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Student delegation heads to global leadership symposium

June 28, 2019
portrait of four students.The students attending the 2019 University Scholars Leadership Symposium are, from left, Brendon Tran, Anjaana Bhairo, Zivile Vebraite and Sharline Rojo Reyes. (missing: Shingirai Dhoro) (University of Rochester photo / Sara Miller)

In August 2018, the University for the first time ever sent a delegation of students to the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Bangkok, Thailand. Based on the enriching experience the Rochester students had at this week-long leadership development training program, the University is again sending a group to the symposium this summer to learn about humanitarianism, what it means to contribute to social change on a global scale, and how to best respond to the needs of the marginalized.

From Aug. 1-7, a new group of five undergraduates is headed to Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, for the 10th University Scholars Leadership Symposium, hosted by the Office of Humanitarian Affairs in Asia and the Ministry of Education in Thailand. These University students will join 1,500 other student leaders from 100 United Nations-member states in Istana Budaya, also known as the Palace of Culture, in Kuala Lumpur.

The five University students attending are:

  • Zivile Vebraite, a rising junior majoring in cell and developmental biology in the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Anjaana Bhairo, a rising senior majoring in international relations in the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Sharline Rojo Reyes, a rising senior majoring in political science in the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Brendon Tran, a rising sophomore majoring in microbiology in the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Shingirai Dhoro, a rising senior majoring in electrical and computer engineering in the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

The symposium includes several sessions and panels designed to build contemporary leadership skills with a global perspective. The student leaders are asked to think about the ways they might lead and design change to address the suffering, hardship, and poverty in many parts of the world. Participants will devote attention to generating new ideas to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the set of 17 health, environmental and anti-poverty goals that in 2015 the world committed to achieve by 2030.

Rochester students are also asked to commit to a follow-up project once back on campus this fall that helps spread the knowledge from this cultural experience with others.

Glenn Cerosaletti, assistant dean of students and director of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, has organized the University’s participation in this conference for two years.

“The experience of our students at the 2018 Symposium confirmed that this is an event that has great potential to help our students achieve the College competencies, particulary in the areas of leadership and intercultural fluency,” said Cerosaletti. “The symposium connects them with other college students from around the world and increases their knowledge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as successful strategies for achieving those goals through the social impact work of leaders of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations. The 2019 delegation is poised to take advantage of the 10th anniversary symposium and share that knowledge with other students upon their return.”

Financial support of $1,500 for up to five student delegates was made available through the College, and Office for Global Engagement to help cover registration, housing, meals and travel expenses.


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Category: Student Life

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