Outstanding Members of the Yale-New Haven Community Will Win Elm and Ivy Awards

Eleven people will be honored with Elm and Ivy Awards on Thursday, May 6, at noon, in recognition of their efforts to strengthen the relationship between Yale and the City of New Haven. The ceremony will take place in the Presidents’ Room of Woolsey Hall, with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and President Richard C. Levin presenting 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 160 people have been presented Elm and Ivy Awards.

Elm Awards this year will go to Jack Crane, Donald F. Scharf and Linda Townsend Maier. Ivy Awards will go to Joseph P. Cinquino, Paula Kavathas and William B. Stewart. Undergraduate Ivy Awards will go to Tameka Moss, Jonathan Merson and Peter Stein. Recipients of the Graduate/Professional School Ivy Awards are Caroline Harada and Weir Harman.

A special Elm and Ivy will be awarded in the memory of Suzanne N. Jovin. Representatives from the four organizations receiving funding from the Suzanne N. Jovin memorial fund–New Haven Free Public Library, Dwight Hall, Yale Chapter of Best Buddies and Dwight Elementary School–have been invited to attend the luncheon and ceremony.

Brief descriptions of some of the specific contributions of the recipients follow.

Jack Crane is a retired Olin Corporation executive with a deep commitment to public education. When the Partnership for Minority Student Achievement federal grant ended five years ago, he took the initiative to secure funding from Yale and Olin for an ongoing science program in New Haven. For four years he has served as volunteer program director of the Olin-Yale-New Haven Public Schools Science Fair Program, including professional development for teachers, family science nights and mentor programs. Under his leadership the program has grown from seven New Haven schools to 40 with more than 5,000 involved.

Donald Scharf has demonstrated his support for Yale athletics in a variety of ways. He has helped secure summer jobs for student athletes, answered questions from prospective students, and served on the Board of the Yale National Youth Sports Program, a summer camp for New Haven’s young people. He has been instrumental in bringing hundreds of children to the Yale bowl in fall and summer for Youth Days at the Bowl.

Linda Townsend Maier has used her role as chair of the Dwight Central Management Team and president of the Greater Dwight Development Corporation to help her neighborhood and foster its partnership with Yale. Aware of the University as a great source of expert assistance, she gained the support both of the Yale School of Architecture and the Yale Law School in developing a neighborhood planning process and in organizing the Development Corporation and its many activities.

Joe Cinquino, through his printing operation, is one of the Yale managers that contributes to building relationships between the University and New Haven. His services include the printing of invitations, program books, brochures, etc., for various Yale and New Haven organizations. Always willing to take on a project and meet the most unrealistic deadlines, he has donated his services to the non-profit community well beyond the call of duty.

Paula Kavathas, professor of genetics and immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine, has created a program to strengthen science education in New Haven. She began the Science Education Outreach Program, through which seventh graders at the West Hills Middle School and the Troup Magnet Academy of Sciences have a chance to learn about genetics, immunobiology, pharmacology and other branches of biology by interacting with practicing scientists. The program features in-school laboratory sessions run by graduate students from Yale.

William B. Stewart, associate professor of surgery and chief of the section of anatomy and experimental surgery, has helped to establish an innovative program bringing students from Career High School to anatomy laboratories at the medical school, where they are taught by medical student volunteers. The success of this program has led to the establishment of others, such as an advanced biology program, a research program matching students with faculty members of the Yale School of Medicine and mentoring and summer residential activities.

Tameka Moss served as chief coordinator of Communiversity Day last year. The one-day event brings together dozens of activities for more than 2,000 children and adults in the community. In 1997-98 she was secretary for the Yale Charities Drive, which raises money for social service organizations in New Haven. She became its president in the fall of 1998.

Jonathan Merson works in the Health Adventures Program at Yale-New Haven Hospital, which matches Yale College students as mentors for New Haven Latino youth. Last year as a President’s Public Service Fellow at the New Haven Free Public Library, he created new programs and led successful efforts that reached more than 200 children each week at community centers and homeless shelters using library resources.

Peter Stein has worked to strengthen relationships between organizations and communities at Yale and organizations and communities in New Haven. He has worked in the Dixwell neighborhood and participated in many internship programs through “People Who Care” and initiated the production and distribution of a monthly calendar of events to the Dixwell neighborhood. With the input and support of community leaders, he has developed a new initiative, the Dixwell Youth Tour. Through this program high school age students from the Dixwell neighborhood will research the history of their community and then design and lead guided walking tours based on their research.

Caroline Harada, a second year medical student, has served as the chair of the Committee Overseeing Volunteer Services (COVS) of the University’s health professional schools. In addition to her leadership role within COVS, she has been an active volunteer in four programs within COVS: Students Teaching AIDS to Students; the Prenatal Care Project, which pairs students with pregnant patients from the Yale-New Haven Hospital Women’s Clinic; the domestic violence seminar series; and the Columbus House Clinic.

Weir Harman used his experience as a student in the FM program and directing at the Yale School of Drama in a variety of ways to make the University’s unique resources available to the New Haven community. In 1998 he served as artistic director of the Dwight-Edgewood Project, linking New Haven middle school students from the Dwight neighborhood with student mentors from the School of Drama. Together the pairs write and produce their own plays. Harman also played a key role in New Haven’s winning “All-America City” designation in the 1998 competition in Mobile, Alabama.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345