MDC Professor Facilitates Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge, an Initiative by Education Nonprofit IREX

Miami, Feb. 18, 2022 – Miami Dade College (MDC) Padrón Campus Professor Emily Sendin has been chosen to represent the College as facilitator of the prestigious Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge, an initiative that connects college students in the United States, Jordan, and Iraq to virtually collaborate on a sustainable solution to local challenges related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The eight-week challenge, which is currently in progress and culminates on April 9, is implemented by IREX, a global development and education nonprofit. 

Twenty-seven students from MDC and Duhok Polytechnic University/Technical College of Administration in Iraq are participating in the challenge, which offers the opportunity to develop workforce skills and network with industry professionals. Working in groups of binational teams, the top six groups will present live at the challenge’s culminating event, the Virtual Global Business Expo, where the top three finalists will be selected by a panel of judges to receive a small grant to further develop their concepts.

The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge is supported by The Stevens Initiative, an international effort to build global competence and career readiness skills for young people in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa by growing and enhancing the field of virtual exchange. The Stevens Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute. The Stevens Initiative is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

MDC is one of only 50 academic institutions selected to participate in the 2022 Global Solutions programs, including the Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge and Global Solutions Conversations. Last fall, Prof. Sendin, along with three other MDC professors also facilitated the Global Solutions Conversations. This spring, Dr. Michael Lenaghan and Dr. Myra Medina are facilitating the Global Solutions Conversations for a second time after their first experience last year.

IREX, an awardee of the Stevens Initiative virtual exchange grant, launched Global Solutions in fall 2017, reaching 315 youth through an initial pilot. IREX scaled the Global Solutions program through a second Stevens Initiative grant to reach nearly 2,000 additional youth from fall 2019 to Spring 2021. Through a one-year renewal, IREX will continue scaling Global Solutions and expects to engage 2,000 students in fall 2021 and spring 2022. Participants will join the Stevens Initiative community of nearly 75,000 young people in 17 MENA countries and the Palestinian Territories, and in 47 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, one tribal community, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C. For more information visit