2010 AYA Leadership Award Recipient Bios

Sharon V. Agar ’82
Sherry was been the President of the Yale Alumni Chorus (YAC) from 2005 to July 2010. In this role she has helped to direct a number of different alumni producers create tours for hundreds of Yale alumni around the globe. She was one of the producers for the Yale Alumni Chorus trip to Cuba. The YAC trip to Cuba drew over 200 people who performed in concerts and did humanitarian work in the name of the group.

Sherry is no stranger to music at Yale. She’s an alumna of New Blue and Whim ’n Rhythm and is an honorary member of both the Yale Glee Club and most recently the Yale Whiffenpoofs. As an alum, she serves on the Whim Alumnae Association Board and helped to plan the 20th reunion celebration and concert. She served on the planning committee for the New Blue 40th Reunion Celebration this past April. In that capacity, she helped organize the alumnae concert during that weekend.

Always willing to share her gift of song, Sherry brought her talents to the AYA first as an At-Large Delegate then as a Board Member. She was part of the AYA Board of Governors when the Strategic Plan for the AYA was written. While on the AYA Board she was also a member of the Shared Interest Group committee.


Martin E. Cobern ’74 PhD
Marty Cobern has been a tireless volunteer for the Graduate School Alumni Association since 1991. Marty and fellow award-winner Steve Scher exercised inspired leadership at a critical moment, when the GSAA was encouraged by a new dean to expand and renew its membership by joining forces with the AYA and its Assembly delegate structure. Their vision, and their willingness to draft and promote a new constitution for the GSAA, laid the groundwork for an increasingly active role for Graduate School alumni within the AYA.
Marty has served two terms as an AYA delegate representing the Graduate School (1987-1991 and 2002-2005), served on the AYA Board of Governors from 2002-2006, chaired the AYA Assembly on Engineering in 2003, and was an agent for the Alumni Fund in the Department of Physics for six years. He was the second chair of the GSAA after it reorganized in 2002 and, as chair, led the transformation of the Wilbur Cross Medal celebration to a day-long series of events in the fall, giving medalists an opportunity to spend time with students and faculty in their home departments, and raising the profile of the Graduate School within the University.


Selby Campbell Jacobs ’61, ’72 MPH
Selby has played a leadership role in developing Yale Service Tours and the Yale Alumni Service Corps since the program’s beginning in fall 2007. Selby was an active leader in the initial steering committee to enhance service program development, followed by his role as Co-chair of the Service Corps (YASC), and currently serves as Chair of Fundraising and Development for YASC.

Selby was instrumental in building up the YASC from an informal committee to its current organizational strength. He has provided leadership with outreach efforts for each service trip, YASC Board recruitment, establishment of a scholarship fund, building international partnerships, and service project development.

Selby has participated in all three in-house service programs, in the Dominican Republic and Monterrey, Mexico. He was integral to the development of both programs in Mexico, and is actively engaged in the organization of the upcoming program in the Dominican Republic, which will take place in March 2011.


Darcy Troy Pollack ’87
Darcy’s father, Joe Troy ’60, instilled in her a passion for Yale – and Darcy honors her father with her alumni activities. Darcy has been active with Yale alumni activities since she graduated. In Los Angeles, she served on the board of the Yale club for many years, helped found Yale in Hollywood, and organized the LA area’s first two Day Of Service activities, winning the Yale Alumni Magazine’s DOS photo contest. Once she started raising a family, she noticed that most of the Yale Club’s activities were no longer relevant to her, so she decided to organize family friendly programs. She started with the 2009 Day of Service by organizing a family friendly project with P.S. Arts, re-painting a mural that was vandalized and putting together art packets for students saving the school significant fees. This was followed by starting Yale Family LA, a tremendously successful program of the club with signature programs including the Silent Cinema, Magic Castle, Skirball’s Noah's Ark exhibit, family singing group concerts and family service projects. Darcy is continuing her work with Yale Family LA as well as organizing a benefit concert with a celebrity and the Yale Whiffenpoofs and sustainability programs for alumni.


Gordon E. Meyers ’49
In 1999, Gordie wrote the following in his 50th Class book: “I am so thankful for the many contributions Yale has made to my life over the past 50 years.” Little did he know at that time how much he would be giving back to Yale by sharing his dream. His dream of connecting Yale alumni with alumni from institutions of higher education across the globe, first shared at a Class of 1949 Council Meeting, has developed into one of the AYA’s most successful new programs – the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange, or YaleGALE. YaleGALE is an AYA initiative that seeks the advancement of education through alumni engagement and leadership, fosters rich cultural understanding among participating universities, and shares best practices in alumni relations across institutions. Since its inception in 2008, YaleGALE has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of alumni from both Yale and international institutions. In addition to helping make his dream a reality, Gordie has taken part in each and every YaleGALE adventure – from Australia to Japan to Turkey and is planning to be in China next summer.


Stephen K. Scher ’56, ’66 PhD
Steve Scher has been a stalwart volunteer for the Graduate School Alumni Association since 1992. Steve and fellow award-winner Marty Cobern exercised inspired leadership at a critical moment, when the GSAA was encouraged by a new dean to expand and renew its membership by joining forces with the AYA and its Assembly delegate structure. Their vision, and their willingness to draft and promote a new constitution for the GSAA, laid the groundwork for an increasingly fruitful role for Graduate School alumni within the AYA.
After serving on the AYA Board of Governors from 2005-2009, Steve is in his second year as the Day of Service Regional Director for New York City. He has led tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for YAAMNY, and remains active with the GSAA as an advisory trustee. As the first chair of the GSAA under its new constitution, he guided the new organization through its first two years and later led the effort to create a signature GSAA event, a multidisciplinary alumni conference. He chaired the AYA Assembly on sustainability in 2007 to much acclaim.


Kevin R. Winston ’91
In 2003, Kevin was one of the co-founders of Yale in Hollywood. Initially, the group wanted a place to network but under Kevin’s leadership the group has grown into a full service organization, offering a must read e-newsletter, networking events, panels, a summer internship program, annual conference and regional chapters in Toronto and New York City. Kevin leads by example and therefore has the respect of his fellow board members. Tireless is often used to describe dedicated alumni but Kevin’s passion is more like the Energizer Bunny…he never stops working towards the success of the group. When approached by the AYA to engage in strategic planning, Kevin rolled up his sleeves and helped to re-organize Yale in Hollywood into a more sustainable model implementing a clear board structure and committees. He has worked to develop other leaders so that everyone can take an active role in the programming and future of the group. This leadership culminated in Kevin spearheading the 2010 Yale in Hollywood Entertainment Conference which drew alumni from around the country. Now, Kevin is working with the board as the group prepares for the 2010 Yale in Hollywood New York Summit and development of programming around the world.