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DukeEngage adds new programs in India, Ecuador

Students can now consider new DukeEngage programs in Ecuador and India as they make plans for the summer.

New programs in Kochi, India and Guayaquil, Ecuador were added to the program lineup for Summer 2016, which was released on Oct. 1. The Kochi program—which is organized in association with Global Vision International—will focus on offering educational opportunities to women and children in disadvantaged communities in the south of India. The Ecuador program, organized by International Service-Learning Programs, focuses on providing services in the community health sector and will address issues such as public health education, communicable disease and environmental health. All of the programs that ran last year will also run next summer.

Eric Mlyn, the Peter Lange executive director of DukeEngage and the assistant vice provost for civic engagement, noted that the increased program offerings reflect the trend of DukeEngage becoming a fixture of campus culture.

“With nearly 25 percent of all graduates having participated, DukeEngage has become a signature part of the Duke undergraduate experience,” he said.

Mlyn also said that DukeEngage adds new sites based not only on faculty proposals, but also with the intention of improving the geographic diversity of program offerings.

In addition to adding the Kochi and Guayaquil programs, DukeEngage brought back two sites that were run in previous summers. The Beirut, Lebanon program—in which students teach English and SAT prep classes to refugee students—and the Literacy through Photography program in Tanzania have returned to the program lineup for Summer 2016 after not being offered for Summer 2015.

Many students cite DukeEngage as one of the most impactful opportunities offered on campus. Sophomore Lilly Xie participated in the China-Zhuhai program last summer in which students provide arts education and English lessons in a middle school. Having danced for 14 years, Xie noted that the program’s arts integration focus was aligned with her interests and gave her a new perspective on American society.

“It made me grateful for the education that I’ve had and added dimension to my Duke experience outside of just sitting in lecture halls,” she said. “It was nice to see that I could affect meaningful change.”

All together, DukeEngage will run 40 group immersion programs this summer—13 based in the United States and 27 abroad. Since the organization’s founding in 2007, DukeEngage has had programs in more than 69 nations around the world as well as in 18 cities across the U.S., serving nearly 600 community partners on six continents according to the organization’s website.

Approximately 900 students apply to DukeEngage every year, DukeEngage Director of Communications Cathy Stamm, Trinity ’92, wrote in an email. Around 435 of them are placed in service positions both in the United States and abroad. Stamm noted that as an alumna, she is happy that the University is placing a renewed focus on community service.

“I’m proud that Duke has evolved to so strongly support civic engagement in all its forms,” she wrote. “DukeEngage is just one example of how the University educates the individuals who will become leaders and change-makers on local, regional and global levels.”

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