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Press Release: Pace University Students Complete United Nations Millennium Fellowships


Press Release: Pace University Students Complete United Nations Millennium Fellowships

Eight Pace Fellows Selected from 15,000 Applicants

Students Taking Action to Advance UN Goals

NEW YORK (December 10, 2020) – Eight Pace University students recently completed a semester-long leadership development program that convenes, challenges, and celebrates student leadership worldwide. As members of the Millennium Fellows Class of 2020, they are part of a global network of scholars who are working on local solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental, health, and societal challenges.

The selective Fellowship, a partnership of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and Millennium Campus Network (MCN) since 2018, included more than 1,400 students from 80 campuses across 20 countries, including Nigeria, Nepal, Pakistan and the United States.

As one of the speakers at the recent graduation ceremony, Pace President Marvin Krislov congratulated the Millennium Fellows and noted that he was proud of their important work.

“You have made a remarkable commitment to be the change you want to see in the world,” Krislov said to the fellows in a video message. “I am so proud of your accomplishments.”

View the full ceremony here.

The Pace student-led projects focused on addressing global problems close to home, such as promoting sustainable living practices on campus; reducing the university’s carbon footprint; raising awareness about the dangers and proximity of human trafficking in the region; and cultivating relationships between local farms and communities to reduce contamination of our waterways, among other empowering projects focusing on peace, justice, and providing quality education to at-risk students.

“In leading projects that focus on global challenges such as ensuring clean drinking water for all people, stopping human trafficking, reducing waste, developing alternative sources of energy and educating vulnerable populations, Pace’s students have shown they are serious about taking on some our world’s most serious problems,” said Sue Maxam, EdD, assistant provost for special projects and retention initiatives. “I couldn’t be prouder of our students as they are truly inspirational change agents who are determined to make a difference on campus and beyond.”

There are many components to the program, including that students had to develop projects at their respective institution and communities, while communicating and collaborating with fellows from all over the world. Maxam, who served as the mentor for the Pace University fellows, said that all programs are designed to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Class of 2020 fellows from Pace University are:

Name Major
Kendra Cooper-Smith Environmental Studies
Aissatou Gningue Public Accounting/Political Science
Mikayla Martin Applied Psychology & Human Relations
Chloe Mayhew Global Studies
Annabella Mead-Vancort Political Science
Akhila Ramesh Communications
Alena Romanova Biology
Jessica Witkowski Political Science

Kendra Cooper-Smith, whose project focused on ways community members in the lower Hudson Valley can be instrumental in improving the health of local water, hopes to empower people to take action and care for our vital water supply.

“I was driven to apply to the program by both my passion to aid our current environmental crisis in my own small way, and a yearning to find a like-minded community of change makers,” said Cooper-Smith. “It means so much to be selected for the fellowship, and I am so thrilled to be a member of the progressive community of young people like myself.”

Overall, competition for the program was fierce this year. More than 15,155 students applied for the Fellowship, representing 1,458 campuses across 135 nations. In total, 1,428 Millennium Fellows were selected on 80 campuses across 20 nations.

In announcing the Fellowship class earlier this year, leaders at UNAI and MCN noted that student leaders are committed to making positive contributions and building a culture of social responsibility while understanding what it means to be global citizens.

“When we created the United Nations Academic Impact to foster a culture of intellectual social responsibility, we considered ‘intellect’ not as something remote or esoteric, but rather as a quality innate in every thinking individual,” said Ramu Damodaran, chief of United Nations Academic Impact. “Our collaboration with MCN will allow students to demonstrate how the wisdom and thought they invest in their formal curriculum can be extended to a greater purpose of common good, lending their strengths to their communities and their world and, in turn, being enriched by them.”

Learn more about the Millennium Fellowship, now accepting applications for the Class of 2021, at


About Dyson College: Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfil core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About Pace University
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and a Law School in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on our news website