MCN Visits Northeastern's Marine Science Center

Science Center's view of the ocean

Science Center's view of the ocean

Main entrance of the Marine Science Center

Main entrance of the Marine Science Center

Two of MCN's summer interns, Wendy and Amanda, visited Northeastern's Marine Science Center on Friday, July 28th 2017. Located in Nahant, MA, the Center's scenic facilities is right by the ocean and only a thirty minute drive from Northeastern's main campus in Boston, MA. The Science Center is the perfect place for a college student obsessed with the city and crazy about the ocean!

Northeastern Marine and Environmental Sciences professor Brian Helmuth generously invited MCN to tour their Nahant facilities and chat with students about exciting research projects happening at the site. One of many ongoing projects at the Center is a collaboration with the Museum of Science in creating visualizations to help stakeholders understand climate adaptation.

Mark Patterson with an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). Fun Fact: the poster in the back of this photo shows the longest continuously running underwater robot (AUV)! 

Mark Patterson with an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). Fun Fact: the poster in the back of this photo shows the longest continuously running underwater robot (AUV)! 

The opportunity to see first-hand what a facility that focuses on research and advocacy for the oceans looks like while connecting with students was phenomenal as MCN works with undergraduates students and is currently promoting the Oceans Campaign.

Observing the heart beat of a muscle! 

Observing the heart beat of a muscle! 

Barbecues are held every Friday in the summer at MSC!

Barbecues are held every Friday in the summer at MSC!

Highlights from the tour of the labs include getting to view video footage taken from Mission 31 via 3D virtual reality (VR) goggles, being shown an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), checking out a "coral reef microcosm" inside a repurposed World War 2 bunker, and connecting with faculty & students at a barbecue hosted on site (the Center throws a barbecue lunch every Friday in the summer!).

Taking a peek into Mission 31! Links to all of their virtual tours, both video and still, are on their web site. 

Taking a peek into Mission 31! Links to all of their virtual tours, both video and still, are on their web site

World War 2 bunker repurposed into a laboratory

World War 2 bunker repurposed into a laboratory

Checking out a "Coral Reef Microcosm"!

Checking out a "Coral Reef Microcosm"!

Faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, high schoolers, and volunteers alike at the Science Center were all passionate about the marine sciences and the various projects & research happening on site. MCN highly encourages all the undergraduate students to carry that passion with them and consider applying for the $5,000 Millennium Oceans Prize!

MCN is proud to have Northeastern University as one of its Millennium Campuses and is very excited to continue its new partnership with the Marine Science Center.

Beach Sisters is a collaborative program between MSC and Girls Inc. of Lynn to help pave the way for high school girls to develop scientific inquiry and citizenship skills, and to learn about academic and career opportunities in marine and environmental science.

Beach Sisters is a collaborative program between MSC and Girls Inc. of Lynn to help pave the way for high school girls to develop scientific inquiry and citizenship skills, and to learn about academic and career opportunities in marine and environmental science.

Navigating a virtual tour in the ocean! Try it out yourself on their web site. 

Navigating a virtual tour in the ocean! Try it out yourself on their web site

The Importance of Student Leadership: MCN Testimonial

Good student leadership is essential for our world's future. The Millennium Campus Network is making it their mission to create a new generation of ethical, effective, and engaged student leaders. Samuel Akinsola, a young leader from Botswana, agrees with MCN's mission.

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Samuel currently has a "masters attestation in International Relations at University of Tartu (Estonia) and Hons in Network Engineering at Botho University." He was selected to be a delegate at MCN's 2015 annual conference (MCC15) in New York City at the United Nations Headquarters; but unfortunately, he was unable to attend. Despite not being able to attend, Samuel kept up with all things MCN as the organization's mission is much in tune with his own mission. He hopes to attend MCC17 in Morocco!

In an interview with Samuel, MCN asked him about his own personal experiences with leadership. He paused before stating, "When I was young, I thought that leadership was only meant for people that were really educated and had a lot money." He went on to say that he thought he couldn't be a leader because of his previous underprivileged background. But he soon realized that good leadership didn't rely solely on those qualities- there are many attributes that make someone fit for leadership. Leadership looks different on everyone.

Moreover, being a leader takes practice. Samuel learned from experience that it is extremely important to respect and communicate with the people that you are leading. He recalled a time when he called out a team member in an online group chat for not listening to established communication rules. While it was important to speak to the member about his or her behavior, Samuel realized that it would have been better to speak to the member in person and in private, rather than in a public online forum. When working with others, it is essential to be respectful and patient. 

Patience is an attribute that all leaders must have according to Samuel. He said, "a leader must have patience with who he or she is leading." To be patient is to listen and understand each individual's strengths and weaknesses. A patient leader will be effective because he or she understands their team and will work with them to attain success.

Samuel and others with Angela Merkel at Youth 20 Dialogue

Samuel and others with Angela Merkel at Youth 20 Dialogue

Samuel ended the interview with advice to future leaders and young people. He said, "[young leaders] should be able to understand real world issues in depth- [they should understand] the real issues that affect humanity." On a recent trip to Germany for the Youth 20 Dialogue, Samuel listened to German chancellor Angela Merkel and others discuss a number of topics, one of which was that "young people want to be leaders, but they lack the understanding of real world issues." Young people should be equipped with knowledge on a number of issues and not be narrow minded. For instance, if one "wants to study music, then study music; but also go out and volunteer- put oneself in other people’s shoes, feel their pain, and be a part of their joy."

MCN is proud to support young leaders, such as Samuel, as they make positive impact on this world and share their vision of leadership that is more ethical, effective, and engaged.

MCN at the UN: Team MCN Attends the HESI Event

Raina Fox and panelists get ready for the "moderated dialogue"

Raina Fox and panelists get ready for the "moderated dialogue"

Audience view at HESI

Audience view at HESI

Team MCN attended the “Higher Education Institutions - Key Drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals” event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017. The forum, which lasted from 3-5pm, was a part of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) and platform for “higher education institutions to showcase how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs, is being integrated into sustainability strategies, research, pedagogy, [and] campus practices."

HESI attendees

HESI attendees

Participants of the HESI event included government officials, academics, administrators, UN representatives, sustainability professionals, and other relevant stakeholders. This dynamic group of participants rallied together in solidarity to discuss, and listen to, how universities across the globe are supporting the SDGs and aiming to "position higher education institutions as key drivers for achieving the SDGs.”

Raina Fox moderates

Raina Fox moderates

The event’s moderated dialogue “Integrating SDGs into Sustainability Strategies of Higher Education Institutions” was moderated by MCN’s very own Partnerships Director Raina Fox. Seven diverse panelists -all of whom are passionate about the intersection between higher education, young people, and the SDGs- joined in on the conversation. The institutions represented via the panelists included the Monash Business School, Australia; Stanford University, California; ESPAE-ESPOL, Ecuador; Business School Lausanne (BSL), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; and AIESEC, Global. Each representative gave a brief synopsis on the work he or she is involved in.

Moderated dialogue at HESI

Moderated dialogue at HESI

Derek talks about urban sustainability

Derek talks about urban sustainability

A few highlights from the panel include recent Stanford undergraduate Derek Ouyang and his work on urban sustainability with his alma mater, and Tatiana Landysheva’s work with AIESAC on mobilizing student engagement towards the SDGs. The recording of the entire panel is on the UN website as well as right below.

 
Team MCN stops for a photo outside the UN

Team MCN stops for a photo outside the UN

The HESI event delivered plenty of encouraging words to young people to go out into "the world" and make real, positive social impact. Team MCN was proud to attend the event and hopes to work alongside more universities in the future on sustainability and social impact.

Silence to Sound: Combating Sexual Assault on College Campuses

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Today, our society is facing numerous problems but people often forget or choose to ignore an epidemic that affects so many young people today:  sexual assault on college campuses. Individuals think that it would never happen to them or anyone they love—their brothers, sisters, mothers, or even their friends—but, unfortunately, this is not the case.  I, personally, came to this realization when I found out that my friend was sexually assaulted.  After hearing this story, I knew I needed to do something to bring awareness about the issue of sexual assault on college campuses so that no one will have to experience what my friend and so many others had to go through.

When I found out that the Millennium Campus Network was giving an opportunity to students to create their own campaign about an issue that they were passionate about, I knew that this would be the best way to help those who have been sexually assaulted. I was overjoyed when I received the official email that my campaign was selected.  Immediately following the launch of my campaign, Silence to Sound, in August 2016, at the 8th annual Millennium Campus Network Conference in D.C. at Howard University, my team and I began working diligently to spread our message and promote the Silence to Sound campaign throughout our campus.  In order to reach out other individuals besides those who attend College of the Holy Cross, we have set up social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. These accounts give the most up-to-date information regarding our progress and how to be involved in our mission.  We have launched our website www.silencetosound.net. On the website, one can find out about my team, global webinars we have done sponsored by MCN, a database filled with resources for victims of sexual assault, personalized for each college campus and much more. We are working with the BARCC, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and they have graciously helped us with some of the resources available to survivors at different campuses in Massachusetts. As of right now, though, our resource list only consists of some schools in Massachusetts and is, therefore, not fully comprehensive because we lack the personnel to research for us. We are looking for volunteer researchers to help us with this database.  In April, we were able to partner with the Women’s Forum, a student-run organization at my school, in order to have a “Take Back the Night” walk where men and women marched in silence with lit candles around the campus in remembrance of survivors of sexual assault.

As we get closer to our first year mark since our launch, we have some new goals. We wish to have a team of researchers in order to have more of a complete list available for survivors of sexual assault so that they can get the support and help that they need. We are also hoping to begin partnering with other organizations that share our same mission of ending sexual assault on college campuses as well as students at other universities who share the same ideals.  In addition, we continue to seek funding in order to expand this campaign.  We are hoping to receive money from the Ignite Fund from the College of the Holy Cross, a program designed to give funding to student-based projects that can help the community, after we present our ideas and progress in the fall when school has resumed.  This will really help us to maximize the impact we can make on not only my own college campus but on others as well.


Men and women alike should be able to receive their education and receive a degree without the fear of sexual assault. We can be the ones to motivate people to take off the blindfold that shields them from the truth about rape on college campuses and make them see the horrible reality of it. We, young leaders of the future; however, must remember one thing: change is possible but our generation needs to have the passion, determination and perseverance to make that change happen. As our former United States President Theodore Roosevelt most eloquently said, "Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind." We need our words to turn into action, but it has to start with us- the architects of the better and brighter future. People will hear our voice but only if we make a sound.

By: Jessica Russo

Strategic planning @MCN: first steps

By Yulia Lapina

This Saturday MCN held a special strategic planning session. The purpose of it was identifying and re-stating the core values of MCN, understanding at what point the organization is right now, and more importantly, planning and shaping MCN’s future. For the achievement of such ambitious goals, many bright minds representing different stakeholders were invited. We would like to acknowledge the importance of everyone’s participation at this meeting. Special thanks go to our amazing leader Sam Vaghar, the irreplaceable Raina Fox and the bright Abigail Kelble; amazing 2017 Boston Hub Site Director Simone LaPray, our insightful fellows and/or conference participants Muhammad Faraz Husain, Racquel Knight, Oye Ehikhamhen, and John Kotey; our hard-working interns Yulia Lapina, Hannah Cook and Wendy Chen; and, last but not least, the greatest moderator we could possibly have: Nina Chanpreet Kaur. Many different topics were discussed. The Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals remain the guiding principle of MCN. Starting from there, it has been acknowledged that students and young people, developing their leadership skills, can and must act in order to make a positive and impactful change in this world. MCN has always been and remains a support for young leaders. Having this in mind, the future of the organization, as well as its programs and possibilities have been discussed. It has been a very fruitful and inspiring day, with many innovative and brilliant ideas emerging. We would like to thank again everyone who participated; every person that sat around the table with us made a very meaningful contribution to our mission. This is just the first one of a series of conversations which will lead us to the finalization of our strategic project. We are all thrilled and excited to see where the future of MCN will unfold.