Hail Fellows Well Met
Through the Sustainable CT Fellowship Program for 2021, fourteen students from Connecticut colleges and universities received training, supervision, and a stipend to help our communities implement Sustainable CT actions and obtain points towards certification. As evidence of the effectiveness of this year’s cohort of Fellows, look no further than the fact that we’ve had a record number of submissions for certification this fall.
But the Fellowship Program is so much more than that – beginning with the educational development and direct involvement of the Fellows themselves. As Sofia DiNatale, a University of Connecticut junior who worked with the Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments puts it, “This fellowship was an immersive experience, as I not only learned about sustainability initiatives within the state, but how local government works. It was hands-on,” adds DiNatale, “where we met with different members of the municipal government or sustainable committees every week and learned the ins-and-outs of local government processes.”
It’s an experience and level of engagement that’s simply not available in a classroom.
And towns reap benefits as well. “This Fellowship helps to alleviate the workload that many local municipalities are unable to tackle,” says Hope Marino, a graduate of Fairfield University who worked with the South Central Regional Council of Governments. “I had many towns thank me throughout the summer for my help and the resources I provided through this fellowship,” Hope said. “Hearing town's gratitude made the fellowship even more rewarding!”
We deeply appreciate the intelligence, the commitment, and the passion that all the 2021 Fellows brought to their work this summer, and we wish them the very best as they continue their personal and professional journeys in the world.
None of this would have been possible without the generous support of some very special organizations and the people behind them: the Connecticut Green Bank, the Connecticut Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the New Canaan Community Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Hampshire Foundation, the Valley Community Foundation, and the Main Street Community Foundation. They truly make success possible, and we can’t thank them enough for their vision and investment.
For more information about the Sustainable CT Fellowship Program – and to “meet” all the Fellows who have participated in the program – visit the Fellowship pages of the Sustainable CT web site.
Sustainable CT Board Member Honored
Dave Smith, director of aftermarket operations for Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney, and a member of Sustainable CT’s Board of Directors, is being nationally recognized by NAF (formerly the National Academy Foundation) for making virtual internships and other career preparation opportunities available to Hartford students, most notably during the pandemic. NAF is a national nonprofit bringing together education, business and community leaders to transform the high school experience. Smith was presented with the Advisory Board Champion Award at the annual NAF Next conference.
Smith leads the Advisory Board for the NAF Pathways Academy of Technology and Design and chairs the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology at Hartford Public High School (HPHS). Amid the pandemic, at a time when internship and career preparation programs were extremely limited, Smith collaborated with other board members to oversee virtual internship programs, mentoring, guest speaker events and other career preparation opportunities. Smith’s advocacy and commitment led to countless introductory and career advancement opportunities for local students, while also providing stability during an otherwise tumultuous school year. Under Smith’s leadership, companies from around the Hartford area hosted 68 local student interns during the summer of 2020.
Joa Marquex, Class of ‘20, Hartford Public High School, is a NAF HPHS pathway alum, and today she is part of the Class of ‘24 at University of Connecticut. Of her experience, Marquex said, “Without this internship I would not have gotten a feeling of what it is to be a part of a huge company. Not many have that chance, so it’s amazing to me.”
2020 Environmental Protection Agency Merit Award
For fifty years, EPA New England has honored those who have made outstanding contributions to protect New England's environment. EPA's Environmental Merit Awards Program has honored teachers, citizen activists, business leaders, scientists, public officials and others who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of the region's public health and natural environment. The Environmental Merit Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments during the past year and over a lifetime. Sustainable CT was nominated for the Environmental Merit Award in 2020 by Joe DeLong, Executive Director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. To learn more about Sustainable CT's nomination click here.
2019 Connecticut Green Building Council Trailblazer Award
In recognition of the work or contributions that have a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of the public and the environment, the Connecticut Green Building Council introduced the Trailblazer Award in 2019.
CTGBC's first Trailblazer award was bestowed upon Sustainable CT by the CTGBC Board of Directors in recognition of its efforts to transform and promote strategies that encourage intelligent stewardship of Connecticut's resources as embodied in the ethos of the award: "The seeds for sustainability sown today will feed the livability of generations of tomorrow."
2019 CT Women's Hall of Fame Honoree
Lynn Stoddard, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University, was selected as a 2019 Honoree by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame on Nov. 4.
The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is an educational outreach organization whose mission is to publicly honor the achievements of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls.
The focus of the inductees' work was on the environment and sustainability, the theme being “A force for Nature.” Stoddard, who is the founder and executive director of Sustainable Connecticut, was selected as one of 10 honorees in 2019.