Seton Hill University students selected for United Nations Supported Millennium Fellowship

A group of Seton Hill University students from a variety of majors has been selected for the Millennium Fellowship, a semester-long leadership development program sponsored by the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network, that convenes, challenges and celebrates student leadership for UN goals. 

More than 25,000 students applied from 2,000 campuses worldwide with only 2,000 students selected on 136 campuses in 30 nations for the Millennium Fellowship Class of 2021. As Millennium Fellows, the Seton Hill students will engage in leadership training and will put into motion a community project that tackles the United Nations Sustainable Goal for Sustainable Cities.

“The entire Seton Hill community congratulates our student leaders selected to the Millennium Fellowship Class of 2021,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger, Ed.D. “These students will work toward advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, an effort that aligns with our mission as a Catholic, Setonian institution. Seton Hill is committed to educating students to think and act critically, creatively and ethically as members of society committed to transforming the world. The Fellowship will provide Seton Hill students with an outlet to apply what they are learning in the classroom to critical real-world situations.” 

“The Millennium Campus Fellowship program offers students an unparalleled chance to engage their leadership skills to identify challenges in our changing world,” said Roni Kay O’Dell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and the faculty advisor to the Millennium Fellows at Seton Hill. “The program provides training and insight for students on implementing a community project to advance one of the sustainable development goals that the United Nations is working to achieve. Our Seton Hill University students will be implementing a project to raise awareness on making cities and human settlements sustainable and safe, particularly in the areas of water, air, and infrastructure. Through research, presentations, and community service they will engage their peers and members of the community to care for and cherish the world we live in. I'm excited to support these students as they implement this project and become leaders at Seton Hill and in our larger community.”

The 12 students from Seton Hill selected for the Millennium Fellowship include Ariana Scott, a senior Political Science and Sociology student from Leechburg, Pa.; Gabby Bubin, a junior Global Studies student from Prince Frederick, Md.; Brianna Franzino, a senior Global Studies student from Greensburg, Pa.; Adam Bobak, a senior Biology/Osteopathic Medicine 4+4 student from Ashville, Pa.; Kayla Vaccaro, a senior Biology/Osteopathic Medicine 4+4 student from Manahawkin, N.J.; Abby Zuder, a sophomore Biochemistry student from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Emma Zuder, a sophomore English student from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Tawni Wilkinson, a sophomore Biochemistry student from Oakdale, Pa.; Rachael Kopec, a junior Biochemistry student from Coraopolis, Pa.; Allyson Johnson, a junior Physician Assistant student from Canal Fulton, Ohio; Pietro Porco, a sophomore Political Science student from Tarentum, Pa.; and Meghan Cutshall, a sophomore Political Science/Pre-Law 3+3 student from Hollidaysburg, Pa. 

Scott and Bubin are the student leaders who facilitated the application to the Millennium Fellowship for the group. 

Their project -  SHUstainable Human Settlements and Resources (SHSR) – brings together Seton Hill students from various disciplines dedicated to researching, educating, and impacting the local community around UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 11 - Sustainable Cities. 

The three-part project will focus on research, outreach, and cleanup. 

During the research phase, the students will focus on the ways cities are impacted by water, air, infrastructure, and other human-related environmental issues as well as the political and socio-economic effects of the issue. 

The team will then conduct outreach to local middle and high school students as well as Seton Hill students about their research and the importance of sustainable cities. In addition, they plan to travel to Harrisburg to lobby state officials on the issue. 

Finally, the group will host a community cleanup event to take tangible action on the issue of sustainability.

During the fellowship, they will also attend virtual events with Millennium Fellows from around the globe to learn more about what others are doing and to hear from a variety of speakers on social impact work and how they can be better leaders in their communities.

“As a senior, I am excited to be working on a project that takes all of the knowledge I’ve learned during my time at Seton Hill and apply it to a real-world project that can make an impact,” said Scott. 

Bubin added, “I’m looking forward to working with other fellows in different countries, but also making an impact locally and continuing these efforts long after the fellowship is over.”

The students have created a website with more information on their efforts. Learn more about the Millennium Fellowship at