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New Millennium Fellows tackle United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Nine Furman University students have been selected for the Millennium Fellowship, a program of the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network.

Launched in 2018, the Millennium Fellowship convenes, challenges and celebrates undergraduate student leadership toward advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on campuses worldwide.

This year, the program drew more than 25,000 applicants from over 2,200 campuses. For the class of 2021, the Furman University Millennium Fellows are among more than 2,000 students selected from 136 campuses (just 6%) spanning 30 nations.

Furman’s latest cohort joins 35 other Millennium Fellows selected from the university since 2018.

The 2021 Furman Millennium Fellows include:

  • Gracie Bartel ’22, sustainability science and Spanish, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Katy Beasley ’24, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Madison Eichhorn ’22, sustainability science and urban studies, Waxhaw, North Carolina
  • Amber Jacobsen ’22, public health, Tega Cay, South Carolina
  • Ava Macheledt ’22, history and politics and international affairs, Duncan, South Carolina
  • Ian McPherson ’23, environmental and conservation biology, Winston Salem, North Carolina
  • Zane Newell ’24, sustainability science and Spanish, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Adare Taylor ’22, Earth and environmental sciences, Berwyn, Pennsylvania
  • Eli Titherington ’21, public health (business emphasis), Weddington, North Carolina

During fall semester, Millennium Fellows will take action to support the United Nations Academic Impact Principles and help propel the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, such as zero hunger, quality education, climate action, and good health and well-being.

white man in jacket, Eli Titherington '21

Eli Titherington ’21

Each student applied with a project that relates to any of the U.N. goals.

Eli Titherington chose “good health and well-being” for the basis of his project. He created Relax Rx, a peer-based mindfulness platform for young adults aimed at promoting mental health, self-awareness and a holistic approach to wellness.

“My hope is that this project will help decrease the stigmatization surrounding mental health issues for those here at Furman and in the broader community,” Titherington said.

He says his “front-porch” style for wellness through Relax Rx makes mental health more approachable and inclusive.

“Different cultures and communities perceive mental health in different ways. Relax Rx provides spaces for disproportionally affected groups to help reduce disparities in mental health coping resources,” he said. He debuted his platform at Furman’s Paladin Pitch Competition. It was funded through a Shucker Leadership Grant.

white woman in black jacket

Ava Macheledt ’22

Ava Macheledt’s project aligns with “sustainable cities and communities” and “peace, justice and strong institutions.” A partnership between the Greenville Police Department and Mill Village Farms, her project is focused on breaking down barriers of bias and misunderstanding through sustainable community farming.

Macheledt launched the project over the summer through a $10,000 grant from the Kathryn W. Davis Foundation. “It changed my life,” Macheledt said about her “passion project.”

“I am so excited to continue it this fall and share my experience with my other Millennium Fellows,” she said.

The Millennium Fellowship provides training, networking and recognition to assist students in maximizing the social impact of their projects. It also offers an alumni network for students after the semester-long fellowship, which wraps up with a graduation event Wednesday, Nov. 17.

For more information about representing Furman as a Millennium Fellow, contact Kelly Grant Purvis at Furman’s Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities at 864-294-2517, and

Last updated August 5, 2022
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director