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Teaching From My Kitchen Table: Education in Trying Times

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Part 2: WISH Bass Connections

One of the key focuses of our WISH model is Training and Empowering Women. This month, we are introducing you to two graduate students that are serving in a leadership role. They’re training the next generation of researchers and women through the Duke University Bass Connections Team, “Empowering Prevention of Cervical Cancer: Women-inspired Strategies for Health”.

Diana Carolina Quintero and Diana M. Ramirez are both pursuing their Masters of International Development Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. We hope you enjoy learning a little bit about these two incredible women; we are so glad they are on our team!


“I am the leader of the Costing Team.”

Diana Carolina Quintero

“I am the leader of the Policy Team.”

Diana M. Ramirez

“I knew about WISH Project before I became a Duke Student. I am the cofounder of a social enterprise that is part of the Duke’s Innovations in Healthcare Initiative. My organization won a grant to implement a project for promoting early diagnosis of HPV and Cervical Cancer and the HPV vaccination for Colombian rural women, and I was connected with the WISH Project team to learn from their experience.

When I joined Duke as a graduate student, I was glad to find WISH Project as a BASS Connection course and I decided joined to it because it mixes my passions: health, women empowerment and social innovation. Also, I was eager to learn how to scale up innovations in health to the public sphere and share new insights with my team in Colombia.”

Diana Carolina Quintero

“I have provided mentorship to social entrepreneurs online, although this is the first time that I have virtually mentored a group of people in an academic environment. It is a different experience that has challenged me. First, it requires skill to deliver a specific content that is created/selected through an ongoing process as the course is advancing. In my previous mentorship, experience topics were proposed by the mentee. Second, I have worked with entrepreneurial teams that have worked together for a long time, so they have already created their team dynamic. WISH demands that we create and promote a group dynamic to facilitate a sharing learning experience, which is more challenging in a virtual environment.”

Diana Carolina Quintero

“I haven’t. This is the first time I have to lead academic exercises through Zoom. I can compare this experience with being a tutor in the past. However, it is different virtually to gauge the how engaged the students are based on their level of participation.”

Diana M. Ramirez

“The hardest is that the costing team demands technical knowledge in areas such as Economic Evaluation in Health that are new for me, so it has required me to learn and facilitate the learning process of others at the same time.

The most surprising is addressing the cervical cancer/HPV issue from different perspectives: technical, economic, political, cultural.”

Diana Carolina Quintero

“The hardest part has definitely been the online classes. The topic is so interesting that the in-person discussion must have been incredible!

The good surprise is that even online, we have been able to develop exponential interest within students: curiosity and high levels of participation.”

-Diana M. Ramirez

“I have enjoyed having a safe space for discussion about women’s health issues and the cultural roots of social problems with people who have diverse backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, ages, and experiences. Another important highlight is learning about how Economics, Policy and Cultural perspectives are required to scale up an innovative solution that can improve the lives of women in low and middle-income countries.

WISH has leveraged my capability to create more effective interventions for women’s health by addressing health issues from a multidimensional perspective, engaging health innovation with the healthcare systems to ensure the potential scale-up of the model, and reflecting on how health issues are related to paradigms about the female body. I love working with people who are passionate about what they are doing every day, which is something I have found in the WISH team.”

Diana Carolina Quintero

“I have enjoyed learning a lot; this is a new topic for me. I have experience in public policy, but it was not related with women’s health, and I find myself passionate about it. I fully understand now the importance of conducting policies to improve health outcomes for women, so they can develop themselves in other areas of their lives like job, education and entrepreneurship. This course will impact my future by considering the health factor in most of the process of policy analysis that I will conduct in the future.

Participating in this project made me realized the importance of investing time, knowledge and money to understand the health system and its impact on development issues. I believe now that investing in health quality for women and children and in general would push forward development. Healthier people contribute to higher productivity and happiness.”

Diana M. Ramirez


We are so thankful to have Diana Q. and Diana R. on our team! Head to the Duke Bass Connections website to learn more about the “Empowering Prevention of Cervical Cancer: Women-inspired Strategies for Health” course!



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