Congratulations Class of 2010!
The Institute of the Environment celebrated the first independent Environmental Science commencement.
By Karen A. Lefkowitz
It started with one graduate in 2007 and three short years later has expanded to 62—with the number projected to climb. On June 13, 2010 at Korn Convocation Hall, the Institute of the Environment hosted the first solo graduation ceremony.
To the time-honored melody of Pomp and Circumstance, the class of twenty-ten filed into a hall filled with over 300 supporters. Many caps were decorated with images of the Bruin Bear, 2010 spelled out in blue and gold glitter, and one cap fittingly sporting an image of a tree.
This was an appropriate year to stage a special ceremony - 2010 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. In his welcome remarks Director Glen MacDonald touched on this unique concurrence and discussed the evolution of the IoE’s academic component and the explosive growth of the Environmental Science major. Director MacDonald finished by stating that “It will be the students who will ultimately be the saviors that heal the planet.”
Former IoE Director and current Chair of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols delivered the keynote address. Chairman Nichols discussed California’s role in combating climate issues. She touched on clean technology, energy security and efficiency and green jobs. She also discussed California’s Global Warming Act AB32, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nichols ended by stressing that our home state is on the forefront of environmental advancements. She said, “We are taking sustainability out of the realm of speeches and into the marketplace.”
Janelle Doi, who sang the National Anthem, also gave the student address. Her enthusiasm was evident in discussing why she selected the Environmental Science degree, the collaborative nature of the curriculum and the passion all IoE students share – a profound and enduring desire to change the world.
After Doi’s speech Director MacDonald made two special announcements:
- An endowment from IoE Advisory Board Chair and business leader Tony Pritzker has been established. The Pritzker Fund for Environment and Sustainability Education will help support teaching and curriculum development.
- The Glickfeld Scholarship Fund, created by Madelyn and Bruce Glickfeld, will support undergraduate students.
Professor Travis Longcore followed the announcements by handing out the student awards.
Class of 2010 Academic Achievement Award
Sean O’Connor received the honor given to graduates with the highest level of academic achievement in their cohort. O’Conner has been accepted (on full scholarship) to UC Berkeley’s Environmental Health Science graduate program.
Gabriel Kiritz plans to travel to the Middle East to study Arabic and intends to work on developing environmental and climate awareness in the region.
Natalie Ma will be continuing lab research at UCLA while preparing for graduate school.
Class of 2010 Outstanding Service Award for Environmental Science
Daniel Mabasa was presented with the award that recognizes the individual who has demonstrated exceptional engagement in environmental issues outside the classroom in the course of their college career. Mabasa is the co-founder of the Green Social Network, worked as an Outdoor Adventures guide, and volunteered for positions that focused on sustainability.
Finally the students headed onstage to accept their diplomas. Transferring the tassels from right to left, applause erupted for the Class of 2010 as the Jack Johnson tune “The Three R’s” filled the auditorium. “We've got to learn to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
To view images from the event click here.
To read Mary Nichol's keynote address click here.
Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010