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Winners Selected for Sustainable Development Challenge  

The winners of the first ever School of Diplomacy and International Relations’ Sustainable Development Goals Challenge were announced at Seton Hall on Friday, April 22. Ten finalists presented their proposals via live video chat. The finalists were selected from a pool of more than 300 high school students who submitted their proposals to help achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Adriana Mancini

Adriana Mancini

Adriana Mancini, a junior from Palm City, Florida, developed a proposal, addressing goal 6: Clean Water. Mancini, who presented via live chat, proposed to the panel of 5 judges her own student-run campaign to raise awareness of the global water crisis. Mancini’s dream is that through student events and fund raising she will help improve access to water, which will allow girls in particular to spend less time searching for water and more time in school.

As the winner of the Sustainable Development Goals Challenge, Adriana received $2,500 to support her clean water access project, along with a $10,000 scholarship to Seton Hall.

Crystal Coriano and Dr. Martin Edwards

Crystal Coriano and Dr. Martin Edwards

The second place winner is Crystal Coriano, a junior from San Diego, California, who focused on improving UN Goal 4: Quality Education. She proposed a non-profit organization called Actions Change Things (ACT). The focus of ACT is to expand educational opportunities for women around the world. Coriano received $1,000 to jumpstart her idea, and a $6,000 scholarship to Seton Hall.

Two other winners were selected from the group of ten finalists. Joseph Montesano, a senior from Succasunna, New Jersey, focused on Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, proposing expansion of existing solar roadways technology to spread access to electricity in underdeveloped countries. Megan Ung, a junior from Kendall Park, New Jersey, focused on Goal 3: Health and Wellbeing, proposing Virtual Training for Medical Professionals to help train doctors in underdeveloped countries or conflict zones to perform life-saving procedures, ranging from CPR to complex surgeries. Montesano and Ung each received $1,000 for their projects, and $4,000 scholarships to Seton Hall.

“The purpose of this competition is to crowdsource ideas about how each of us can support the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals,” said Martin Edwards, director of the Center for United Nations and Governance Studies at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

Megan Ung, Crystal Coriano, and Joseph Montesano

Megan Ung, Crystal Coriano, and Joseph Montesano

In addition to nearly 200 domestic applications, the competition drew 132 international entries. Each student submitted a proposal aimed at helping to achieve one or more of the U.N’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which set out to reduce global poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Their applications were reviewed by a panel of nine individuals, including eight faculty members affiliated with the Center for Unites Nations and Governance Studies and the Executive Director of the United Nations Association for the United States. Five men and five women were selected as finalists, including two from New Jersey, one from California, one from Florida, one from Illinois, one from Washington, two from the Philippines, one from Kazakhstan and one from Singapore.

Categories: Nation and World , Research

For more information, please contact:

  • Martin Edwards
  • (973) 275-2507
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