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Three students named delegates to Clinton Foundation conference

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Lindsey Hadlock

Saloni Verma ’18, Kiyan Rajabi ’18 and Imani Majied ’19 have all received early-decision notification from the Clinton Foundation that they will be delegates to the Clinton Global Initiatives University (CGI U) conference at the University of Chicago in October.

When applying to CGI U, students submit a summary of an ongoing project or idea for a “commitment to action” focused on education, environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, peace and human rights, or public health.

Verma, a graduate engineering student, has committed to a project to evaluate changes in the memory of older adults who take medications to control insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. The project seeks to provide patients, health care providers and pharmaceutical companies with information that will enable treatments designed to prolong quality of life for patients with metabolic disorders.

Verma is working under the supervision of Magnolia Ariza-Nieto, founder and CEO of EpiWell and a visiting scientist at Cornell. The EpiWell diagnostic kit is a precision medicine tool to monitor changes in the human epigenome in response to stressors.

“The onset of memory decline will be assessed using combination of mental, verbal and nonverbal memory questionnaires. And [the technology licensed by EpiWell] is an important tool which we will be using during our project,” Verma said. “I believe innovation alone is not enough for commercial success. Many exceptional ideas end with a publication in a journal. It’s about getting those ideas to the people [at CGI U], which is what Magnolia and I are trying to achieve.”

Rajabi, a graduate student in the Health Tech program at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, is completing his final semester with a Startup Studio project, ReverCare.

“There are over 26 million Americans balancing work while providing care to an elderly family member. Most of them do so without any formal, professional health care training,“ said Rajabi. “My team and I chose this project because we have seen the workload undertaken by our parents and the resulting stress on their own lives.”

The ReverCare team is focused on validating its concept. On April 16 they presented before an audience of a few hundred public health professionals at a Caregiver Technology Fair in New York City.

Majied is working with Everybody Eats, a project to provide low-income families and individuals with surplus food from local restaurants, food which would otherwise go to waste. The team is validating product prototypes with Ithaca-area organizations who are likely partners, to reach the intended individuals. By the end of May, Everybody Eats plans to launch a social media campaign to generate awareness of the food insecurity, and a crowd-funding campaign to pay for development and marketing expenses.

Majied is passionate about social entrepreneurship, and recently returned from a workshop in Singapore which culminated in a competition between 47 teams. Majied won a coveted placement within the Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme, hosted by the Singapore International Foundation.

“We will now will have pro-bono assistance from a McKinsey consultant, a visit to a social enterprise meeting in Singapore this June, and the opportunity to pitch for funding in October,” Majied said. “I am very excited about the opportunity because my partner and I have been in the ideation phase since October and we are ready to take the next steps to get our Everybody Eats enterprise started.”

April 23 is the final deadline for students to submit applications to become a delegate to the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. Visit the CGI U website to learn more about the Clinton Foundation and this opportunity for social entrepreneurship.

Debra Eichten writes for Entrepreneurship at Cornell.


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