Meeting with activists, ambassadors and policy makers—sometimes in the United Nations itself—makes our Levermore Global Scholars program unique.
At Adelphi, the Levermore Global Scholars (LGS) program attracts top students who aspire to become leaders in a changing world. While the program offers its scholars plenty of life-changing excursions abroad, it also mines the University’s proximity to New York City for one-of-a-kind educational experiences that broaden their global perspective and prepare them to be trailblazers.
LGS students use Manhattan and the other boroughs as an extended classroom, diving into internships and volunteer efforts at major nonprofits and public service groups. To enhance their studies, they go to museums, theaters and cultural institutions throughout the city. They learn directly from international activists, ambassadors and policymakers about everything from public health to conflict resolution—even engaging with world leaders at the United Nations.
“What New York City has to offer is invaluable,” said Cindy Maguire, Ph.D., associate professor of art and art history and the program’s academic director. “There are so many different international communities and organizations where our students can interact with people from all over the world. And it’s all so close—just a train ride away.”
With LGS graduates going on to start their own advocacy groups, land jobs with top companies and attend prominent graduate schools, interest in the program is on the rise: It’s had a 95 percent increase in enrollment since 2015. An estimated 200 students will participate in the 2019–2020 academic year—the largest number yet.
Like their predecessors, these scholars can take advantage of Adelphi’s unique connection with the U.N., which gave the University nongovernmental organization (NGO) status in 2003—a position that is usually granted to charities, humanitarian groups and similar nonprofits.
“I have always been passionate to solve global problems and follow in the footsteps of the U.N. in solving them,” said Chitralekha Kar ’18, M.S. ’19. “Hence being in NYC as part of LGS allowed me tremendous, exciting opportunities to participate in various U.N. seminars, activities and service projects to learn about and solve different complex global issues.”
Regardless of their major, LGS students regularly represent Adelphi at invitation-only briefings at U.N. Headquarters, where they can make their voices heard and listen to the world’s top officials discuss pressing issues. For instance, 25 scholars attending the annual Global Engagement Summit hosted by the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) in February were able to hear Secretary-General António Guterres speak passionately about the need to stem climate change.
According to the program’s administrative director, Peter DeBartolo, LGS students have told him that visiting the U.N. inspired them to join the Peace Corps, teach in other nations and organize fundraisers in the wake of tragedies such as April’s Sri Lanka bombings. He said conversations about sustainability and human rights prompted a pair of recent graduates to launch a food recovery initiative on campus earlier this year to collect food that would otherwise be thrown away and deliver it to shelters serving people who are homeless or survivors of domestic violence.
“Their U.N. experiences really hit home,” DeBartolo said. “These students are able to listen to really interesting ideas they may have never heard before, and that can drive them to do amazing things.”
The program also takes advantage of Adelphi’s location when it comes to connecting its students with internships with leading community-based organizations based in New York City, including the National Urban League, the Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding and CITYarts. Not only are students contributing to worthy causes—this hands-on work can make them more attractive to future employers and give them an edge moving forward in their careers.
“My LGS experience has made me a stronger global leader with broader global perspective and deeper knowledge and skill sets to critically analyze and tackle these global problems,” Kar said. “And being in this ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made’ has profoundly taught me not to give up—because dreams do come true.”
Plus, the program is able to pull from a deep pool of international professionals and scholars who live and work in New York City to share their expertise with its students. Over the years, an array of distinguished journalists, foreign policy experts and nonprofit leaders—as well as a retired U.N. Assistant Secretary-General—have given lectures, workshops and more.
“New York City is an amazing resource,” DeBartolo said. “It’s unparalleled in the global opportunities it can offer.”
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