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Courtesy: Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program
2017 ACE Class Checks in From Abroad
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 08/04/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. -- Each week this summer, student-athletes from Duke and Stanford are sharing reflections from their experiences with the ACE program. This week, the Duke and Stanford participants in China partnered up to write their second week of blog posts and the participants in India wrote their first week of blog posts. And a few final posts from South Africa arrived, as well!


"The Rewards of Struggle"
By MacKenzie Kerr, Duke Women's Track and Field, ACE in India 

"Struggling is something to which no human is immune. For seven days now I have experienced India — the culture, the language, the food, and the people — and with that experience I have struggled. I recognize that struggle may seem an interesting word to describe the wonderful program and experience I have available to me, but if I’m being completely honest, there is struggle."   More

"Shax St. Richardson"
By Max St. George, Duke Men’s Swimming and Diving, and Shannon Richardson, Stanford Women's Beach Volleyball, ACE in China

"While walking through the local village on our second day in Zhongdian and talking about some of our interests, we discovered that we studied the same foreign language: Japanese. This was the first major similarity found between us, but we soon realized that we had much more in common. As we spent more time together, we bonded over stories of our worst injuries, our high school experiences, and our lives as student-athletes at our respective universities."    More

"A Day of Reflection on a Week of Adjustment"
By Judd Howard, Duke Men's Swimming and Diving, ACE in India

"Yesterday I woke up to my alarm at 5:20am, ready to get on the bus for our day trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. While I could write an entire post about the Taj itself, from its complex architecture to the beautiful love story behind its creation, it was my time on the bus there and back that left the biggest impression on me since my arrival in India just over a week ago. "   More

By Verity Abel, Duke Women's Swimming and Diving, ACE in India 

"My first experiences and introductions in India have been completely enlightening. I have had such a pleasure learning of this country’s rich history and the diversity that extends nationwide as a result of more than 6,000 years of lively, ever-evolving culture."   More

"Listening Well as a Practice of Love"
By Jaida Lemmons, Duke Women's Track and Field, ACE in India

"One thing, among many, that the people of Delhi do well is engage and welcome those who are not locals into their communities with patience and open arms. The nature of the culture is warm and hospitable. In this past week, time and time again I have experienced the generosity and compassion of those who are a part of this community."    More

"Good Morning, Ma'am"
By Celia Macrae, Duke Women's Rowing, ACE in India

"Five days ago, I visited at the Vidya School for the first time to see the place I would be spending three weeks in India teaching English and sports. The Vidya School’s mission is to educate and empower the less privileged and to initiate progressive social change."   More

"Rapid Fire with Erika and Kaitlyn"
By Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke Women's Tennis, and Erika Malaspina, Stanford Women's Track and Field, ACE in China

"Kaitlyn: I think one of the most nerve-wracking and adventurous things that I’ve done in my time here was the drive to the nunnery. It was a long drive (almost two hours) and I was in the back of the van, which didn’t have any functional seat-belts."   More

By Lyneé Belton, Duke Women's Basketball, and Amanda Han, Stanford Women's Fencing, ACE in China

"Hello! Lyneé (Duke) and Amanda (Stanford) here! We’re going to show you around the CERS campus for our blog. Starting off, here we are at the glass gazebo, where we have spent some late nights bonding with the rest of the ACE members. Now we’re going to go to the front of the center!"    More

"Wildflowers, Pig Heads, and Everything in Between"
By Abby Artmann, Duke Women's Rowing, and Kat Anderson, Stanford Women's Beach Volleyball, ACE in China

"If asked to describe our favorite memory from our time in Zhongdian, the two of us would have trouble choosing just one. This trip has been packed with so many unique and unbelievable experiences. "   More

"Perspective Gained and Changed"
By Sean Tate, Duke Men's Swimming and Diving, ACE in South Africa

"Now back on U.S. soil, I’ve used the last few days to decompress and to reflect heavily on our trip to South Africa. As expected, I’ve had many people ask me how my time in Africa was and what it was we did there. Even now I find it hard to find better words than “awesome” and “amazing” to describe the experience, because that’s exactly all it was."    More

"Lasting Impact"
By Mickayla Hinkle, Duke Women's Swimming and Diving, ACE in South Africa

"Before my journey to South Africa began I had one constant question on my mind, “What kind of impact will I have on the people and the community in South Africa?” I felt limited, since I only had three short weeks. After talking with a few of the other student-athletes on the trip, I realized that we all had similar concerns, which was comforting but also worrying."   More

For additional information on the ACE Program, visit

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