Two Recent Graduates Selected as Hart Fellows
Two 2016 Duke graduates have been selected as Hart Fellows and will spend a year conducting service-based research projects around the world in collaboration with host organizations.
For the past 21 years, the Hart Leadership Program has placed recent Duke graduates with community-based organizations around the world for intensive, 10-month projects. Selected for their leadership skills, creativity and dedication to service, Hart Fellows conduct research while they develop their own leadership capacity as they encounter the social and political complexities of their field work.
Matt Hamilton, from Fairfield, Connecticut, graduated with a Program II degree, which is Duke’s undergraduate self-designated major program. His program was entitled, “Ideological Frameworks and Economic Institutions,” which examines both the frameworks concerned with structuring societies and the institutions of political economy that actually structure societies. Through his Program II degree, Matt took courses in economics, history, international relations and political theory. Outside of the classroom, Matt wrote for the Duke Chronicle’s independent editorial board, where he discussed and wrote editorials about campus politics, the future of higher education and various other topics. He wrote for an English-daily newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey during the summer of 2014 and researched about development finance in emerging markets at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s developmental finance institution. Matt is still in the planning stages of his fellowship placement, but he is interested in researching property rights issues in Myanmar.
Rifat Rahman, from Fayetteville, North Carolina, was a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar who graduated with a major in Biology and minors in Global Health and Chemistry. Rifat is interested in understanding the global burden of emerging diseases and in building capacity in local health and research systems. Last summer, he worked with a team of Thai researchers at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok, Thailand to identify factors that drive malaria transmission among Cambodian soldiers. At the Duke Global Health Institute, he worked under the guidance of Professor Randall Kramer to evaluate the costs and feasibility of community-based programs to control malaria in rural Tanzania. For his Hart Fellowship, Rifat is planning to partner with Raks Thai, a public health organization in Thailand, to explore effective ways to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.