UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS STUDY GROUP

A Ranney School-Monmouth University Partnership to Promote Youth Involvement in Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

About the Partnership

Through the first-of-its-kind partnership, Monmouth University (West Long Branch, NJ) and the United Nations Division of Sustainable Development (UN-DESA), in collaboration with the UN Department of Public Information (UN-DPI), have paired with Ranney School high schoolers (Tinton Falls, NJ) to educate our school community and the wider local community about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Proposed in September 2015 by the UN, the SDGs have been approved unanimously by the Member States, who pledged a concrete engagement in the realization of the goals.

The goals aim to ensure a life of dignity for everyone worldwide and protection of our common home, the Earth.

Ranney School and Monmouth University have established a partnership with the UN Division for Sustainable Development in coordination with the UN Department of Public Information of the United Nations to propose implementable solutions to select targets of the SDGs. Ranney and Monmouth University are the first schools worldwide to have this unique partnership role with the UN Division for Sustainable Development.

The project proposed through this partnership, called the Youth Involvement in the Implementation of the SDGs, has been officially approved and funded by the UN Division for Sustainable Development (UN-DESA). The timeline and a short description of the project are posted on the official Partnerships for SDGs website. Specific details about this partnership project can be found on this dedicated webpage.


This partnership is being led by Dr. Patrizia Bonaventura, Assistant Professor at Monmouth University. She serves as a UN-DPI representative for the Institute of Global Understanding. She is developing this project in collaboration with Ranney School's Dr. Noel Delgado, Chair of the History Department and Director of the Global Citizens Signature Program.

Expert Speaker Series

List of 6 items.

  • FEBRUARY 29 Dr. John Henning, Dean of the School of Education, Monmouth University

    Goal 4: Quality Education
    February 29, Noon, Ranney School Campus
    During this session, students and faculty discussed "What the world would like like without education." The group addressed barriers to education, such as access, cost, technology and resistance to change. They also brainstormed solutions, including informing people about the mutual benefits of education. 
  • MARCH 1 Prof. Catherine Bartch Department of Political Sciences, Monmouth University

    Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Institutions
    March 1, Noon, Ranney School Campus
    Dr. Bartch provided students with an introduction to Goal 16, including what it means to be "just" and which institutions are involved in global justice. The group reviewed institutional weaknesses, such as corruption, discrimination and irregulation, and examined a few real-life problems affecting today's communities, such as the relationship between indigenous communities and sustainable land.
  • MARCH 2 School of Science Dean Catherine Duckett and Dean of Honors Kevin Dooley, Monmouth University

    Goal 13: Climate Action
    March 2, noon, Ranney School campus 
    This session focused on the impact of climate change on ecosystems and what societies can do about it. The professors discussed reduction in pollination, fish kills and ocean acidification, for example, that ultimately affect our food and water supply. Also presented was a discussion on how citizens, including students, can move the debate surrounding climate change from the sytemic agenda to the institutional agenda, where congressional action can take place.
  • MARCH 4 Prof. Patrizia Bonaventura, Department of Speech Pathology, Educational Counseling and Leadership, Monmouth University

    Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
    March 4, noon, Ranney School campus
    This session focused on communication disorders and their effect on children worldwide. The group discussed the impact of such disorders and their relation to the UN's global health goals.
  • MAR 9: Dr. Mary Brennan, Professor in the School of Education, Monmouth University

    Goal 4: Quality Education
    March 9, 12 noon, Ranney School campus
    This session focused on Goal 4 and the need to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries and states.
  • MAR. 15: Dr. Michael Schwebel, Urban Coast Institutes’ Community Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist

    Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
    March 15, noon, Ranney School campus
    This session focused on violence against women is it relates to sustainable cities and communities, including factors such as income, transportaion and community planning.

Student Project Details

The student projects will not only help to disseminate awareness of the SDGs among youth but will also bring together higher education faculty and graduate students with the high school students to develop suggestions for implementable solutions to the SDGs.

Ranney School students have already begun to research the SDGs and will create a project around one chosen goal via small groups or individually this spring. As part of their research process, approximately six Monmouth University professors will speak to the students and engage them in hands-on activities surrounding global problems and possible solutions to climate change, women in education, global health, partnerships for establishing peace, economic growth and clean water. (See the list of speakers and dates on this page). In addition, students will hear directly from a UN representative before traveling to UN Headquarters in New York City in June to present their projects.

Student projects will focus on educating the community about the issues at hand and encourage others to find solutions. Their presentations will include various technological reports to reach their global audience, such as videos, virtual discussions, group chats and webcasts.

To date, the students have met with Dr. Patrizia Bonaventura of Monmouth University, one of the partnership’s advisors, about the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth mission to foster young people’s empowerment and leadership to support the UN action plan, and, in particular, their involvement in the realization of the SDGs. In addition, Dr. Bonaventura and Mrs. Renee Lam-Whiteman,  Psych MA, a mother of a Ranney student involved in the project, met with the group about available resources to develop solutions to the SDGs and took the students, along with Monmouth University graduate students to a youth-led meeting on climate change initiatives. In November 2015, the students attended the DPI-NGO conference on Youth at the Forefront: Bridging the Gap between Climate Change and Climate Action, and in February 2016, the students returned to UN Headquarters for the ECOSOC Global Youth Forum (full story).

Participating Students & Their Goals

  • Anna Effenberger & Cindy Zhang, Class of 2019: "Food Waste at the Distribution and Consumption Levels" (Goal 12.2: Access to clean water)
  • Anisha Gupta and Madison Chamas, Class of 2018: "Nigerian Child Labor" (Goal 4:  Inclusive and equitable education)
  • Ananya Pandey, Class of 2019: "Innovated Uses of Solar Energy in Rural India" (Goal 7: Affordable, reliable, sustainable energy)
  • Dana Schioppo and Connie Hall, Class of 2017: "Veganism-Reducing Carbon Emissions and World Hunger at Once" (Goals 12 and 2)    
  • Fabio Tessiore, Class of 2019: "Stimulating Youth Employment Opportunities" (Goal 7: Affordable, reliable, sustainable energy)
  • Brandan Whiteman, Class of 2019: "Replacing Fossil Fuels with Magnetic Energy" (Goal 7: Affordable, reliable, sustainable energy)         
  • Katherine Bibilouri, Class of 2018, Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable education
  • Ashley Biswal, Goal 14: Conserve and sustain ocean resources  
  • Jerome Cohen, Class of 2016, Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable education
  • Kayla Folz, Class of 2017, Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable education, Target: Education for girls
  • Ben Kraushaar, Class of 2019, Goal 6.1: Clean Water        
  • Nicole Rassmuson, Class of 2017, Goal 5: Gender Equality            
  • Elizabeth Rennie, Class of 2016, Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable education
  • Nicholas Ross, Class of 2017, Goal 14: Conserving and sustaining ocean resources             
  • Alison Sobieski, Class of 2018, Goal 16: Promote Peaceful Society/Justice
  • Jacob Wahba, Class of 2016, Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable education
  • Alexandra Venero, Class of 2019, Goal 6.1: Access to clean water             
  • Christine Yost, Class of 2016, Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable education

Media Gallery

  • Anisha Gupta & Allison Sobieski at UN Headquarters (Feb. 2016, ECOSOC Global Youth Forum)

    1 video(s)

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  • Dana Shioppo & Katherine Bibilouri at UN Headquarters (Feb. 2016, ECOSOC Global Youth Forum)

    1 video(s)

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  • Fabio Tessiorie & Brandan Whiteman at UN Headquarters (Feb. 2016, ECOSOC Global Youth Forum)

    1 video(s)

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Partnership Advisors

List of 0 members.

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