Two F&ES Students Awarded Scholarships for Volunteerism

2014 Yesenia Gallardo David Gonzalez
Yesenia Gallardo and David Gonzalez
The F&ES Alumni Board is pleased to announce that two F&ES master’s students have been chosen as recipients of the F&ES Alumni Association Board Scholarship in honor of Ruth Allen M.F.S. ’72, Ph.D. ’77. Ruth was a longtime member of the alumni association board and former president. She is remembered for her dedication, mentoring, and volunteer service to F&ES alumni, students and the community as a whole. 

Yesenia Gallardo ’15 M.E.M. and David Gonzalez ’15 M.E.M. will each receive $2,500 in scholarship aid toward their second year of study at F&ES. Both students were recognized for their leadership and exemplary record of volunteer service, especially to the F&ES, Yale and New Haven communities. In total, 22 F&ES students applied for the scholarship demonstrating the strong volunteer spirit that is alive at F&ES.

Yesenia Gallardo considers her time at F&ES as one of involvement, development and leadership. As a second-year student, she is an active member of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), the student-elected body that works to support student life activities and academic development. As part of SAC, she serves on the Masters Planning Committee, which oversees curriculum development. Interested in environmental justice and urban food systems, Yesenia lobbied to continue the Social Justice in the Food Systems Course as well led the organization of this year’s Yale Food Systems Symposium.

In the broader New Haven community, she is part of the Environmental Protection Clinic working with the New Haven Food Policy Council, providing research and assistance in developing zoning policies to make New Haven a more healthy, livable and equitable city. She has also spent time volunteering with New Haven Farms and Unidad Latina en Accion, two local community organizations providing services and support to underserved communities. Yesenia also regularly volunteers Saturday mornings at the student-run HAVEN Free Clinic as a translator for Spanish speaking patients. This is a continuation of the many years before F&ES when she worked in immigration advocacy and policy volunteering at immigration clinics as well as at a YWCA women’s shelter.

David Gonzalez is devoted to global environmental health issues and aspires toward achieving health equality in Latin America. This past summer, he conducted a research project in the Peruvian Amazon, investigating the public health impacts of artisanal small-scale gold mining and mercury pollution. On campus, David is committed to building bridges across Yale to help address public health challenges. He co-founded and leads Health and Environment at Yale (HEY), a Student Interest Group with the mission of bridging the gap between students at F&ES, the School of Public Health, and other departments in the health sciences. As a volunteer coordinator with the Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY), he helps organize discussions and community events around the films. David is also an organizer of Green Careers, Young Leaders, an annual event that links high school students from the region with F&ES students and environmental leaders.

He also enjoys volunteering with Seed to Salad, an educational program run by F&ES students that brings second-graders to the Yale Farm for educational field trips. This year, as a Graduate Affiliate with the Yale World Fellows, David is working with World Fellow Christopher Lockyear and students from the School of Medicine to plan a series of global health talks, panels, and other events for the Yale community.

The F&ES Alumni Association Board Scholarship in honor of Ruth Allen M.F.S. ’72, Ph.D. ’77 was created in 2013 as a new endowed fund of the School. Donations to create the new $100,000 scholarship fund came from current and former alumni board members, as well as members of the Class of 1972 who remember Ruth and her legacy with admiration.