New KIE and Bass Connections project teams to explore local and international issues

Bass-KIEBass Connections at Duke and the Kenan Institute for Ethics have selected two project teams for the 2016-2017 academic year thanks to the Silver Family Fund. This allows joint funding for projects chosen by the Bass Connections theme leaders that also connect to one of KIE’s five program areas in Human RightsGlobal MigrationRethinking RegulationMoral Attitudes and Decision-Making, and Religions and Public Life. Another aspect of the KIE-supported research teams is a public symposium on the project’s topic. Students who are interested in joining the teams shoudl attend to the Bass Connections Open House on Wednesday, January 27, from 3:00 to 6:00 in the Energy Hub on the first floor of Gross Hall. Applications will be open from January 27 through February 26 for priority consideration.

The selected KIE/Bass Connections projects are:

Human Health Risks, Environmental and Ecosystem Damage Associated with Contamination of Used Motor Oil at Auto-mechanic Villages in Ghana (2016-2017)
This project team will collaborate with a team of faculty and students from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to assess the extent and levels of heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) pollution in soils, drinking water resources and food crops within and near Suame Magazine, a cluster of hundreds of  auto-mechanic workshops in in the vicinity of Kumasi. The joint team will investigate hair samples, the potential of mechanics being exposed to heavy metals and PAH and possible effects on their health. The findings will be used in developing an educational and awareness program by directly engaging and interacting with the mechanics.

Spirituality, Self-management and Chronic Disease among Ethnic Groups of Robeson County, North Carolina (2016-2017)
The primary objective of this project is to understand the relationship between spiritual and self-management practices among adults from Robeson County living with chronic diseases. Robeson County is home to a remarkably diverse population including the Lumbee tribe, which is the largest American Indian tribe in North Carolina and the ninth largest in the United States. Mortality rates are twice the state average for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the county has one of the highest national rates of end-stage kidney disease. Specific aims are 1) to assess the spiritual and self-management practices of adults living with chronic diseases in Robeson County; and 2) to determine differences in spiritual and religious practices across major ethnic groups living in Robeson County.

Bass Connections supports interdisciplinary teams of collaborators, providing undergraduates with the opportunity to join faculty, graduates students, and post-docs. These teams work on problem-based research around the themes of brain & society; information, society & culture; global health; energy; and education & human development. There are currently four jointly supported projects underway. The partnership between KIE and Bass furthers the missions of both to foster innovative work and thinking across different kinds of expertise on campus as well as to enrich student education. An annual call for proposals occurs in the fall semester for new project teams.