DukeEngage Dublin

DukeEngage Dublin is a collaboration between the Kenan Institute for Ethics, DukeEngage, and more than a half dozen community based organizations in Ireland grappling with migrant and refugee issues.

Each summer eight students spend eight weeks in one of the most dynamic and increasingly diverse cities in Europe. Students are placed in small organizations that work on a range of issues. Some placements are about direct service — working with unaccompanied minor refugees as they transition to a life in Ireland, designing and running a summer civic engagement program that brings together both disadvantaged Irish and migrants, or choreographing and performing a dance at a local festival. Some placements are about community organizing and creating the infrastructure necessary to support the successful integration of migrant and refugees into Irish society — designing a dental hygiene outreach program for migrant children, setting up a citizenship application clinic, or providing gender violence workshops for refugee women. And some placements are about advocacy and policy making — writing for Ireland’s leading multicultural newspaper, Metro Eireann, developing new national legislation regarding female genital mutilation, or helping design local migrant councils to create a mechanism for migrant and refugee concerns to be heard and addressed.

But wherever they are placed, the goal for students is not simply to participate but to undertake projects that could simply not have happened without student leadership, energy and insight. Students deploy their skills in ways they never could have anticipated. They expand their sense of the possible in ways only their fellow participants will ever fully understand. For many Dublin becomes their second home. And the results are often extraordinary. In the process students come to understand both the ethical challenges of global migration and the often profound impediments to sustainable community-based change, all while having more fun than they ever could have imagined.

Publications and Output

  • Read 2012 DukeEngage Dublin students’ articles for Metro Eireann about their work and experiences in Dublin.
  • Christine Delp continued to write columns throughout the 2012-2013 academic year for Metro Éireann as well.
  • 2013 participants Sam Marks and Gayle Powell created a case study in partnership with Educate Together, an NGO focused on bringing diversity and equal opportunity to Irish schools, on changes to the Irish population and ways in which other countries have adapted educational systems to changing demographics.
  • Read 2014 DukeEngage Dublin students’ articles for Metro Eireann.

Applications for 2015
Students interested in applying to the DukeEngage Dublin program should do so through the DukeEngage website.


bennett-150Dre Bennett is a rising junior from Hot Springs, Arkansas. He is an Evolutionary Anthropology major with hopes of pursuing a career in Physical Therapy and Physical Training. His interests include college football and weight lifting.

coleman-150Aidan Coleman is a rising junior from the suburbs of Philadelphia. He is majoring in Public Policy, minoring in Economics, as well as pursuing the Ethics Certificate. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and the piano.

Kinger-150Komal Kinger is a rising junior majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Global Health. Originally from Johns Creek, GA she enjoys dancing, watching Bollywood movies, and travelling.

McGough-150Caitlin McGough is a junior from Los Angeles, majoring in Economics with a concentration in Finance and minoring in Arabic and French. She is interested in investment banking, international law, and human rights.

Perez-150Kaila Perez is a rising junior from the San Francisco Bay Area majoring in Statistical Science with a Visual Arts minor. She is a proud member of the Duke Women’s Rowing team, enjoys traveling and is an avid sports fan.

sakraney-150Natasha Sakraney is a rising junior majoring in Neuroscience with an English minor. Originally from Corona del Mar, California, Natasha is involved in research, gives tours for the admission office, and plays for the Women’s Club Volleyball Team at Duke.

Zhou-150Katherine Zhou is a first-year from Pittsburgh, PA majoring in Public Policy with a certificate in Markets and Management. Her interests include Duke Chinese Dance, photography, and community service.

For more information, contact faculty director Suzanne Shanahan.
For more on the program from the participants themselves, watch “What is Discover University?