McNair Scholar's Experience: NOVUS Summit at the United Nations


Cindy Le, a current McNair Scholar, tells her experience at NOVUS Summit. "I had the privilege of attending the first NOVUS Summit at the United Nations on July 17, 2016. The purpose of the NOVUS Summit was to promote the collaboration between the fields of technology and humanity to pursue the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations hopes to achieve by 2030. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. ending poverty everywhere) seemed like a daunting global task to accomplish. However, my perspective changed to see the goals as attainable, as I listened to agents of change like Shiza Shaid, the former CEO of the Malala Fund, speak about her passions and story of determination. While conversing with professionals from all over the world, I also had the opportunity to meet with other Gates Millennium Scholars who are pursuing their graduate degrees. I gained insight on how my future aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. can be aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I can work towards bettering the health and well-being of communities to reduce inequalities through my research interests in mental health and health care for racial and ethnic minorities. Attending the NOVUS Summit was a transformative experience that allowed me to envision how I, a first-generation, low-income student, can start making a difference globally."