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Five Students Headed to CGI U in Chicago

Published October 17, 2018

Five Nazareth College students are presenting their social innovation projects at the 11th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 2018 at The University of Chicago this October. These students created Commitments to Action that address one of five focus areas for CGI U: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.There they will develop their projects through interactions with world leaders in social innovation and network with 1,200 students from around the world who are also working to make a difference.

Student attendees will attend CGI U plenary sessions, working sessions, and other special events which will enable them to network with their peers, build skills, and identify potential partners. The program will feature dozens of topic experts, university representatives, and celebrities who will join students at CGIU to discuss effective solutions to some of world’s most pressing challenges. During the last day of the meeting, attendees will take part in a Day of Action in the local community.

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

Student Name: Thomas Cuyler (Education, 2020)

Name of CGI U Commitment to Action: GIS Scholars, Inc. Presents: The GIS Renaissance

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shirley Sommers Associate Professor in Education

Focus Area: Poverty Alleviation

Summary of CGI U Commitment to Action: In 2018, Thomas Cuyler, Zayneb Jaff, and Nasreen Jaff committed to alleviate poverty and crime in the City of Rochester by giving a healthy road to employment to Rochester youth though Geographic Information System (GIS), one of the fastest growing professions in the world according to Monroe Community College. Scholars will be educated in mapping and data management. The group must establish funding streams that will support employing youth, as well as establishing partnerships with other organizations that Scholars can connect with for internships and apprenticeships. The group expects the impact for all youth participating in the program to be: maintaining passing grades, graduating on time, having an aversion to criminal activity, and creating lifelong connections through networking activities that the group provides.


Student Name: Joshua P Fess (History major with Adolescence Education, 2020)

Name of CGI U Commitment to Action: Up & Up Global Initiative: For a Brighter Future

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Susan Nowak, Professor in Religious Studies and the William H. Shannon Chair in Religious Studies and Dr. Andrea K. Talentino, Vice President for Academic Affairs  

Focus Area: Peace and Human Rights

Summary of CGI U Commitment to Action: In 2018, Joshua P. Fess committed to create an organization that offers service-learning experiences for college students to study genocide in Rwanda and work on needed construction and renovation projects at a local school in Kibuye. College students will bear witness to the atrocities of the Rwandan Genocide, engage in dialogue with survivors to gain first-hand accounts of why it is imperative to become an advocate against genocide, and in partnership with the Love Button Global Movement become more aware of how diversity and international service work connect all humans while working in a local school. Up&Up combines education, advocacy, and service, to inspire college students to become active global citizens and to provide youth a quality learning environment.

Students’ Names: Alexandria Lovejoy (Nursing major, 2019) Caitlyn Paris-Woods (Nursing major, 2019)

Name of CGI U Commitment to Action: Woman to Woman

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mary Dahl Maher, Associate Professor and Chair in Nursing, Coordinator of Nursing Global Studies and Director of the Public Health Program

Focus Area: Public Health

Summary of CGI U Commitment to Action: The goal of Woman to Woman is to provide women with jobs who are seeking financial freedom and to benefit infant and maternal health in Kerala, India. The project collaborates in partnership with a local organization in Kerala: Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS). With this partnership we are able to provide woman with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to create baby boxes out of Screw Pine and Water Hyacinth; two prevalent resources in Kerala. These baby boxes will then be given to mothers within the community to provide them with a safe place for their babies to sleep.

Student Name: Hailey Trippany (Business Administration, 2018)

Name of CGI U Commitment to Action: Fem Dignitas

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Leigh, Professor of Management and the Killian J. and Carolyn F. Schmitt Chair

Focus Area: Public Health

Summary of CGI U Commitment to Action: In 2018, Hailey Trippany committed to creating an organization that provides menstrual cups for economically disadvantaged women in the Rochester NY area. The organization will partner with existing groups serving the target population to provide the cup and related education to interested women. Providing economically disadvantaged women with menstrual cups as a method of menstrual hygiene management decreases financial burden and eliminates hygiene product insecurity. Desired outcomes of this project include a decreased used of pads and tampons, and an increased use of menstrual cups among the targeted population after receiving related information and supplies.

About CGI U

Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. CGI U is proof that young people have the power to make a significant impact by confronting some of the world's most urgent challenges. Since 2008, students have made more than 6,250 Commitments to Action, and nearly $3 million in funding has been awarded to these commitment-makers through CGI U.

For More Information

Julie Long | Chief PR Officer | 585-389-2456 or

Clinton Global Initiative University

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.

Former President Bill Clinton will address the students at CGI U.