This past Friday, it was announced that 13 University of Connecticut students were selected as cohorts into the Millennium Fellowship program, a program formed by United Nations Academic Impact and the Millennium Campus Network.
The United Nations Academic Impact is an organization that helps connect academic institutions across the globe to align them in support of United Nations goals and mandates. Universities from over 120 countries are a part of this organization, working in research and education collectively.
The Millennium Campus Network is a student network that works to foster student leadership for social impact.
Combining their efforts collectively, UNAI and MCN decide to launch the Millennium Fellowship Program, a program for undergraduate student leaders who are actively making a positive impact on their communities and fostering sustainable development.
UConn was selected as part of an exclusive group of 120 institutions worldwide, out of over 2000 applicants. Out of the competitive process, UConn did not just get one Millennium Fellow, nor two Millennium Fellows, but 13 selected into the program.
The Daily Campus was able to speak with two of the newly accepted Millennium Fellows via email — Nidhi Nair and Noah Frank.
“When I first found out that I was selected as a Millennium Fellow, I was beyond excited,” Frank described. “With such a competitive, international applicant pool, I was especially impressed with the university’s designation as one of just a handful of schools across the world selected to host a cohort.”
“I was pleased to hear about UConn’s selection for the program!” Nair elucidated. “I have friends in India who are part of the Millennium Fellowship program in their universities, and I was excited that UConn is joining this global cohort of motivated students.”
Though the fellows are over-joyous over their recent acceptance, they are already hard at work on their leadership projects within the UConn community.
“Every Millennium Fellow is working on a social impact project that focuses on one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Nair stated. “These include a clothing swap, a global health online platform, a civil liberties project focused on free speech and an educational platform on voting rights. I am working on a financial literacy initiative that aims to study the financial literacy rates of UConn undergraduates and then identifying a targeted intervention to raise test scores, with an emphasis on first-generation students. Every project seeks to help vulnerable groups on campus and to make a tangible impact on our student body.”
“The Millennium Fellowship is an extremely valuable opportunity for students to bring their energy to the forefront of on-campus issues,” Frank elaborated. “Rooted in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each project encompasses a critical facet of the core UN mission. My project, which focuses on SDG #16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, helps to bring increased civic engagement to our campus community and beyond. With such a broad range of initiatives to choose from, the impact on the UConn community will not only be widely felt but also deeply impactful.”
This is just the beginning for the Millennium Fellowship program on the UConn campus, as it promises to have an impact on our community and those around the world for years to come.
“UConn students should connect with the Fellows and engage in the social impact projects that they find interesting,” Nair explained. “Also, do not hesitate to apply for the program this year and to become campus directors.”