SMU renews membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network in 2014

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoSMU has renewed its membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network (CGI U), 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.

The University is one of more than 40 colleges and universities worldwide who have joined the CGI U Network.

SMU annually provides $10,000 in funding, divided among University students who are selected to pursue CGI U Commitments to Action. The 2015 CGI U meeting takes place at the University of Miami March 6-8.

Commitments to Action, a unique feature of the CGI U model, are new, specific and measurable initiatives that address global challenges across CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

The University’s CGI U student representatives, Jonathan Hess and Asia Rodgers, are recruiting new participants and will host an Application Party Tuesday, Nov. 18, in advance of the application deadline on Monday, Dec. 1. The CGI U Application Party is from 5 p.m. to midnight in Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Portico BCD.

Hess and Rodgers attended the 2014 CGI U meeting at Arizona State University in March.

SMU’s Engaged Learning staff will mentor the CGI U students as they develop and implement their plans in the coming months. Thirteen of about 2,500 students from more than 80 countries who attended the CGI U meetings in 2013 and 2014 were from SMU.

“CGI U offers a unique opportunity for students to network with their peers as well as with global thought leaders and other experts,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our renewed membership means that SMU students will continue to benefit from this training ground for future world-changers. We are proud to support their goals.”

Since its inaugural meeting in 2008, CGI U has brought together more than 5,500 student leaders from 135 countries and more than 800 schools.  Past speakers include Madeleine Albright, Jack Dorsey, Jimmy Wales, Muhammad Yunus, Hawa Abdi Diblawe, and Jon Stewart. For more information about the meeting, visit

The deadline to apply for CGI U 2015 is Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Students can apply online at

Seven SMU students to attend 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University annual meeting March 21-23

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoSeven SMU students will share their research, goals and commitment to global issues during the 7th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at Arizona State University in Phoenix March 21-23, 2014.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2014 agenda was announced earlier this year.

The event will bring together more than 1,000 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in areas such as education, environment and climate change, human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Keep up with Clinton Global Initiative University news on Facebook:

The SMU students who will attend the meeting, and a brief description of their work:

  • Rahfin Faruk is expanding Green Riba, an e-commerce and traditional microfinance storefront, to connect West Dallas and SMU-based artists to larger, national markets.
  • Adam Goff and Thomas Schmedding – through their microfinance loan project, PropeLend Economic Empowerment Ventures – will harness public support for economic development by empowering impoverished residents of developing nations to seek loans for entrepreneurship.
  • Jonathan Hess will start Veterans Day Nonprofit, whose purpose is to hold an annual Veterans Day celebration in Dallas to mark their contribution to the Dallas community, raise funds for veterans’ initiatives, and inform the community about Veterans Day and contemporary veterans’ issues.
  • Asia Rodgers will use art therapy to help victims of human trafficking gain confidence in themselves. She will provide access to art classes and events where victims will be able to showcase their creative work.
  • Trisha St. Fleur will partner with Projects Abroad to establish an interactive health education program and to allocate resources geared to women in Ghana.
  • Ashley Wali is completing the last stage of her research on what she has named The Nari Project. She will evaluate the psychological and physiological effects of the crisis kits that she provided to battered women in Dallas, Texas and Comilla, Bangladesh. She will also use her findings to conduct seminars that spread awareness about domestic violence.

Four other SMU students were approved but are not attending in 2014:

  • Joshua Bakarich
  • Joseph DiMarco
  • Daisuke Takeda
  • William Timmerman Wooten

SMU Forum: SMU joins the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

As a member of the CGI University Network of more than 50 colleges and universities that support and mentor Commitments to Action, SMU pledged $10,000 towards student projects as well as travel to the annual meeting.

Find a complete schedule at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage