alert Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Group 4 email out facebook fax flickr grid instagram LINK linkedin location Group 47 Group 9 Group 9 Group 47 PHONE play Group 4 " Search twitter video face_white youtube

Students Begin Work on Clinton Global Initiative Projects

Widener recently became the first university in the region to join the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI University) Network. This consortium, founded by former President Bill Clinton, provides support and funding to students who are committed to developing solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Widener students were invited to develop a plan that addresses an issue at Widener, the community, or around the world and relates to one of five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, or public health.cgi

This past spring, a committee led by Dr. Suk -Chung Yoon, associate provost for experiential learning and global engagement, chose five projects to receive funding for the 2013-2014 year. Widener will provide a minimum of $10,000 from an endowment fund to be divided among the students selected to pursue their "Commitments to Action."

The university will also mentor the student "commitment-makers" as they implement their plans. Each project has a faculty sponsor.

As of July 1, five Widener students have received funding for their projects:

  • Nicole Gilette, '16, biology major, will study the effects of herbicides on aquatic ecosystems with partners at the Department of Experimental Biology at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Itzick Vatnick).
  • Margaret Karmeris, '15, biology major, will develop a green, inexpensive synthesis of derivatives of Resveratrol, a polyphenolic natural product shown to extend lifespan in different organisms. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Krishna Bhat)
  • Ben MacLuckie, '16, environmental science major, will travel to Costa Rica to the Las Lajas coffee farm to determine any synergistic effects between global warming and the cultivation of coffee. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Steve Madigosky)
  • Elisabeth Powell, '14, environmental science major, will assess the spatial and temporal landscape changes from Marcellus Shale gas mining. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Chad Freed)
  • Karley Riffe, a graduate student in the doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership, will assist Dr. Meghan Pifer in conducting an extensive content analysis of the scholarly literature about the professional and personal experiences of female faculty members in higher education.


As a member of the CGI, Widener is committed to an evaluation each year to ensure it is constantly moving in a direction to pursue global engagement. The university is also committed to annually nominating students to attend CGI University, which is a way for students to showcase their research.