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BGU Students at Clinton Global Initiative University

BGU Students at Clinton Global Initiative University

April 4, 2013

Alternative Energy, Desert & Water Research, Press Releases

ST. LOUIS, MO, April 10, 2013 – Three Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) students presented projects at the Sixth Annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Conference, a non-partisan project of the William J. Clinton Foundation. This year’s event was held at Washington University in St. Louis, MO from April 5 to 7.

As the only participants from an Israeli university, BGU students Ben Reuveni, Ellie Nowak and Guy Katz joined more than 1,000 students from 300 universities and 75 countries for the three-day conference that addresses global challenges in the areas of education, energy, climate change, global health, human rights, peace and poverty.

bill-clinton-at-clinton-global-initiative-300They attended with the support of BGU’s President Prof. Rivka Carmi who wholeheartedly commends the initiative. “Community involvement is in the DNA of our university. This is an excellent way for students to become involved in the world around them,” says Prof. Carmi.

Ellie Nowak and Guy Katz are collaborating to develop inexpensive technology that harvests drinking water from the atmosphere. The technology is based on the same principle behind dew formation.

View an “interview” with Nowak and Katz on The Colbert Report (starts at 2:00) >>

They are planning to work with low-resource, off-grid communities in the Negev desert in Israel, where access to a consistent, affordable water supply is limited. Ellie Nowak is a third year student at BGU’s Medical School for International Health and Guy Katz is a fourth year student at BGU’s Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School.

BGU medical students Guy Katz and Ellie Nowak being interviewed by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report

BGU medical students Guy Katz and Ellie Nowak being interviewed by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report

“The issue of fresh water access is relevant around the globe – it is one of the most important factors for human health, and is deeply connected to sanitation, economic prosperity, and food security,” explains Nowak.

“Less than 2.5 percent of the water on Earth is considered fresh, and it constantly cycles between condensation and evaporation.”

Ben Reuveni’s project is an initiative to bring solar energy to BGU’s campus as well as raise renewable energy awareness. The basis of Reuveni’s commitment will be deploying an independent electricity campus initiative by promoting the research and development of non-fossil resources.

He was previously selected by CGIU in 2009 for his commitment to alleviating poverty in Israel in order to minimize the economic gap between social groups and also helping poor immigrant families learn about fiscal responsibility. Reuveni is a BGU MBA student graduating in May.

“We’re proud that BGU students are representing Israel in this worldwide event, focusing on the University’s strengths in water research and renewable energy,” says Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“The CGIU is a global forum for innovation with a commitment to making a difference in the world, and we anticipate great success in implementing these inspiring programs,” says Krakow.

About CGIU
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGIU participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGIU as they complete their projects. Previous CGIU meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, the University of California at San Diego, and the George Washington University, and have convened more than 4,500 students from nearly 750 schools, more than 130 countries, and all 50 states. To learn more, visit cgiu.org.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) celebrates its 50th birthday this year, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications