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Kevin Gehsmann

ACE in Vietnam: 2017
Duke University
Greensboro, NC
Mechanical Engineering
Minor(s) / Certificate(s)
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Kevin’s Blog Posts from ACE in Vietnam: 2017
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Profile View Kevin’s Student-Athlete profile on

The ACE program offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only to see the world, but to have a positive impact on the lives of others. This opportunity 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!

As part of the ACE in Vietnam program, participants will teach academics, sports and life skills to students at under-resourced middle schools in the Mekong Delta with the aim of encouraging them to prepare for higher education.

Kevin’s past experiences with service include volunteering in local food pantries and elementary schools; and with his team, volunteering at the Durham Wellness Center, wrapping gifts for local kids during the holidays, and helping institute a zero-waste sanitation and recycling system for game days at Wallace Wade Stadium.

ACE Ambassador Profile

ACE participant teaching basketball

Kevin is a junior Linebacker on the Duke Football team majoring in Mechanical Engineering and pursuing a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship.A Greensboro, North Carolina native, Kevin had never been out of the country prior to ACE. In June 2017, Kevin embarked on a journey of a lifetime as a second-year member of the ACE program. ACE in Vietnam was an eye-opening experience that allowed him to make friendships that will last forever. Immersed in the Vietnamese culture, Kevin taught physics and coached basketball to middle school students who knew very little to no English. The experience was challenging at times but, with the help of the Vietnamese college coaches who worked alongside the ACE team, it was extremely rewarding to see kids use a physics equation correctly or make a shot in basketball for the first time. Trying new things -unfamiliar fruits, fish whose eyes seem to be staring right at you, and navigating the streets with no language -proved to be times of immense growth as well as quite a fun and unique experience. This trip truly prepared him for future athletic and academic challenges as well as his professional career. Since being back on campus, Kevin has begun research as part of the Grand Challenge Scholars engineering program studying access to clean water in developing countries.

Want to hear more about Kevin’s ACE experience? Contact Kevin.

Dear Future #ACEathletes,

  • Best advice for learning about ACE: I talked to a teammate who was a part of the inaugural ACE in Vietnam trip. He had nothing but great things to say. Info sessions are also super helpful!!
  • Best advice for applying for ACE: Be humble and confident in applying. Don’t be afraid to be yourself…I also let my mom read it –she said it was good!
  • Best advice for getting started at your program: First days can be daunting; confide in your fellow ACE athletes, they are feeling the same way.
  • Tips for getting to know your community: Be open to trying new things. Your host community is willing to help you adjust so don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Tips for training: Worked out with fellow ACE Athletes, also found a gym in small town rural Vietnam –Whoop! Whoop! Be prepared to wake up with the sun if you plan on working out.