Rising juniors Sweta Kafle and Jamiee Williams have been named the newest WIN Scholars. Their selection brings the total number of young women who have received partial financial aid support from the WIN Scholarship Endowment to six. It is funded through donations from dozens of women and men throughout the Duke community.
Sweta Kafle is a David M. Rubenstein Scholar pursuing a degree in global health and biology. She is heavily involved in professor Rahima Zennadi’s hematology lab, where she researches sickle cell disease. Last summer as a Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellow, she worked with the Donohue Lab at Duke to understand the effects of maternal environmental temperature on gene expression. Of that experience she wrote: “I find molecular biology and ecology fascinating, so this project was a beautiful marriage of these two fields. I’m from Nepal, where integrative medicine thrives, so I am intrigued by the use of herbal remedies across the globe. Ultimately, I am interested in the role of herbal medications in the modification of the epigenome. This emerging field of science provides an alternative lens to look at the effects of environmental factors on the expression of genes, and I think it will be worthwhile to study these effects in the future.”
Sweta is also a member of the “at home base” team for a Bass Connections project which aims to develop a mobile, phone-based community health program for hypertension control in Nepal. The hills and farms around the Himalayan mountains are rich in culture and nature, yet are filled with severe health disparities. Sweta analyzed previously conducted studies to better frame our understanding of hypertension in Nepal and hopes to work with communities around the Himalayan mountains to provide health care. She also serves as the events chair for the Duke Red Cross and delivers disaster relief education to the greater Durham community. She volunteers weekly at the emergency department at Duke Regional Hospital, and tutors refugee elementary schoolers. This summer she will intern at a hospital in Biratnagar, Nepal.
JAMIEE ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
Jamiee Elizabeth Williams is a civil engineering major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her leadership endeavors include serving: as program chair for Duke’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers; as program chair for a new organization for first-generation, low-income student engagement on campus — Duke LIFE; and as a college counselor for a new startup called Crimson, which involves weekly phone chats with high school students to advise them on the college application process. She is a newly accepted Pratt Grand Challenge Scholar. She is a member of the Bass Connections research design team examining solutions to minimize the economic impacts of cascading disasters through news research, data analysis and programmed mapping.
In her free time, Jamiee likes to work out, watch movies and hang out with close friends. This summer, Jamiee is interning with Skanska USA, a civil engineering and construction firm, and will travel when she gets the chance. Jamiee is also a QuestBridge Scholar, and plans to attend its scholar summit in San Francisco this summer. Jamiee is also a member of Duke Engineers for International Development (DEID) and is a part of DEID’s travel team. This summer she will be joining her team in Indonesia to begin working on a new engineering systems project. Jamiee is a determined and focused learner who loves to be challenged and try new things.