15 Rollins Students Selected for U.N.-backed Millennium Fellowship

August 16, 2018

By Luke Woodling ’17MBA

Rollins students test water quality on a field study to the Dominican Republic.
The Millennium Fellowship empowers students to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which range from quality education to clean water and sanitation. Photo by Scott Cook.

The prestigious fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that challenges students to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A cohort of 15 Rollins students has been selected to participate in the 2018 Millennium Fellowship, a prestigious leadership development program that empowers students to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on campus and in their communities.

Students from 285 campuses across 57 nations applied to the highly selective fellowship, which was launched this year by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) initiative and the Millennium Campus Network (MCN). Rollins is one of just 30 colleges worldwide selected to host Millennium Fellows in the global pilot program this fall.

“There were a lot of worthy applicants, but we looked for 30 campus cohorts that reflect our commitment to empathetic, humble, inclusive leadership and where we thought the program could thrive based on strong applications and demonstrated leadership,” says Sam Vaghar, MCN executive director and co-founder. “Rollins is a small school with outsized impact. It’s an institution that has stood up for sustainable development and social impact for a long time—it feels like it’s baked into the school’s DNA.”

From August through December, Rollins Millennium Fellows will take action to help implement some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the U.N. adopted in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The goals range from zero hunger and clean water to gender equality and affordable clean energy. Millennium Fellows’ projects are projected to positively impact the lives of more than 310,000 people worldwide.

“We are proud of our students for this tremendous achievement and eager to see the many ways they’ll make the world brighter, smarter, and more enterprising through their participation in this prestigious program,” says Rollins President Grant Cornwell. “This accomplishment is a testament to the excellence and rigor of a Rollins education and a reflection of our mission to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership.”

2018 U.N. Millennium Fellows at Rollins2018 U.N. Millennium Fellows at Rollins
Clockwise from top left: Mary Vickers ’19, Isaac James ’19, Isabella Braga ’19, Ellie Rushing ’19, Gabbie Buendia ’19, and Skylar Knight ’19 are among Rollins’ 15 2018 Millennium Fellows.Photo by Scott Cook.

In their fellowship applications, students were asked to propose a project that would advance at least one U.N. Sustainable Development Goal and one UNAI principle. Projects could include everything from research and student journalism to running a social enterprise or leading a campus-wide initiative.

“The Sustainable Development Goals framework is pretty holistic, and Rollins students really took well to that,” says Vaghar. “You could see the diversity of perspectives and passions as well as the shared commitment to sustainable development.”

When they convene this fall, the students will determine whether they’ll work on individual projects or on a collective project, says Jayashree Shivamoggi, director of external and competitive scholarships, who led Rollins’ application efforts and will help guide students through the program this fall.

Christina Fuleihan ’19, a double major in biochemistry/molecular biology and philosophy, was named one of two campus directors for Rollins’ Millennium Fellowship cohort. A second student leader will be named shortly.

Fuleihan and her co-director will be trained this month in MCN’s core curriculum, which is designed to help students build their capacity to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals and UNAI principles. The pair will then lead monthly sessions throughout the semester.

“The shared experience is really focused on our core values—leading with empathy, humility, and inclusion in this work,” says Vaghar. “They’ll refine hard and soft skills—everything from how to create a budget and write a mission statement to how to manage teams.”

2018 Millennium Fellows at Rollins

  • Alexa Baires-Jovel ’21
  • Elizabeth Berry ’19
  • Isabella Braga ’19
  • Colin Brant ’19
  • Gabbie Buendia ’19
  • Christina Fuleihan ’19
  • Isaac James ’19
  • Muniba Khan ’19
  • Skylar Knight ’19
  • Grace Marshall ’19
  • Raul Tavarez Ramirez ’21
  • Ellie Rushing ’19
  • Josephine Spiegelberg ’19
  • Shannon Sullivan ’20
  • Mary Vickers ’19
Two students walking through campus.

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