April 09, 2010

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By Tom Evelyn

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Former President Bill Clinton has invited Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell to join a panel discussion on educational opportunities for disadvantaged students at the 2010 Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU).

President Mitchell will speak Saturday, April 17, as part of the CGIU's annual meeting, which is being held April 16-18 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The panel is titled "Overcoming the Toughest Obstacles: Education for the Most Disadvantaged Children and Youth."

"Because of Bucknell University's service-learning programs, allowing students to volunteer in schools and other education capacities to help marginalized populations in the U.S. and internationally, we thought Dr. Mitchell would be ideal for this panel," said Kimberly Lovett, program senior manager for CGIU.

Actions and interventions
The panelists will discuss the many challenges that children around the world face in seeking an education at all levels and the steps that individuals and institutions can take to address these issues. "This panel will focus on specific actions and interventions that students and universities can take to ensure that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged have the opportunity to get an education and build a brighter future," says a CGIU description of the panel.

"The discussion will provide invaluable guidance to our attendees, helping them to identify concrete, practical solutions that will become their 'Commitments to Action' in the year ahead," said Robert S. Harrison, chief executive officer of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Over his six years as president of Bucknell, Mitchell has worked with other institutions and private foundations to launch and support several innovative programs to increase diversity and opportunity at the University.

Posse Foundation
A partnership with the Posse Foundation has brought in groups of outstanding students from several inner-city communities who might not be able to attend college without the financial and mentoring support provided by the program. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation selected Bucknell following a national review process as one of its six partners to enroll high-achieving scholars on full scholarships from community colleges. And Bucknell has worked with the Davis World Scholars program to enroll superb international students from developing countries around the world.

"I recognize and appreciate the value of an excellent college education, and that makes me doubly committed to making college access possible," Mitchell said. "The most selective universities like Bucknell must remain committed, and show genuine leadership, in attracting the best and brightest students no matter where they might be or what circumstances they face."

One of Bucknell's international students, Muyambi Muyambi, Class of '11, has received a $5,000 grant from the Clinton Global Initiative to support his Bicycles Against Poverty initiative. The project provides bicycles to citizens in his homeland of Uganda to be used for transportation and as a tool for economic development.

A project created by senior civil and environmental engineering students under the direction of visiting Assistant Professor Kevin Gilmore will receive special recognition at the CGIU this year. "A Sustainable Drinking Water Solution for Tumaipa, Suriname" will be showcased on stage during "The Future of Water" plenary session on Saturday. The students involved, John Trimmer, Jon Campbell-Copp, Scott Teagarden and Alesandra Agresti, were also recipients of a $10,000 Projects for Peace Grant from the Davis Foundation to build a water collection and filter system this summer for the remote Tumaipa village.

Contact: Division of Communications