The 2019 Yale-Jefferson Award recipients with their certificates
2019 Yale-Jefferson Award winners Charles Best ’98 and Ariel Horowitz ’19 MusM with YAA Vice Chair Jerry Henry '80 MDiv


About the Yale-Jefferson Awards for Public Service

Info Accordions

Alumni Nominees: You may nominate an individual alum of any Yale college or school. Nominations of teams or groups are not typically considered. Nominees should have performed (preferably still be performing) sustained public service that is individual, innovative, impactful, and inspiring. Recipients must be present to receive the award during Yale’s annual Fall Alumni Assembly.

Student Nominees: Must be in good standing at Yale College or at one of Yale’s graduate or professional schools.

Any member of the Yale community may submit nominations for the Yale-Jefferson Award. In past years, nominations have been submitted by:

  • Alumni leaders
  • Student leaders
  • Yale alumni from the US and abroad
  • Yale students
  • Yale faculty and other employees
  • Deans and Heads of College

Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY) provides support to our Yale-Jefferson Selection Committee. Nominations may be submitted using our Nomination Form.

You can submit nominations at any time. Nominations submitted during the 12 months ended each March 31 of each year will be considered for that year by the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee usually completes its work by early May. The honorees are announced in the fall.

The Selection Committee is determined jointly by STAY and the Alumni Association. The committee has sole discretion in selecting award winners. The Selection Committee consists of approximately 15 members of the Yale community, including (for example):

  • Senior Yale administrators
  • Student leaders
  • Alumni leaders
  • At least one member from: STAY, the Alumni Association, Dwight Hall, the Office of Development, and the Office of Career Strategy
  • Certain past Selection Committee members
  • Past Yale-Jefferson Award honorees

All past recipients of the Yale-Jefferson Award can be found on our Award Recipient page and can be searched by name and year.

The 2020 Yale-Jefferson Award winners: Robert Fernandez ’20 PhD, Scott Morris ’80 MDiv, and Megan Sardis ’21

2020 Yale-Jefferson Awards

Three Yalies honored for their impact on and beyond Yale with 2020 Yale-Jefferson Awards

In 2020, the Yale-Jefferson Awards went to Robert W. Fernandez ’20 PhD, for his dedication to transforming and building programs to improve the diversity of STEM education; G. Scott Morris ’80 MDiv, for his dedication and tireless efforts to provide healthcare for those in need; and Megan Sardis ’21, for her work providing innovative healthcare solutions for children with disabilities.

Keerthana Annamaneni ’20, Charles Best ’98, and Ariel Horowitz ’19 MusM

2019 Yale-Jefferson Awards

Three Yalies win 2019 Yale-Jefferson Awards for public service

In 2019, the Yale-Jefferson Awards went to Keerthana Annamaneni ’20, who utilized storytelling skills to spotlight larger systemic problems; Charles Best ’98, the founder of; and Ariel Horowitz ’19 MusM, who started The Heartbeat Music Project.

2018 Yale-Jefferson Awards

Driven to serve: Jefferson Awards recognize Yale’s unsung heroes

The 2018 awards went to progressive activist Ady Barkan ’10 JD; Rayan Alsemeiry ’19, who is dedicated to social justice and helping first-generation students succeed; and Ashton Gores ’18 MPH, who founded a nonprofit to help New Haven’s homeless population.