On April 21, in celebration of Earth Day, the Office of Sustainability held its annual State of Sustainability Awards Breakfast to honor Yale students, staff, and faculty who have advanced sustainability at Yale and beyond.
The event began with a performance of A Clarion Call, a piece on climate change and its effect on the Marshall Islands, composed by current student at the Yale School of Music (YSM), Hilary Purrington, ’17 MMA. Baritone David Tinervia and students from YSM and Yale college performed the piece.
Ann Kurth, dean and Linda Koch Lorimer professor at the School of Nursing, gave the keynote address and discussed the connection between health and sustainability by highlighting impacts of climate change on global health.
Divinity School Dean Gregory Sterling received the Academic Leadership Award for his initiative integrating sustainability into the Yale Divinity School curriculum. Through his efforts, students can pursue a concentration in Religion and Ecology, an interdisciplinary program based in the Yale Divinity School curriculum, or a joint degree in Religion and Ecology, the first program of its kind in North America.
YSM Associate Dean Michael Yaffe, was the recipient of the Beyond Yale Award for his work around inclusion and justice. He has worked to enrich the New Haven schools through the Music in Schools Initiative, which teaches young students how to play music and shows graduate students the importance of making a difference in their communities through music. His work promotes dialogue about sustainability, inclusion, and justice on campus and in New Haven, and supports collaboration between Yale and the City of New Haven.
Professor Robert Dubrow, M.D., and Heidi Richard, administrative director, were the recipients of the Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award for their work connecting sustainability to the operations and scholarship of the Yale School of Public Health. Professor Dubrow spearheaded the Yale Climate Change & Health Initiative, which provides a comprehensive educational program that addresses climate change and its implications on public health. Richard has been a Sustainability Leader since 2008 helping to develop the School’s sustainability plans, and making steady progress in moving the School in the direction of sustainability.
Louis Tiseo, director of infrastructure engineering, was the recipient of the Staff Award for his contributions to energy efficiency at Yale. Under his guidance, the Data Center staff have made major changes to become a more sustainable organization. His team has consolidated data centers, configured equipment to dramatically reduce energy utilization and increase efficiency, and significantly reduced cooling requirements, resulting in large, overall energy savings.
The Library Sustainability Advisory Group received the Group Award for their work on the Library Sustainability Action Plan, which was tailored to suit the strengths of the Yale Libraries. The Library Action Plan includes the launch of a Sustainability LibGuide—an online portal that outlines sustainability resources at the university; sustainability success stories from within the Library system, to offer inspiration; and action items that different library units can take.
Yale junior Joseph Battles of Davenport College received the Student Award for his leadership on the Yale Community Carbon Fund. His investigation into the inner workings of a complex tool will help decrease the carbon impacts of Yale travel and events while supporting local carbon mitigation projects, including tree planting and low-income home energy efficiency projects.
Yale is committed to building a more sustainable world. By doing what we do best—integrating science, the humanities, and our community—Yale creates, tests and adopts innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges we all face.