Four Duke Seniors Selected as Hart Fellows

The 2015-16 Hart Fellows: Scott Boisvert, Laxmi Rajak, Anne Martin and David Robertson
The 2015-16 Hart Fellows: Scott Boisvert, Laxmi Rajak, Anne Martin and David Robertson

Four Duke seniors 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 20 years Duke's 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 do research while developing their own leadership capacity as they encounter the social and political complexities of their field work.   

Scott Boisvert will work in Sofia, Bulgaria, with Roma populations. His research will focus on understanding the burden that drug-resistant tuberculosis places on Roma communities. He hopes his research will aid in both understanding local views regarding tuberculosis and international attempts to map the spread of the disease in Europe. He is from Chandler, Ariz., and will graduate with a double major in biology and global health.  

Anne Martin will spend her fellowship in Mastatal, Costa Rica, working with Villas Mastatal, a family-owned farm that operates as an ecotourism site. Her research will focus on the impact of biochar (pyrolysis-converted biomass) as a means to develop and promote sustainable agricultural practices. She is interested in exploring the intersection of food security and human health. Anne is an environmental science and policy major from Bettendorf, Iowa.

Laxmi Rajak will spend her fellowship year in Nepal where she will partner with Teach for Nepal, a non-profit organization that aims to address education inequality in Nepal. She has a strong interest in exploring the educational experiences of lower caste Nepali children. Her research will explore the impact of Teach for Nepal on the educational outcomes of the students it serves. A Karsh Scholar at Duke, Laxmi is originally from Bhaktapur, Nepal. She will graduate with a double major in international comparative studies and mathematics.  

David Robertson will spend his fellowship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he will partner with Catalytic Communities, an organization focused on changing media narratives about favelas (slums), as well as providing support for urban planning.  His research will explore the ways that members of favela communities develop civic and political agency for effecting policy change. David Robertson is from Fairfax, Va., and will graduate with a degree in public policy.

The Hart Fellowship is a signature program offered by the Hart Leadership Program, which challenges students to practice the art of leadership in public life.