RIT Student Receives Grant from Clinton Global Initiative

Carolyn Dunne uses funds to assist deaf students in Ghana

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Carolyn Dunne, a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, is using a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative University to enhance educational opportunities for deaf students in the African nation of Ghana.

Through the initiative’s Commitment to Action program, Dunne will work with two Ghanaian schools for the deaf to create new computer labs to improve educational programs and to increase communication and dissemination opportunities for students and faculty.

“The Commitment to Action program challenges students from all over the world to develop initiatives that promote global equality, environmental improvement and educational advancement,” says Dunne, a third year double major in advertising and public relations and journalism from Greece, N.Y. “I was inspired by the goals of the program and decided to tackle an issue that is easily fixable but has not received the attention or resources necessary to improve it.

“Deaf citizens in many Third World countries, including Ghana, are often marginalized and there are little to no educational services available for this population, which only increases the ostracizing effect,” she continues. “By providing working computer labs, we can assist underfunded educational institutions in better serving the needs of this community and increase deaf students’ ability to communicate with the outside world.”

Dunne first became involved with the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2008 and attended its national conference at Tulane University in New Orleans. She is currently developing a student organization at RIT to create additional Commitment to Action projects on campus.

“Through programs like the Commitment to Action, students can gain tremendous experiences they can not get in the classroom, while also really making a difference in the world,” Dunne adds.

The Clinton Global Initiative University is a component of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was founded by former President William Jefferson Clinton in 2005 and seeks to bring together global business, political and community leaders as well as ordinary citizens to tackle pressing international challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation and lack of access to quality health care. The initiative’s Commitment to Action program is cosponsored by the Pat Tillman Foundation.