Student Projects Headed to Clinton Global Initiative University

For the third consecutive year, the highly competitive Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) has accepted Commitments to Action developed by FIT students—and this year, it’s not one project, but three, that will be presented when President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton host CGI U 2016 at the University of California, Berkeley, April 1-3.

In 2014, the FIT Natural Dye Garden was presented, followed by the FIT Muslin Compost System in 2015. This year, six students are leading the way on three new projects―FIT HIVES, FIT Natural Dye Garden: Next Phase, and STEAM Into Action. The students have come together from a cross-section of majors, including Fashion Business Management, Textile Development and Marketing, Fine Arts, Advertising and Marketing Communications, and Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.

Built on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, CGI U was established to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world to take action on global challenges. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting for students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities to come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. The meeting brings together more than 1,000 students to make a difference in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

FIT’s projects this year are:

FIT HIVES, developed by Shona Neary, a Fine Arts major, and Sarah Langenbach, a Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing major, is designed to establish a bee education program by sustaining a hive at FIT. The intent is to connect FIT students, who are the creators of future industry, with local beekeepers to develop sustainable, natural methods of developing bee-derived resources for projects, products, and designs. The project has an Environment and Climate Change focus area.

Shona Neary and Sarah Langenbach of FIT Hives


FIT Natural Dye Garden: Next Phase, developed by Jillian Oderwald, a Textile Development and Marketing major, and Amanda Farr, a Fashion Business Management major, advances the work of the FIT Natural Dye Garden. The aim of the Dye Garden has been to promote sustainable and eco-friendly dyeing practices. Oderwald and Farr want to increase outreach to a larger community within and beyond FIT, while serving as a resource for those who would like to plant a garden of their own or conduct research on the art, science, and sustainable aspects of natural dyeing. The project falls within the Environment and Climate Change focus area.

Sabrya Said and Ayodele Myers of STEAM Into Action

STEAM Into Action, developed by Sabrya Said, an Advertising and Marketing Communications major, and Ayodele Myers, a Fashion Business Management major, adds an “A” for “art” to the STEM acronym (science, technology, engineering, and math). The project focuses on connecting underrepresented groups in middle and high school to opportunities for exploration and accessibility within tech, arts, and higher education. FIT students would invite students from area schools to participate in workshops and mentorship programs and serve as role models for the younger students so that they can picture themselves combining technology and the arts in the future. The project falls within the Education focus area.




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