The College of Business Graduate Life Leadership Award recognizes a College of Business or Intercollegiate graduate student who exhibits leadership as a means of improving the quality of life for his or her fellow students and making the experience better for all. Service and leadership are hallmarks of our college programs and there are likely many students worthy of consideration.
The recipient of this year’s College of Business Graduate Life Leadership award is Dr. Yamil Sanchez (pictured right, with Steve Savino, assistant dean, graduate programs).
Yamil was nominated for this award by the FLEX MBA program director, Megan Van Voorhis.
“I am writing today to nominate one of the most outstanding students I have ever had the honor of working with - Yamil Sanchez. Yamil has been an exemplary student while in the MBA program, but for the purposes of this nomination letter, I want to highlight his leadership during his experience during the Global Social Impact Fellowship (GSIF)." -Megan Van Voorhis, FLEX MBA program director
Yamil was selected for the Office of Creative Inquiry’s GSIF program for the Save Tuba project. Tuba is a critically-endangered saiga (sai guh) antelope native to the Kazakh Steppes, and this project addresses sustainable urban development in Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakhstan. ‘Save Tuba’ is a sustainability education platform for Almaty’s youngest citizens that connects knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. Kazakh students, with guidance from their teachers and families, start recycling, reduce litter, educate their peers, use public transportation, etc. to earn points in a friendly competitive setting. Save Tuba enables K-12 students and their teachers to embark on a series of real, relevant, and meaningful sustainability actions with the goal of long-term behavioral change.
Yamil took the role of leader on his Save Tuba project team and demonstrated great patience as he guided the less experienced undergraduate students through the project, and took the lead on communications with Lehigh’s partners in Kazakhstan. He remained a constant participatory presence in class, sharing his wisdom and experience freely, and most importantly, remained focused on the outcomes and the impact of the project. Bill Whitney from the Office of Creative Inquiry indicated that Yamil was instrumental in bringing the Save Tuba project to its current state where it is poised to have its curricular innovations integrated into the entire Kazakhstan national educational system.
Yamil currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Reading Area School District. Despite his highly stressful and time-consuming full-time job, Yamil took on the leadership role of the Save Tuba experience in order to leave the project ready for the next GSIF team to move forward.