-taught cooking classes at Lettuce Link, which ran a giving garden at Marra Farm in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. Since graduating from Duke in 2014, she’s taught literacy and dance at a school for children with learning differences in Washington, DC. Now Wendy’s a senior program manager at Digital Promise, where she works with educators and product developers to infuse learning sciences research into their practice and products.