Framingham State Political Science Students Selected for a Prestigious United Nations Millennium Fellowship

Framingham State Political Science Students Selected for a Prestigious United Nations Millennium Fellowship

Aug 1, 2019

A group of eight Political Science students and one History student at Framingham State University have been selected by the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network (MCN) as Class of 2019 Millennium Fellows.

The students will begin working this year on a sustainable project to expand awareness and access to English language programs to immigrant communities in Framingham and beyond.

The project proposal was developed by seniors Christine Sifre and Ana Luisa Asmar - who will serve as FSU’s two Campus Directors - as well as sophomore Melissa Hayes.

“My family immigrated to the United States from Brazil,” says Asmar. “I was able to get regular ESL in school, but my parents did not have that opportunity. It can be very lonely for immigrants in the community. I remember how much my ESL education helped me to make friends.”

The Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that happens on campus and is supported by local program directors from United Nations Academic Impact and MCN. Sifre says the group will be engaging with the FSU Education Department and local organization in the community, including libraries, churches and non-profit organizations, to develop new opportunities for community English language programs, civic engagement and legal services.

“We want to look at what has and hasn’t been working,” she says. “People want to learn these skills, but for many there are barriers, such as transportation. How can we help remove those barriers?”

The group has already begun working on a website and curriculum, according to Hayes.

“We’ve been doing a lot of outreach in the community to get things started,” she says. “There is a lot of interest in providing additional support for immigrants.”

The Millennium Fellowship program is very competitive and attracts applications from the most prestigious colleges around the world. Students from 1,209 campuses across 135 nations applied to join the class of 2019, but only 69 campuses in 16 nations were selected to participate, according to the organization. Among those, just 21 were located in the United States.

“This is a very prestigious award,” says FSU Political Science Professor Joseph Coelho, who encouraged the students to apply and wrote each of them a letter of recommendation. “We have a group of talented political science majors who are passionate about world politics and care deeply about some of the most pressing issues of our time. I am very proud of them.”

Other members of the group include Keith Butler, Brendan Coleman, Amber Goss, Niome Mengistu, Jon Torres, and Corey Tulloch (history major).

To learn more about the program, visit

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.