Two Yale graduate students receive Swiss scholarship
Architecture student Josh Greene and law student AJ Hudson recently received Swiss scholarships for their work on environmental sustainability
Journalist & Contributor
The Switzer Scholarship, which recognizes people from New England and California for their work and leadership in environmental improvement, was awarded to graduate students of Yale AJ Hudson ENV ’19 JD ‘ 23 and Josh Greene ARC ’23 in July.
Hudson and Greene are two of 20 new fellows to join the Switzer Fellowship Network, which includes nearly 700 people worldwide. The scholarship includes a $ 15,000 scholarship for university studies and leadership training. Hudson and Greene focused their work on the intersection between environmental stewardship and racial justice, albeit from different perspectives – Hudson through law and Greene through architecture.
“It was very empowering and affirming to be one of the people selected for the cohort,” said Hudson.
It was not the first time he applied for the Switzer Fellowship. While still a student at the Yale School of the Environment, Hudson was a finalist for the award; however, at the time, he did not get past the interview stage.
Hudson believes his victory this time around is the result of a new direction he took in his work after his initial rejection from the cohort. After graduating from the School of the Environment, Hudson worked as an educator and taught climate workshops to low-income residents and youth in the New York area of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
“[The experience] really united the different strands that I was working on and really gave me new strength and energy to really work on community-centered responses to climate change, ”said Hudson.
He credits much of his victory to his legal work at Yale Law School, which focused on redefining environmental law and creating an environmental movement for marginalized people of color.
Hudson also expressed a desire for others to see his victory as a lesson to be learned from his failures. He said his biggest advice is to try again even if you don’t get it the first time around.
“The award may be delayed, and you may not be at the right time in your career to earn it,” added Hudson. “So don’t take the losses as something personal, saying you’re not good enough, but rather take them really as feedback, to understand how you might present yourself better or help communicate your vision better. “
Hudson also hopes to encourage more people at Yale to apply for the scholarship, especially those from under-represented backgrounds.
For Hudson, it is essential that those in the communities that will be most affected by climate change and environmental degradation apply for the award, as he believes they will be the “leaders of the future”.
“[Hudson] demonstrated his leadership abilities while a student at YSE and I am very happy that he received a Swiss scholarship that will support his further education, ”wrote the Dean of the School of the Environment, Indy Burke, in a statement to the News. “His work in the areas of environmental justice at YSE and New York at the local level and his efforts to inspire students to pursue climate action show his continued ability to address the challenges of climate and equity.”
Yale School of Architecture communications director AJ Artemel told the News it was “wonderful” to see Greene, currently an architectural student, be recognized for his environmental leadership, stressing the importance of durable design.
Greene told The News that the Swiss fellows have already had their first retirement, where they worked on research development and community building. He said the retirement has been very productive and he hopes to continue fueling the scholarship network to become a mentor for other sustainability-conscious designers and engineers.
“The importance [of the fellowship] cannot be underestimated as we have a lot of issues that we need to collectively resolve as an interdisciplinary workshop, ”Greene told The News. “We can’t just be architects to solve the global crisis and we can’t just have lawyers. AJ and I are not in forestry school, which shows that there is an interdisciplinary approach that can help the environment considerably.
The Swiss scholarship program was established in 1986.