Eleven people were honored with Elm and Ivy Awards on May 16 in recognition of their efforts to strengthen the relationship between Yale University and the City of New Haven. The ceremony took place in the Presidents Room of Woolsey Hall. Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and President Richard Levin presented the awards to the honorees.
The Elm and Ivy Awards were established at Yale in 1979 by Fenmore R. Seton '38 and his wife, Phyllis. The Setons created the Elm and Ivy Fund at the New Haven Foundation in order to identify and honor individuals from the city and the University whose work enhances understanding and cooperation between the two. Since the inception of the program, over 150 people have been presented Elm and Ivy Awards.
This year's Elm and Ivy awards-winners are:
Andrea Schorr '93, founding director of the L.E.A.P. Computer Learning Center, a resource for children who would not otherwise have access to computers. Ms. Schorr designed this program, which has its headquarters in a Yale-owned building on Park Street, to bring the creative learning and communications potentials of the Internet to New Haven youngsters. The LCLC was heralded by the U.S. Department of Commerce in its launch of national telecommunications and information technology programs for children.
Dietria Wells, principal of the Katherine Brennan School. Ms. Wells has been an integral part of the planning for the Family Campus initiative, a collaborative project between Yale, New Haven and the city's public schools. She has also supported the Yale- Katherine Brennan Friendship Program, which brings students from both institutions together in mentor relationships, was part of the charter planning team for the L.E.A.P. program and has opened the doors of Katherine Brennan School to the Yale Child Study Center's School Development Program.
Courtland Seymour Wilson, executive director of the Hill Development Corporation. Mr. Wilson represented the neighborhood's interests in discussions with the Yale School of Medicine and Yale- New Haven Hospital, which led to the successful completion of the Yale Psychiatric Institute, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Children's Hospital at Yale-New Haven and the recently completed Howard Avenue garage. He has also been instrumental in planning for the Route 34 Biotechnology Park and currently serves on the board of directors of the Science Park Development Corporation.
Robert Apfel, the Robert Higgin Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Apfel has guided Yale's sponsorship of New Haven's city-wide science fair and has served as a mentor for undergraduate volunteer programs in the sciences, such as DEMOS and SMArT. He volunteers his time as a tutor, working directly with students at Roberto Clemente Middle School. As an entrepreneur with a company in Science Park, Professor Apfel helped his firm obtain a grant from the National Science Foundation's Education and Human Resources Program in order to develop educational kits on ionizing radiation, which are being distributed to students at the Troup Middle School and the Hopkins School.
William R. Carney, manager of the Yale Homebuyer Program as well as the Yale Mortgage Program and Benefits Review and Compliance and Employee Records. Through the Homebuyer Program, over 200 Yale employees have purchased homes in the City of New Haven in the past two years. Because of Mr. Carney's dedication to rebuilding New Haven neighborhoods through home ownership, he actively supervises each home purchase, spending countless weekend and evening hours to make the program a success.
Alan Plattus, associate dean and director of graduate studies at the School of Architecture. As founder and director of the Urban Design Workshop, he has coordinated the design and construction of a playground at the Valley Townhouses public housing project, library renovations at the Wexler School, renovations and an addition to the Women's Corner at the Hill Health Center, housing for Beulah Heights Church and more. He is a board member of Neighborhood Partnerships Network, the Governor's Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force, the New Haven Preservation Trust and the Rails-to-Trails Association.
Alison Andrus '96 of Morse College. In her freshman year, Ms. Andrus cooked and served food at the Soup Kitchen on Temple Street and volunteered many hours at the Q-House on Dixwell Avenue. For two years, she worked with the TIES elementary school tutoring program, helping to build a relationship between the Yale community and Lincoln-Bassett School. She was named the coordinator of TIES during her senior year.
Kwali Farbes '96 of Davenport College. During her first two years at Yale, Ms. Farbes tutored through the TIES elementary school program. During the summer of 1995, with support from a President's Public Service Summer Fellowship, she taught math with the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation for gifted fifth- to ninth-grade students. She was recently chosen to serve as academic director for the U.S. Grant Foundation for the coming year.
Matthew Gubens '97 of Jonathan Edwards College. As a member of the Dwight Hall leadership team, Mr. Gubens was charged with unifying 70 volunteer program coordinators. He was training coordinator for the Dwight Hall Student Cabinet, coordinated the Student Executive Committee and served on the Dwight Hall board of directors. He has been coordinator of FOCUS, the program designed to provide Yale sophomores with an intensive service experience in New Haven's inner-city neighborhoods.
Cami Kloster, a graduate student at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Ms. Kloster has been instrumental in cultivating a partnership between the forestry school and New Haven's Newhallville neighborhood through the Urban Resources Initiative. She helped residents learn about soil testing, waste removal, gardening and creating plans of action. Her work has increased resident involvement in reclaiming the Newhallville neighborhood and promoted greater security there.
Ricardo Morris, a theater management student at the School of Drama. Mr. Morris has managed and directed the Dwight Edgewood Project, a new community outreach program of the School of Drama established last summer. Aimed at youngsters aged 11-14 from the Edgewood and Dwight Street neighborhoods, the project gives participants the experience of writing and producing their own plays.