Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Johnson C. Smith University Students to Participate in Clinton Global Initiative University

Charlotte, N.C. (March 4, 2013) – Four students from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) will participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), at the sixth annual meeting at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. April 5-7. While attending the annual meeting hosted by President Bill Clinton, students will hear from specialists in the field of global development as they brainstorm ideas and form effective partnerships with governmental and private sectors.

Johnson C. Smith University students Christopher Fatton and Sandy Mathurin of Haiti, Omar Cossio of Asheboro, N.C., and Shaquana Jackson of Greensboro, N.C.,will present their work on the JCSU Sustainability Village initiative as they compete with some of the nation’s top institutions for funding awards. If selected, the students will receive $5,000 to support their Commitment to Action project at JCSU.

The project, called Sustainability Village, is an innovative living-learning prototype on campus that incorporates academic coursework, service-learning activities and humanitarian work that will be replicated in Haiti. As part of their project, the students recently introduced tilapia into the university’s first aquaponic garden, a sustainable system of farming that combines growing crops and cultivating fish in a closed loop environment. Once mature, the garden will provide kale, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peas and herbs for the campus and surrounding community.

During the CGI U conference, the students will attend sessions on global concerns and present their Commitment to Action as they address sustainability on their campus, in their local community and around the world.

“Johnson C. Smith University plays a pivotal role in the community by preparing a cadre of students who are solutions driven and prepared to solve a myriad of global development challenges,” said Philip Otienoburu, visiting professor of biology at JCSU. “As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative University network, JCSU is part of a rapidly growing consortium of academic institutions committed to contributing sustainable solutions, through student-driven action-oriented projects, all geared towards alleviating our most pressing global concerns such as poverty, food security, environmental sustainability and conservation. This meeting offers the students a unique platform to share their ideas and highlight the importance of sustainable food systems, especially in marginalized communities and highly dynamic humanitarian settings.”

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the CGI U has brought together more than 4,500 students from nearly 750 schools and more than 130 countries. Students are selected based on their commitment ideas that include concrete, detailed plans of action and a passion and energy for a global issue.

About JCSU

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 23 fields of study to more than 1,600 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visit or follow the university on social media sites Facebook (www.facebook/smithites) and Twitter (@JCSUniversity). 

Jennifer Gaskins
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing


Return to Latest News