The health and education projects of several Duke students were on display at the annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) last weekend. The high-profile conference brings together college students, organizations, topic experts and celebrities to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.
Duke undergraduates Andrew Hanna, Phil Reinhart and Jay Sullivan, along with Master of Science in Global Health student Jordan Schermerhorn, were among those whose projects were honored during the conference. They were joined by 18 other Duke students who participated in the three-day event.
“The fact that we have such a strong showing at CGI U really attests to the fact that Duke students are invested in using the skills and knowledge they gain in the classroom to create innovative and sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our global society," Pranali Dalvi, Duke CGI U representative and a senior majoring in biology.
MSc-GH student Jordan Schermerhorn was selected to present her project at the CGI U Exchange on using a mobile-based platform to improve immunization rates in Palestinian refugee camps. Last summer, Schermerhorn worked with the UN Palestinian refugee agency to test whether it’s feasible to use cell phones to alert families of vaccine availability and appointment reminders. This year, she will expand upon this research as part of her master’s thesis. She will return to Jordan to conduct a larger study on immunization delays with and without text messaging and hold focus groups on the barriers to immunization.
Andrew Hanna, a public policy major, was a Resolution Project finalist for his project, IGNITE Peer Mentoring. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the program pairs ninth-graders with high school seniors in a year-long mentoring program designed to reduce dropout rates. The program won the Emerging Issues Forum at North Carolina State University. Watch the team’s video.
Sophomores Phil Reinhart, an economics major, and Jay Sullivan, a public policy major, were Resolution Project semi-finalists for their work on STEMpals, which promotes STEM education in Indian and American middle schools through the use of a web platform and on-the-ground starter kits. Their project was also a winner at Duke’s Winter Forum 2014 and Fuqua’s Rethink Education challenge. Watch the team’s video presentation.