DURHAM, N.C. -- Beginning this summer, 20 student-athletes from both Duke and Stanford are set to represent the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program. The program provides one-time funding for student-athletes to engage in a three-week international service project, and the first of four overseas initiatives will begin June 22.
During the application process, student-athletes from each institution selected one of four international sites – Vietnam, South Africa, China or India, and each location provides a unique service-based focus.
Student-athletes traveling to Vietnam are scheduled to teach academics, sports and life skills to students at under-resourced middle schools with a focus on mentorship and promoting higher education, while those making the trip to South Africa will assist with basic healthcare initiatives, activity-based education and teaching, light construction and youth sports programs.
At the China site, student-athletes will promote youth development through sports and work to foster a greater commitment to environmental protection among ethnic minority youth. The student-athletes participating at the India site will lead sports activities and help teach classes for youth in English, the arts, technology and mathematics.
“As a student-athlete, one of my biggest challenges is the time constraints of attending a rigorous academic school while competing on a team that is in season both in the fall and the spring,” said Celia Macrae, a rising junior on the Duke rowing team. “I am excited to participate in the ACE program because it will allow me to train with other student-athletes and engage in service. ACE is a fantastic opportunity for student athletes.”
In February 2014, Duke's Board of Trustee's, chaired by Duke alumnus David Rubenstein, traveled to Palo Alto, Calif., and met with officials from Stanford to determine opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions. The challenging schedules of student-athletes, which make participating in off-campus activities such as study abroad programs difficult, was identified as an issue the two universities could work together on in order to develop a solution, leading to the genesis of ACE. The ACE program was officially announced in Spring 2015.
"We learned many lessons during the inaugural year of ACE," said Emily Durham, program director for ACE. "This knowledge has been invaluable to improving the program and making it the best experience possible for our student-athletes and the communities in which they are living and volunteering. Our ACE Ambassadors, ACE alums who have taken on a leadership role within the program, have been a wonderful addition this past year sharing about the program and preparing the next ACE team for departure."
For additional information on each of the 40 student-athletes participating in the ACE Program, visit www.ace.duke.edu.
Duke Student-Athletes Participating in the 2017 ACE Program
Vietnam – June 22-July 16
Kevin Gehsmann (Greensboro, N.C.) – Football
Alan Ko (Closter, N.J.) – Fencing
Maddy Price (Hillsborough, Calif.) – Track & Field
Jonathan Schwartzman (Potomac, Md.) – Fencing
Mackenzie Willborn (Flower Mound, Texas) – Swimming & Diving
South Africa – July 1-July 22
Mickayla Hinkle (Woodbury, Minn.) – Swimming & Diving
Chloë Lewis (Chapel Hill, N.C.) – Lacrosse
Araad Sarrami (Durham, N.C.) – Wrestling
Christine Streisel (Tamaqua, Pa.) – Track & Field
Sean Tate (Omaha, Neb.) – Swimming & Diving
China – July 15-August 5
Abby Artmann (Cedar Park, Texas) – Rowing
Lyneé Belton (Clinton, Md.) – Basketball
Brandon Leynaud (Lexington, Ohio) – Wrestling
Kaitlyn McCarthy (Cary, N.C.) – Tennis
Max St. George (Wheaton, Ill.) – Swimming & Diving
India – July 22-August 12
Verity Abel (Westport, Conn.) – Swimming & Diving
Judd Howard (Irvine, Calif.) – Swimming & Diving
MacKenzie Kerr (Richmond, Va.) – Track & Field
Jaida Lemmons (DeSoto, Texas) – Track & Field
Celia Macrae (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Rowing
About the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program
The Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program provides one-time funding for accepted Duke and Stanford student-athletes to participate in three-week, immersive summer service experiences with an international community partner.
Each summer, 40 ACE student-athletes — 20 Blue Devils and 20 Cardinal — will participate in one of four international group programs with diverse service themes including health outreach, education, environmental sustainability and conservation, social enterprise, coaching, and more.
ACE is a joint collaboration between Duke and Stanford Athletic Departments, as well as DukeEngage at Duke and the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. The program, now in its second year, is made possible by the generous support of David Rubenstein and Peter and Helen Bing.
After their ACE experiences, student-athletes have the opportunity to give back to the program by serving as ACE Ambassadors and promoting the program among their teammates and peers. One-half of all ACE 2016 participants agreed to serve as ACE Ambassadors for 2017.
Additional details are available on the program website: www.ace.duke.edu
“I knew I wanted to participate in a program that would allow me to travel abroad and positively impact people's lives. The challenge was finding the time to do it. The moment I heard about ACE, I applied right away. ACE caters specifically to student athletes, so it is the perfect way to spend three weeks of my summer.” – Rodney Herenton, Jr., Stanford Men's Basketball, ACE in India 2017
“[ACE] allows me to give back to a community while enabling me to see a part of the world I have never seen before. I am excited to use my experience as a student-athlete to bring change to a community and bring individuals together through sports, recreation, and learning.” – Allie DaCar, Stanford Women's Lacrosse, ACE in Vietnam 2017
“[ACE] allows me to do things that I love—coaching and teaching—while immersed in a culture that is completely different from my own. I am honored to be a part of ACE in Vietnam!” – Kevin Gehsmann, Duke Football, ACE in Vietnam 2017
“As a student-athlete, one of my biggest challenges is the time constraints of attending a rigorous academic school while competing on a team that is in season both in the fall and the spring. I am excited to participate in the ACE program because it will allow me to train with other student-athletes and engage in service. ACE is a fantastic opportunity for student athletes.” – Celia Macrae, Duke Rowing, ACE in India 2017
WHEN & WHERE ARE THEY GOING?
For the summer of 2017, 40 student-athletes were accepted into programs located in South Africa, Vietnam, China, and India. Each program will offer full-time volunteer placements for 10 ACE student-athlete participants. In addition to their service-placements, student-athletes will engage in reflection with on-site program staff and immersive enrichment activities to learn more about the history, culture, and issues facing the communities in which they are serving.
China 2017 Program dates: July 15-August 5
Student-athletes will promote youth development through sports and work to foster a greater commitment to environmental protection among ethnic minority youth in Yunnan Province, on the Tibetan plateau.
India 2017 Program dates: July 22-August 12
Student-athletes will lead sports activities and help teach classes in English, the arts, technology, and mathematics for youth at a local school in New Delhi.
South Africa 2017 Program dates: July 1-July 22
Student-athletes will assist with basic healthcare initiatives, activity-based education and teaching, light construction, and youth sports programs in Nomzamo Township, outside of Cape Town.
Vietnam 2017 Program dates: June 22-July 16
Student-athletes will teach academics, sports, and life skills to students at under-resourced middle schools in the Mekong Delta, with a focus on mentorship and promoting higher education.
WHO ARE THE ACE STUDENT-ATHLETES?
In March 2017, the 40 accepted student-athletes received notification of their summer placements. Nine different Duke teams and 15 different Stanford teams are represented in ACE 2017, for a total of 24 teams. Student-athlete profiles are available on the ACE website: www.ace.duke.edu
Duke ACE Participants
• Verity Abel ('18) – Women's Swimming & Diving – India
• Abby Artmann ('18) – Rowing – China
• Lyneé Belton ('18) – Women's Basketball – China
• Kevin Gehsmann ('19) – Football – Vietnam
• Mickayla Hinkle ('19) – Women's Swimming & Diving – South Africa
• Judd Howard ('19) – Men's Swimming & Diving – India
• MacKenzie Kerr ('19) – Women's Track & Field – India
• Alan Ko ('19) – Men's Fencing - Vietnam
• Jaida Lemmons ('19) – Women's Track & Field – India
• Chloë Lewis ('19) – Women's Lacrosse – South Africa
• Brandon Leynaud ('19) – Wrestling – China
• Celia Macrae ('19) – Rowing – India
• Kaitlyn McCarthy ('19) – Women's Tennis – China
• Maddy Price ('18) – Women's Track & Field – Vietnam
• Araad Sarrami ('19) – Wrestling – South Africa
• Jonathan Schwartzman ('20) – Men's Fencing – Vietnam
• Max St. George ('19) – Men's Swimming & Diving – China
• Christine Streisel ('18) – Women's Track & Field – South Africa
• Sean Tate ('19) – Men's Swimming & Diving – South Africa
• Mackenzie Willborn ('19) – Women's Swimming & Diving – Vietnam
Stanford ACE Participants
• Kathryn Anderson ('20) – Beach Volleyball – China
• Teaghan Cowles ('20) – Softball – South Africa
• Reagan Damoose ('19) – Women's Lightweight Rowing – Vietnam
• Allie DaCar ('18) – Women's Lacrosse – Vietnam
• Julia DiTosto ('19) – Field Hockey – South Africa
• Haley Farnsworth ('20) – Women's Swimming & Diving – Vietnam
• Amanda Han ('20) – Women's Fencing – China
• Rodney Herenton, Jr. ('20) – Men's Basketball – India
• Hailee Hoffman ('19) – Women's Gymnastics – China
• Kristina Inouye ('20) – Softball – India
• Maya Jackson ('20) – Softball – South Africa
• Logan Karam ('20) – Women's Soccer – South Africa
• Taylor Kirkpatrick ('20) – Women's Sailing – India
• Erika Malaspina ('20) – Women's Track & Field – China
• Chelsea Red-Horse Mohl ('20) – Beach Volleyball – South Africa
• Sajan Patel ('19) – Men's Fencing – Vietnam
• Shannon Richardson ('20) – Beach Volleyball – China
• Tara Shannon ('19) – Women's Squash – Vietnam
• Carly Weber-Levine ('19) – Women's Fencing – India
• Mackenzie Wiley ('19) – Women's Water Polo – India
THE BIG PICTURE: IMPACTS OF ACE 2016
• ACE 2016 participants estimated a 58% increase in their total annual hours of service, from 27.5 hours per student per year before ACE to 43.1 hours after ACE.
• Over 90% of ACE 2016 athletes agreed as a result of their experiences that “sports can build confidence and self-esteem,” that “sports teach lessons about hard work and leadership,” and that “sports participation can help diminish stereotypes.”
• All participants reported that they can “better understand other cultures' perspectives on issues,” “better understand cultural differences” and “better understand global and social issues.”
• About two-thirds of participants said that ACE had a “great” impact on them as an athlete, as a student, and as a young professional.
• Quotations from ACE 2016 athletes:
“One of the biggest things the kids in ACE in Vietnam taught me was how to enjoy every moment. The smile on their faces when they would hit a ball or make an out in baseball was priceless and reminded me why we play sports at all—because they are fun. I have tried to spread this happiness and excitement for the game, for trying new things, and for playing for something bigger than yourself every time I step out on the field.” – Carolyn Lee, Stanford Softball, ACE in Vietnam 2016 and ACE Ambassador
“ACE in South Africa allowed me to explore my deepest passions beyond the classroom. As a member of Duke's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, I am studying how groups can find better ways to solve old problems. The Nomzamo community taught me a great deal about how they are utilizing social enterprise tactics in their rise out of poverty. I also engaged in grassroot efforts to help improve the community's health and sanitation practices—experiences that I will continue to draw upon in my own career path in health policy.” – Lizzie Devitt, Duke Women's Swimming and Diving, ACE in South Africa 2016 and ACE Ambassador
Photographs, video footage, and student-athlete blog posts will be available following the summer service programs.
In the fall, ACE participants will once again be available to share new perspectives and experiences from their summers of service. Duke and Stanford Athletic departments will facilitate photo and interview requests as needed.