Olivia Bissanti ’21

By Elizabeth Rodgers
Photo by Len Rubenstein

Olivia Bissanti ’21 is a three-time delegate for the University of New Haven’s Model United Nations (MUN). Inspired by this experience, Bissanti is in the process of becoming a double major in political science and psychology and also serves as the University’s fall 2019 Model G20 delegate at American University in Washington, D.C.

"My mom always told me that the worst thing you can do is sit back and let school go by without getting involved."Olivia Bissanti ’21

Olivia Bissanti ’21 has certainly taken her mother’s advice to heart during her time at the University of New Haven. The junior will soon travel overseas to negotiate global policies as the head delegate of the University’s Germany Model United Nations (MUN) team. On campus, Bissanti has expanded her leadership skills as director of the ChargerMUN high school conference and contributed to research on juvenile justice reform and policy as an intern at the University’s Tow Youth Justice Institute, part of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. And she’s just getting started.

"Living in the United States, it's very easy to get swept up in only those issues that affect our nation directly," says Bissanti. "Through MUN, we're able to consider issues like climate change and human rights that affect people throughout the world. Learning about these issues is a first step to creating positive solutions. It makes me a good global citizen, and I think that's important for everyone."

Bissanti would give incoming students the same advice that her mother gave her. "College is what you make out of it. Your experiences will stand out more than your transcript," she says. "When you interview for a job, the most important thing you can have is stories — examples of how you’ve been shaped as a person and how you can contribute to the greater good. Look for things that interest you and harness that passion into opportunities to make your education as hands-on as possible."

Celebrating What it Takes to be a Charger

The spotlights featured in this special campaign edition of the University of New Haven Alumni Magazine showcase something fundamental that our students, faculty, alumni, and friends have in common: selflessness and a desire to give back to the world for the opportunities given to them. The Charger Challenge was inspired by individuals like these who have committed themselves to continuing an incredible momentum into a future that beckons with possibility and the promise of imagination, innovation, and impact.

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