News Archive

Eight Nazareth Students Headed to Miami for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)

Published January 14, 2015

In its second year of involvement as a CGI University Network member with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), Nazareth College is sending eight students to CGI U 2015 at the University of Miami in early March.  CGI U accepted seven of Nazareth students' Commitments to Action (project applications), up from six projects last year, ranging from economic development for women in Haiti to a smartphone application for youth mental health. The CGI University Network is made up of a growing consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor, and provide seed funding to student leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Nazareth College's project applications were part of a competitive pool of projects from applicants representing universities around the world.

The students were notified of their acceptance late December 2014 and will attend the annual CGI U meeting from March 6-8, 2015 at the University of Miami in Miami, Fla. The meeting will assemble more than 1,000 innovative student leaders who have made Commitments to Action in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

"Nazareth students are putting our college on the map at CGI U and proving that they have what it takes to tackle issues that can affect our world here and abroad," said Nazareth College President Daan Braveman. "I am very proud of our CGI U student applicants. In just our second year of participation, we had an impressive number of accepted Commitments to Action for a school our size.”

Nazareth College CGI U Commitments to Action that have been accepted:

1) Project Title: Bicycle Courier Service

Student: Isaac Hutton ‘16G (education - graduate level)

Project Summary: The Rochester, N.Y. Bicycle Courier Service is a commitment to work as a not-for-profit business solution for companies wishing to reduce, minimize, or eliminate their carbon footprint. By providing a virtually carbon-free option for businesses to utilize in their delivery needs, the bicycle courier service will present a key component to an ecologically and economically sound business practice.

2) Project Title: Schooling in Self-Love

Student: Hayley Johnson ‘15 (English)

Project Summary: Johnson will make a short film about how girls, particularly those of undergraduate age, view themselves and what they can do to promote contemporary notions of self-love. Society tells women that their value lies in their appearance, in a modest and chaste sex life, in how desirable they are to men, in how naturally demure they are. She will conduct research and interviews with Nazareth College women to help them and others break away from the pressure to fix what is not at all broken. She will put her findings together into a work of art that hits home.

3) Project Title: Social Change Through Intergenerational Dialogue

Student: Danielle Mensing ‘15 (Communications and Rhetoric) - returning to CGI U for second year in a row

Project Summary: Social Change through Intergenerational Dialogue has shown effectiveness at generating solutions and reducing the negative aging stigma. Building on this emerging model, this new commitment combines aspiring health professionals such as: occupational, music, and physical therapies; speech pathology/audiology; nursing; social work; special education; and additional majors for an interdisciplinary collaboration event. Also, partner organizations will be vendors creating the opportunity for professionals and community members to learn directly about the perspectives and challenges faced by aging Americans and their families. This will improve access to resources, provide transformational learning and address how people age in their community.

Link to Mensing's 2014 CGI U Commitment to Action

4) Project Title: Smartphone Application for Youth Mental Health

Students: Sylan Kim ‘15G (social work-graduate level)

Project Summary: The smartphone application project is designed for use in community mental health centers and their youth clients who have high mental health risk such as depression or suicide. Youth clients will gain easy access to the service by using a smartphone application which is connected to the community mental health center. The agency therapists will collect the client's daily data directly from the application and will use it during the face-to-face therapy sessions. The smartphone application will include self-risk assessment tool, daily mood checking tool, daily cognitive behavioral therapy or meditation exercise tool, and an emergency call button.

5) Project Title: Backpacking with Migrant Communities

Students: Allison Grant ‘15G (education - graduate level) and Alyson Durant ‘15 (social work) - returning to CGI U for second year in a row

Project Summary: Backpacking with Migrant Communities will empower youth from migrant farming families to increase their literacy skills while mobilizing college students to take action against injustices in these communities. The program provides opportunities for English language learners to build literacy skills, as a way to bridge the economic justice gap. College students will be engaged with migrant communities locally and across the country through a pen-pal relationship that begins with a backpack and school supply donation. Building upon the pen-pal relationships will be a campaign to transform the campus community and allow opportunities to take action regarding migrant farming inequalities.

6) Project Title: Readbox Traveling Library

Students: Paul Lippert ‘16 (education)

Project Summary: ReadBox will expand access to education to economically disadvantaged youth by providing them with free books of their own choosing throughout the year, and a special mentor "pen-pal". These students will then receive enhanced knowledge of literacy skills, and value for education through communicating with their pen-pal mentor about their new books either through writing, or through a blog to better integrate technology into the classroom. This will empower our youth by providing them with positive, constructive role models, encouraging them to read and write, and help them gain the personal and professional development skills needed for future success.

7) Project Title: My Foot Is Too Big For The Glass Slipper

Student: Shaina Louis ‘18 (business administration)

Project Summary: Financially empower Haitian women by giving them a fair-trade job making cultural jewelry and unique handmade hair pieces . The program will also reduce male financial dependency which is very common in Haitian culture. These items will be sold at online places such as Amazon and Etsy. This program will also support health and personal hygiene by providing clean underwear and bras and other feminine products such as sanitary towels.

About CGI U

The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,800 Commitments to Action. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, the University of California at San Diego, the George Washington University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Arizona State University, and have convened more than 6,500 students from over 875 schools, 145 countries, and all 50 states. To learn more, visit

For More Information

Julie Long, Nazareth Chief Public Relations Officer: (585) 389-2456;

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.