Global Engagement Network makes an impact

A group of students and professionals came together two weeks ago, months after being created with one goal in mind: to have a successful week-long summit to make a difference socially and globally.

A new group on campus called Global Engagement Network (GEN), founded by Gitika Mohta í10, addresses the idea of creating social change on a global level.

Mohta says that GEN was officially created in January, after preparing a charter in the fall semester of 2008, since ìthere is no other body like it that aims at providing students with the basics and tools of global engagement … of making their ideas turn into reality.”

Mohta is also the president of this new organization and says she was inspired to create a global engagement organization after she attended the Global Engagement Summit at Northwestern University. This summit was a five-day gathering of students, who Mohta says, ìare passionate about global engagement and social change.” The students participated in workshops, mentorships, guest presentations and group discussions with ìlike-minded individuals, youth leaders and non-profit professionals.”

She explained that since ìthe entire summit was organized by a bunch of students,” when she came back to The College of Wooster, she decided to start GEN, ìa student group dedicated towards global engagement.”

GENís purpose, Mohta says, is ìto initiate and organize student led efforts towards globally engaging themselves.” GEN held a Global Engagement Network Conference and Summit on April 18 where they had workshops, speaker presentations, and panel discussions, among other things. The topics that were covered ranged from asset-based community developments to cultural literacy.

Some of the speakers from the non-profit sector included Patrick Sciaratta of the United Nations and Reverend Damon Lynch III from Northwestern University.

The GEN conference was intended for students to be able to meet professionals and to get a good grounding in global engagement so they could turn their ideas into reality.

GENís advisor is Amyaz Moledina, an associate professor of economics. Moledina, Mohta says, ìwas on board with this [GEN] right from the time we told him about the idea. Heís been a monumental support to this, has encouraged us constantly and itís been amazing working with him.”

Hugh Brown í10 is the treasurer, Marianne Sierocinkski í11 is the secretary and Laura Valencia í12 and Benjamin Welbourn í11 are the student liaisons. Though this is the ìcore group,” as Mohta calls them, Sheldon Masters í09, Arjun Upadhyay í09 and Anoop Parik í09 also helped GEN with the charter, funds and publicity for the April 18 summit.

They also contributed to the ìdiscussion of how to make GEN fit into the structure of the College,” Mohta explained.

She emphasized that GEN is ìnot just here to spread awareness, but to make people start thinking that social change is possible, and itís been done over and over again by young passionate individuals that take initiatives and risks.”