Science and Technology

A Year of Creativity and Bold Thinking Through Bass Connections

The 2021-2022 school year marked a series of welcome returns for the 1,200 students, faculty, staff and community partners who participated in Bass Connections. Our 61 year-long project teams resumed their in-person work on campus, many teams participated in their first fieldwork since 2019 and we were once again able gather together in Penn Pavilion to celebrate the year through our annual Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase.

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2022

These 10 seniors are among the nearly 600 Duke undergraduates who participate in Bass Connections each year. For some students, taking part in collaborative, interdisciplinary research confirmed and deepened their interests; for others, the experience opened up entirely new paths. Many students found ways to take their research further through honors theses and other opportunities.

Here are excerpts of what this experience has meant to them.

Work in progress: Think of it as a kind of fitbit for whales


Before becoming a student again in 2011, I worked for PopCap Games. We made Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies, and I was COO for a while and ran worldwide game studios. When I turned forty, I decided to leave and do something different with my life.

My heart had always been in science.

I lived in Seattle, where there’s an endangered population of Southern Resident killer whales. I kept thinking this would be an interesting career to have, to try and help with the conservation and recovery of populations like those.

Working to help rib-injury patients have less pain, more mobility


Joseph Fernandez-Moure wants to free you. He wants to get you out of jail. But he’s not baking a cake with a file in it; he wants to get you out via injection.

So, no, he’s not talking about the I’ve-committed-a-crime jail, of course. The metaphorical jail this trauma surgeon is talking about comes from the limitations people face when they suffer one of the least-studied injuries people encounter: rib injuries.

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.