CBEY: Helping Enable our Amazing Students
In my first blog about CBEY, I told you about Aaron Paul’s great experience with CBEY, but there are many more success stories that I would like to share with you!
Last fall, joint F&ES/SOM students Spenser Shadle and Pat Hook worked with CBEY to develop a collaborative faculty student research project on developing a framework for evaluating financial risks in the market for ecosystem services. Spenser and Pat received over $20,000 of funding through Center and connected with professors from both schools to structure and execute their research plan. In addition, Pat and Spenser led a team of Yale students to compete in and win a national competition for the Barrett Foundation Prize. The Prize, given through the National Forest Foundation, is a $50,000 award for finding market-based solutions for environmental issues in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands.
Some other highlights from my conversation with Stuart DeCew, the director of CBEY:
• Each spring, students can compete for the Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize, which provides $25,000 to help students start a sustainable for-profit business.
• Each fall, research grants are available to student and faculty. For example, PhD student Jasmine Hyman received funding for her efforts to explain variation in sustainable development outcomes within the carbon market. She’s curious as to why there are positive environmental and social externalities – or social benefits – in some situations and opposite impacts in others.
• Second year student Kathryn Wright has worked at CBEY on a Department of Energy Grant in conjunction with the CT Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority to figure out how to reduce the cost of solar installations. She and a team of other students are looking at 12 towns in Connecticut and analyzing regulations at a local level and how to accelerate the adoption of distributed solar. The project is a collaboration of F&ES, SOM, and Yale Law students.
CBEY also helps students find summer internships. This past semester it hosted talks by Yale Alumni at SunEdison and Google – career-related chats about the organizations and how students could become involved. In addition, CBEY also has worked with outside employers to develop internships. For example, this summer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, students with a background in finance can learn more about investments in renewable energy and infrastructure finance through a ten-week internship. Finally, during the year CBEY has a team of current students working with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) on a research project exploring possibilities for energy efficiency in commercial spaces in urban areas.
F&ES students – joint degree or not – have the opportunity to work as research assistants with CBEY. Stuart usually has between 25 and 30 research assistants. When we chatted, he highlighted some activities that student research assistants organize. For instance,
• They run weekly events with leaders from businesses and NGOs like Patagonia, Whole Foods, Rocky Mountain Institute, and NRDC, focused on capturing the insight of thought leaders on how to reshape the current economic system and create a more sustainable world.
• Stuart also works with a group of students on a shale-gas initiative, developing curriculum and case study materials to understand the social, economic, and environmental implications of shale gas.
• Another group of research assistants work on the webinar speaker series and have been able to put together 15 webinars for the academic year.
• Research assistants are also looking at how to connect business school from around the world around issues of sustainability through the Global Network for Advanced Management organized and convened by SOM.
If you’re interested in becoming involved, here are a few tips. Once you receive that acceptance letter from admissions, shoot Stuart an email, or find a research assistant on the website and contact him or her. When she learned that she was accepted to F&ES, Tommie Herbert contacted then-first-year student Tommy Hayes. Tommy Hayes contacted Stuart and put him in touch with Ms. Herbert. Stuart talked with Tommie about her interests in an informal interview. She told him her interest in developing a webinar speaker series for the year. And develop it she did! Tommie took CBEY’s program from three webinars to fifteen – you can check them out on the CBEY website (http://cbey.yale.edu/).
Whether you decide to take advantage of the incredible opportunities CBEY offers is up to you. If you do, be prepared to bring passion and your intellectual curiosity to program.