Nine student leaders selected for their dedication to social-impact efforts
By News staffPhotography by Tristan Spinski
October 27, 2021
Colby is pleased to announce its inaugural cohort of United Nations Millennium Fellows. Nine student leaders, hailing from New Hampshire to Nigeria, have been selected to represent the College as part of the fellowship’s 2021 class. Colby is part of just 6 percent of the campuses from 30 nations to host this year’s fellows.
Joining the ranks of more than 2,000 fellows from 136 campuses worldwide, these outstanding young Colbians comprise the first cohort from any Maine college or university: Misa Beltran-Guzman ’22, Kai Goode ’24, Sophya Guwn ’22, Cristian Hernandez ’23, Erica Lee ’24, Clara Lehv ’24, Terri Nwanma ’22, Furqan Qureshi ’24, and Linzy Rosen ’22.
“Colby students have always been dedicated to social-impact efforts, demonstrated leadership qualities, and generated innovative ideas,” said Sarah Sculley, DavisConnects advisor for education and social impact. “This opportunity is not only a perfect fit for Colby students but is well-deserved, and I’m thrilled for them to be recognized on this global scale.”
The initiatives of Colby’s inaugural cohort are far-reaching. Tackling a variety of challenges in Maine and beyond, Colby fellows are pursuing projects from equity and inclusion in higher education to climate change to mental health to menstrual equity.
For the 2021 class, more than 25,000 students applied from 2,000-plus campuses across 153 nations. To be selected, prospective fellows demonstrated strong leadership capabilities, a passion to advance UN goals, and proposed innovative projects to address a specific UN Sustainable Development Goal.
In addition to being selected as fellows, MCN chose Beltran-Guzman and Guwn to serve as Colby’s campus directors. In this role, they will lead Colby fellows through a series of exclusive social-impact workshops and leadership-development opportunities designed by MCN.
Rosen spearheaded the effort to bring the fellowship to Mayflower Hill. Last spring, she helped build Colby’s applicant pool by reaching out to various campus clubs, organizations, and individuals, including Sculley, who helped disseminate the fellowship’s information and supported applicants.
“I’m so proud of the Colby community for coming together and forming this cohort,” Rosen said. “This will be an exciting opportunity to support each other and address pressing issues that exist on and off campus.”
According to the fellowship, the work of the 2020 Millennium Fellows positively impacted the lives of more than 875,827 people. Seventy-five percent of program alumni are now pursuing social impact careers.
“On every campus and in every community, student leaders are committed to making positive contributions while committed to our ethos: empathetic, humble, inclusive leadership,” said Sam Vaghar, executive director and cofounder of MCN. “Emerging leaders need requisite training, connections, and recognition to deepen their social impact as undergraduates and throughout their careers. Partnering with UNAI enables us to engage more students, providing a powerful framework to help them convene, take action, and elevate the important contributions they make.”