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NDSU students selected to participate in Clinton Global Initiative University

More than a dozen NDSU students are set to participate in Clinton Global Initiative University. The event is scheduled for April 1-3 at University of California, Berkeley.

Clinton Global Initiative University, which was launched in 2007 by former President Bill Clinton, challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. The program selects and invites more than 1,000 student applicants to attend the conference.

Each participant makes a “Commitment to Action” – a new, specific and measurable plan that addresses a challenge on their campus, in their local community or around the world. Student projects address issues involving education, environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, peace and human rights and public health.

Thirteen undergraduate and graduate NDSU students are scheduled to attend the event:

·      Caitlin Johnson is a graduate student studying adult and occupational education. Her project involves working with Native American children with autism.


·      Irosha Banagala is a junior majoring in hospitality and tourism management. She is helping students in her native Sri Lanka learn English.


·      Suresh Niraula is an environmental science graduate student working on an energy solution for his home country of Nepal.


·      Brothers Shehan and Sachith Navarathne are majoring in finance and working to combat sexual assault.


·      Danindu Udalamaththa is a graduate student studying applied economics. He is working on a program that creates entrepreneurship opportunities for the homeless.


·      Lindsey Montileaux Mabbutt is specializing in American Indian Public Health in the Master of Public Health program. She is developing a website to help American Indian/Alaskan Native students apply for scholarships.


·      Israt Jahan is a graduate student in software engineering and Sayeed Zebaul Haque Sajal is a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering. Their project aims to ensure children have clothing for social, cultural and religious festivals.


·      Emilee Ruhland is pursuing a master’s degree in English. Her project is an online community that connects K-12 teachers and autism spectrum disorder experts, so they can network and share information to ultimately improve student success.


·      Anthony Albright is pursuing a doctorate in rhetoric, writing and culture. His project is a mentorship program designed to reintegrate non-violent ex-convicts into the community. It provides a transition between incarceration and release that is currently missing.


·      Ben Gillis and Aaron Codden are juniors majoring in architecture. Their goal is to use design to contribute to an inclusive community. They are developing a proposal to create small shelters in underused areas of downtown Fargo. The shelters would serve as temporary refuge for the homeless and residents in need.

The students are advised and supported by Andrew Mara, associate professor of English; David Wells, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering; and Sherri Nordstrom Stastny, associate professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences.

This is the second year NDSU has participated in Clinton Global Initiative University.

Download the free NDSU app to read more about the students and their projects. The app is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.

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North Dakota State University
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