Syracuse University

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SU students attend Clinton Global Initiative University

April 15, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

A team of students from Syracuse University’s Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service is representing SU at the annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Conference, held this year from April 16-18 in Miami.

During the conference, more than 1,200 college students and 100 university presidents, as well as leading not-for-profit organizations, social entrepreneurs and youth leaders, will participate in forums and working sessions to formulate new ways to make a difference in the world. This is the third consecutive year that SU has been represented at CGI U.

Syracuse University’s 2010 CGI U team is composed of four students: Tim Biba of Hanover, Pa., a junior majoring in political science in The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and public relations in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; Kate Pettitt Callahan of Willimantic, Conn., a senior majoring in nutrition in the College of Human Ecology and policy studies in A&S; Gregory Klotz of Pittsford, N.Y., a senior majoring in marketing in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and advertising in the Newhouse School; and Allison Stuckless of Rochester, N.Y., a sophomore majoring in policy studies and Spanish in A&S.

SU’s 2010 CGI U team members represent seven majors from four colleges. SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor and Deans George Langford (A&S), Diane Lyden Murphy (Human Ecology), Lorraine Branham (Newhouse) and Melvin Stith (Whitman) and Associate Dean Kandice Salomone (A&S) all pledged support for this year’s team to attend the conference.

Prior to the conference, all CGI U attendees made a Commitment to Action–a comprehensive, formal plan of action to address a specific problem on their campus, in their community or abroad. The 2010 SU team has formulated a commitment that represents the longstanding collaboration among the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service (CPCS), SU Literacy Corps and the College of Human Ecology. The 2010 SU commitment, a program called “Books and Cooks!” mobilizes SU students as volunteers at the after-school care center at Parkside Commons, a Section 8 housing complex within the City of Syracuse. This commitment was selected from among hundreds of commitments to be recognized on stage during the opening ceremony with former President Bill Clinton. Additionally, it was selected to be featured on NBC’s “Today Show” during its pre-coverage of the CGI U Conference on April 15.

“It is a great honor to have the opportunity to attend this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University Conference. Meeting other college students and hearing about their extraordinary service projects will be truly inspiring,” says Klotz. “I am eager to attend all the valuable workshops this weekend and take away knowledge and insight that I will utilize in my current commitment to action and all my future service.”

Callahan says she is looking forward to the opportunity to exchange ideas with other students and leaders. “I hope to return to campus with the tools to put our commitment into action,” she says.

The SU team implementing the “Books and Cooks!” program will develop a weekly curriculum that will include books, periodicals, movies and other media. These media will focus on a particular culture, and the lessons will be facilitated by current SU Literacy Corps tutors at Parkside Commons. These literacy activities will specifically focus on improving the children’s reading ability while providing exposure to a variety of cultures. The “Books and Cooks!” lesson plans will also address the issue of hunger and lack of nutrition that too many children face, as each culture-based curriculum will include a nutrition and cooking lesson developed with the assistance of the students in the College of Human Ecology’s nutrition program, certified by the American Dietetic Association.

The nutrition lesson will include a short education activity followed by a hands-on cooking segment in which the children will prepare their own snack. The “Books and Cooks!” program will combine SU Literacy Corps tutors and nutrition majors, both looking to gain real world experience. The two groups come from diverse backgrounds and will offer a variety of knowledge and skills to the program.

In previous years, the CPCS teams attending CGI U have been supported by Deans Stith and Branham; Thomas Wolfe, senior vice president and dean of student affairs; and the Office of Academic Affairs.

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