Cedarville University Students Win Award for Global Initiative

by Public Relations

Cedarville University senior social studies education major Luke Askew, senior graphic design major Adam Putinski, along with friend Baxter Stapleton, recently trekked to New York City for the 2010 World Summit to receive an award for a website they created.

In 2001, United Nations (U.N.) members gathered to set goals for the coming years. Goals included ending poverty, fighting aids, achieving universal education and increasing maternal health, among others. To help with the project, the U.N. partnered with creative organizations such as World Summit Youth Award (WSYA). By holding a contest, for young creative, WYSA challenged entrants to produce digital media that would promote the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). When they heard about the contest, Stapleton and Askew set out to create socialMDGs.com, with the help of Putinski and Cameron Reynolds-Flatt ’10.

The website is intended to promote the United Nations’ goals by searching social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook) to find conversations related to these global issues. The site brings all of these conversations to one place where everyone can learn about critical social issues.

Stapleton learned about the contest late in the game, giving the team less than four weeks to meet the deadline. Despite the rush, the group created a functioning website that placed first in the “Pursue Truth” category, one of six categories. The group competed against more than 600 entries from over 100 U.N. countries and was the only group to place from the United States.

When Askew, Stapleton and Putinski traveled to New York City, they met many of the other young people working to promote social change throughout the world. They met a young woman from Azerbaijan who created the only news outlet in her nation to publish women writers and a 19-year-old who created the first website in India to publish youth journalists, showcasing over 600 writers with his project.

Baxter and Askew plan to use their personal design company, found online at elayo.org, to promote the MDGs as they continue to network with other organizations. The team focuses on nonprofit social causes to reach the world and encourage action.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.