UAB joins global consortium, committed to support student ideas

UAB has joined the Clinton Global Initiative University Network; the Office of Service Learning plans to provide training, resources for student innovators.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has joined the Clinton Global Initiative University Network, a growing consortium of colleges aImage of UAB campusnd universities across the country that support, mentor and provide seed funding to leading student innovators and entrepreneurs. President Bill Clinton launched the CGI U Network in 2007 to engage the next generation of college leaders worldwide in developing plans and taking action to create positive change.

“CGI U is a great platform for our UAB student innovators, many of whom are already collaborating with local and global partners to solve problems,” said Libba Vaughan, director of the Office of Service Learning. “CGI U inspires students to take action and share their positive impact in the world, even before they graduate.”

Vaughan and the Office of Service Learning are committing funding to students who design and launch an accepted CGI U project called a Commitment to Action. Focus areas are education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health. Past commitments have ranged from a low-cost solar charger for developing countries to implementing nutrition and literacy programs in New York.

Once accepted, students and university representatives come together at the CGI U annual meeting to hear from experts in various fields, brainstorm ideas, share best practices and form effective partnerships. Students then return to their campuses and communities to turn their ideas into action with the support of seed funding and mentorship from their universities. The CGI U 2014 will take place at Arizona State University March 21-23, 2014.

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