UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD Advances Three Student-led Impact Projects to International U21 RISE Showcase

UMD Advances Three Student-led Impact Projects to International U21 RISE Showcase

The University of Maryland is proud to announce three student led-projects – FundEd, Peer to Peer, and Veni, Vidi, Vici – as its representatives for this year’s Universitas21 (U21) RISE Showcase and Awards.

U21’s RISE (Real Impact on Society & Environment) is an international showcase of student achievement in sustainability and social innovation. It is designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry.

“It can be difficult to take a social enterprise or innovation idea beyond small-scale, local implementation, into something bigger,” U21 leaders wrote. “RISE helps students realize this goal for their projects by giving them access to a global audience of potential supporters.”

As UMD’s representatives, each student team created a video to pitch their project to potential international collaborators, who are invited to make a pledge via the RISE website to support the project’s development. U21 will review submissions from institutions across its international network and announce awards in mid-May. Those selected projects will be eligible for additional funding and guidance.

>>The video pitches are available here; anyone interested in engaging with a project may submit their pledge of support here.

RISE welcomed each member university to submit projects focused on global challenges, as outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. UMD is one of 27 members of the U21 network, which brings together research-intensive universities from six continents to share knowledge and perspectives. To select the UMD representatives for RISE, the Do Good Institute and the Office of International Affairs (OIA) hosted a campus-wide contest.

As winners of the UMD contest, in addition to serving as UMD’s RISE representatives, these projects also each win $1,000 in total funding from the Do Good Institute and OIA. More details on UMD’s representatives:

  • FundEd, led by Shubham Mittal, an undergraduate student in Computer Engineering, aims to bridge gaps in the educational, tuition and after school needs of identified underprivileged children between LKG and 8th grade in India through direct cash transfers and technology.

  • Peer to Peer, led by the student executive board team of Nikki Emamian, Molly Schreier, Catherine Zuzarte, Sanketh Andhavarapu & Nina Joshi Esha Ponnuri, strives to support the local refugee population by helping refugee youth in Prince George’s County to integrate into their new communities. They accomplish this by organizing UMD student-mentors, in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee, to volunteer at nearby after-school and weekend programs for refugee students.

  • Veni, Vidi, Vici (V3), led by Caitlyn Singam, a graduate student in Systems Engineering and Bioengineering, is focused on the development of a low-cost, portable, secure system for communicating healthcare information. V3 seeks to arm healthcare workers with the tools they need to combat illness and provide healthcare services, even in disaster relief scenarios where conventional communication methods may not be available.

The Do Good Institute and OIA teams also recognize the following projects as Honorable Mentions in the UMD selection process:

For more information on U21 RISE, please visit