Switzer Fellowships to support four grad students’ environmental leadership
Four Yale graduate students will receive support for their environmental work and scholarship as 2020 Switzer Environmental Fellows. They are Camila Bustos of the Law School; Gillian Lui of the School of Management; and Katie Pofahl and Ashley Stewart of the School of the Environment.
The Yale students are among 20 environmental scholars nationwide to receive the fellowships, which are presented by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The program provides a cash award and leadership training to support the fellows’ career development and graduate studies at institutions in New England and California.
During their fellowship year, the 2020 Switzer Fellows will receive training in personal leadership skills focused on advancing social equity, and they will complete an intensive policy training that culminates in fellows developing relationships and sharing their expertise with decision makers in Washington, D.C.
Brief bios of the Yale winners follow. Their full biographies can be found on the Switzer Foundation website.
Bustos, a J.D. candidate, works at the intersection of human rights and climate change. She has been a member of the Law School’s Environmental Protection Clinic and the Rule of Law Clinic, where she has worked supporting climate change litigation in the United States. Prior to law school, Bustos worked on fossil fuel divestment and state-level climate change legislation, and was part of a team that won a groundbreaking lawsuit against the Colombian government for failing to meet its deforestation targets. After law school, Bustos hopes to continue working on climate change litigation and policy, focusing on holding corporations and national governments accountable to their human rights obligations.
As an environmental scientist committed to advancing interdisciplinary climate change mitigation solutions, Lui is focused on elevating social and environmental sustainability as a business bottom line. She advanced The Packard Foundation’s $50 million annual climate grantmaking portfolio on land use, innovations, and energy solutions. At the non-profit Ceres, she helped Fortune 500 consumer brands manage social and environmental supply chain risk. Now pursuing an M.B.A. at Yale, Lui has focused her studies on sustainable and inclusive supply chains; business innovations in sustainability; and Environmental, Social, and Governance risk management. She also co-leads the Business & Environment Club and Wilderness Club, and is a 2020 Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow.
A Master of Environmental Management candidate at Yale, Pofahl is a Wyss Scholar for the Conservation of the American West, contributes to the Yale Environment Review and leads the Yale Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. She is focused on developing transformative land conservation strategies that enable communities in the American West to respond to urgent threats from drought, fire, urban sprawl and climate change. Pofahl previously worked for a land trust in Central California developing innovative community programs and served in public office with the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park and District protecting 1,041 acres of habitat from development.
Ashley Stewart, currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Science at Yale, has 10 years of experience as an environmental engineer and project manager in all aspects of water management. Stewart has explored ways to co-create engineered solutions, incorporating her training as a race dialog facilitator into her environmental management practice. She believes that lasting and impactful solutions are developed from richly collaborative efforts particularly those that acknowledge the community’s history and lived experience. Currently, Stewart is conducting research on equity and environmental decision making involving marginalized groups, with emphasis on the Black community. Her academic study will involve qualitative data collection to inform technical solutions.