The Yale Alumni Association and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is pleased to congratulate the following award recipients who were honored at the 2023 YAA Assembly and Yale Alumni Fund Convocation.
The YAA Board of Governors Excellence Awards recognize alumni organizations for excellence in their programs, events, and best practices for Yale and on behalf of Yale. These awards honor groups such as Yale College classes, regional clubs, interest groups, and graduate and professional school associations.
- 1stGenYale: About 150 alumni gathered in New Haven for a 1stGenYale’s conference representing classes from 1956 to 2022, a broad geography, and most Yale schools. There were a variety of opportunities for networking including pre and post conference gatherings. The achieved goals included learning from diverse experiences from alumni who shared the first-generation, low-income, or underrepresented background. Sixteen panels promoted career advancement across a variety of professional fields including arts, finance, and STEM. The conference provided a rare opportunity for 1stGen alumni and students to celebrate and learn from their diversity and their unique journeys.
- Association of Asian American Yale Alumni (AAAYA): The Association of Asian American Yale Alumni curated a month-long series of virtual and in-person events across the nation to celebrate May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders heritage month. These included a virtual meeting where alumni were able to connect and share stories of being Asian American and Yalies, community-focused Day of Service events in New York and San Francisco, and a talk with Professor Tao Leigh Goffe and best-selling novelist Monique Truong where the two discussed the intersections of food, culture, and identity. In bringing more than 250 alumni together, this month-long series demonstrated excellence of alumni engagement and a commitment to diversity and inclusion and community service.
- Graduate School Alumni Association Board: The GSAA Board’s most recent edition of the “Where Do I Go from Yale?” Program successfully pivoted from the previous year's virtual offering to an in-person format in New Haven. The program featured 40 alumni speakers and attracted over 100 current Yale graduate students. The event focused on creating balance and flexibility in an uncertain world and drew a diverse audience of attendees, including a high representation of recent graduates: nearly half of the participants graduated within the past five years. This year's event served as a model for alumni to student engagement for other graduate and professional schools.
- Yale Alumni Association of the Northwest (YAANW): The Yale Alumni Association of the Northwest created a series of 19 events that engaged and reconnected alumni and welcomed current and admitted students. The club curated an array of programs that appealed to the breadth of the Yale universe in the Upper Midwest. A very engaged and diverse board planned and executed events from arts and cultural offerings, business and financial panels, an event with President Salovey, to family functions and fun social gatherings. Events ranged from 10 to 150 participants. Their focused events for admitted students and matriculants contributed to a 90.9% accepted offer yield rate.
- Yale Club of Hong Kong: Recognizing the diversity of their members’ interests, the Yale Club of Hong Kong mobilized 47 Yalies, including alumni from different schools, to create 77 diverse programs covering areas from business, political, academic, community, music, artistic, and social events to Yale-focused programs such as an admissions reception. Their broad-based engagement of volunteer leaders proved to be extremely effective in producing programming that engages a wide range of alumni. They established a two-way system that allows club members to propose their own ideas and created connections between alumni groups such as YaleWomen, Yale-New Asia, Yale Club of Shenzhen, and Yale Center Beijing.
- Yale Club of New Haven: The Yale Club of New Haven promoted strong town-gown relations with their cross-community programs. The Club provided scholarships and paid internships for Yale students and hosted high school book awards and welcome events. The Club intentionally introduced Yale students to ideas, resources, and activities for developing lifelong, global alumni engagement with the YAA, Yale Clubs and Shared Interest Groups, as well as with their local communities. Yale’s “hometown” Yale Club demonstrated how to connect alumni, the University, students, prospective students, and the broader New Haven community to one another effectively, supporting Yale’s service mission and a lifelong Yale experience.
- Yale Club of Washington, DC: The Yale Club of Washington developed a robust programming series for Bulldogs of the Last Decade (BOLD). Programs included cultural gatherings, such as a special tour of the National Gallery of Art, an outing to a 2000s throwback concert, and a Dia De Los Muertos celebration, as well as social gatherings such as Micro Meetups, a Young Alumni Brunch, and a multi-generational Pride Mixer. Their events welcomed young alumni to the close-knit and diverse Washington, DC Yale community, where recent graduates met and developed relationships not only with their peers, but also with alumni from many different decades.
- Yale Club of Taipei and the Taiwan Yale Ensemble: The Yale Club of Taipei has a history of offering high-quality, world-class programs. As written so beautifully in their submission, “We proudly represent Light and Truth and advocate for Tikkun Olam: To Heal the World.” This was exemplified in their monthly programs that included expert-led discussion groups on the history, politics, and cultures of China and Taiwan, service programs, networking events, Yale sports watch parties, and regular concerts from the exemplary Yale Taiwan Ensemble. Of particular note, the Ensemble hosted multiple concerts and involved over 1620 participants in the production of a documentary film “Meet the Taiwan Yale Ensemble” that shared the ensemble's history and featured highlights of 10 major concerts, interviews of 16 Yalies, and images of 42 Yale musicians in concerts.
- Yale College Class of 1988: Yale College Class of 1988 demonstrated breadth and depth of volunteer and participant engagement and creativity in their 35th Reunion and warm-up parties at nine metropolitan locations around the world. This Class set a new standard in how to build early enthusiasm to drive record-breaking attendance at a reunion that included both traditional and novel programs and discussions featuring speakers from diverse backgrounds and celebrated the many ways their classmates have forged their lives as documented in an original film, “Creatives on Creating”.
- Yale College Class of 2008: Yale College Class of 2008 led efforts to connect alumni 10-25 years removed from graduation through a series of in-person regional events. Class leadership worked alongside neighboring classes to reinvigorate in-person engagement following the pandemic and organized events at venues in Washington, DC and New York City that also included members of other upcoming reunion classes. These gatherings, which featured a mix of personal and professional networking opportunities, covered attendees at no cost, ensuring they were inclusive and well-attended. The new event experiences successfully fostered continued engagement among alumni of multiple classes and created positive momentum that drove record-breaking attendance.
- Yale Women's Athletic Network: The Celebration of 50 Years of Varsity Athletics for Women at Yale was a singular event. Honoring a half-century of women competing as Yale varsity athletes, the celebration built a strong foundation for women athletes at Yale for the next 50 years. In the spirit of inclusion and lifelong learning, the event was an opportunity for women across generations to network and discuss the impact of athletics on their lives. The 18-member planning committee and 300 attendees represented five decades of Yale women. The celebration laid the foundation to continue to communicate with the over 5,000 female athletic alums and become a resource for both current student-athletes and athletic alumnae.
- YaleWomen: On their 10th anniversary, YaleWomen launched a five-year strategic plan to build on their mission of advancing women’s voices, inspiring one another, and transforming the world. Through surveys, town halls, interviews, and panel discussions they reached out to over 13,000 alumnae to explore how to better serve all Yale women. In order to engage women of color, young alumnae, international alumnae and women facing career transitions, they have expanded their virtual programming, added new chapters, and have adapted new technology to enhance their online presence and user experience. YaleWomen’s strategic plan embodies the YAA’s commitment to inclusion and lifelong learning.
The Yale Alumni Association Leadership Awards recognize the accomplishments of volunteers whose efforts reflect the YAA’s mission and core values, honoring them both for their service to Yale and for their innovative leadership – both with the YAA and in the graduate and professional school ranks. Leadership Award candidates and honorees are nominated and selected by alumni relations staff members.
Mario Antwine ’15 MBA
Mario Antwine is a co-leader for the Yale School of Management Black Business Alliance Alumni Affinity Group. A Yale SOM graduate of the class of 2015, he has gone on to fulfill the mission of the school and making waves in both business and society. His leadership is thoughtful, inspiring, intentional, and most importantly will leave a lasting impact on the SOM Community. The YAA has five core values: Relevance, Openness, Collaboration, Inclusion, and Impact: Mario has exemplified each of these. He is approachable and encouraging of others when it comes to creating dialogue around hard or sensitive topics. He has an ability to make those around him feel comfortable, and at ease for who they are, and often recognizing that their differences make for a more robust and thoughtful partnership. His dedication to inclusion has allowed others to be seen and understood, providing that feeling of belonging. Mario is the epitome of an incredible Yale Alum, and we are proud of his accomplishments and honored he has chosen to graciously give back his time and energy to the Yale School of Management. Mario was nominated by Alexandra V. Alfstad, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement and Manager of Inclusive Alumni Communities, Affinity, and Special Interests, at the School of Management.
Austin Baik ’11
Austin Baik has distinguished himself as an alumni volunteer through his dynamic engagement and service with the Association of Asian American Yale Alumni (AAAYA), which consists of more than 4000 members and several active regional chapters. First tapped by AAAYA to head its Northern California chapter, he soon graduated to other leadership roles, including as a member of the AAAYA National Board, and most recently, president. Since assuming this position less than two years ago, Austin led the organization through a series of important change initiatives, including the configuration and launch of a new logo, an overhaul of their data management systems, and a complete revamping of their website. He also presided over other significant organizational accomplishments, including the relaunch of AAAYA’s Southern California chapter, engagement of alumni around the world through their General Assembly virtual meeting, a monthlong series of virtual and in-person events across the nation to celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month, and programming to address and combat anti-Asian hate sentiments that emerged nationally during the pandemic. Additionally, he infused a renewed sense of optimism, agency, and excitement that has reenergized other volunteers, board members, and leaders, who collectively have positioned the organization to become more effective in advancing civic participation, leadership, and social impact for the benefit of the Yale Asian alumni community and beyond. It is because of his distinguished track record as a community builder, strategic thinker, and change agent, coupled by his steadfast dedication to Yale’s mission and core values, that Austin is being honored with the YAA Leadership Award. Austin was nominated by Henry Kwan, Director, Shared Interest Groups, at the Yale Alumni Association.
Rob Greenly ’83 MBA and Karen Green ’78
Rob Greenly and Karen Green served as co-chairs for Yale Day of Service in 2022 and 2023, at a critical juncture in the program's tenure. Working to revive participation through rebranding, exceptional personal outreach efforts, and leadership development with the Regional Director network, Rob and Karen helped Day of Service recover from the COVID "slump". Tagging Day of Service programs as "Easy, Meaningful, and Fun" Rob and Karen went beyond the common expectations of co-chairs, by prioritizing outreach to alums internationally, developing new ways to engage alumni such as the first ever T-Shirt contest, contributing to the new website process, and offering one-to-one meetings with alums who needed it. Their efforts resulted in huge rebound numbers for volunteers and service projects, with new states and countries represented in each year. Rob and Karen were also pivotal in securing Yalies Garry Trudeau and Angela Bassett as honorary co-chairs, hugely increasing the profile of Day of Service. In addition, Rob and Karen laid foundational work for the next co-chairs through sustainability planning and archival support. In each aspect of their work, Rob and Karen sought to help Yalies across the globe “Transform the World Together.” These efforts resulted in impacts locally and globally, with community organizations of all types. Rob and Karen encouraged collaborative efforts that allowed Regional Directors to assist each other in recruitment, idea formation, and logistical tactics to make the Day of Service program accessible to and inclusive of all alumni: whoever they are and wherever they may be. Rob and Karen were nominated by Mara Balk, Associate Director, Volunteer Engagement and João Aleixo, Director, Service Programs, Volunteer Engagement, at the Yale Alumni Association.
Victor Padilla-Taylor ’15 MAM
Victor Padilla-Taylor is a member of the Yale School of Management Alumni Advisory Board and serves as its Director-at-Large. Victor has tirelessly worked to support the launch of SOM Connect—Yale School of Management’s alumni engagement platform. At a pivotal moment for the school and the alumni community Victor dedicated his time and talent to help ensure a successful launch of a platform that is the cornerstone of the school’s interaction with their alumni community. He did this not only by ardently testing the platform and providing thoughtful, actionable, and useful feedback about the site prior to launch in a magnitude that outstripped all other alumni feedback combined but also by collaborating with his fellow alumni to help instate a culture of open and useful discussion on the site. His efforts have imbued the platform with a sense of vitality and activity that have helped ensure alumni will not just visit the site but return to it knowing they will find something of interest. Beyond his efforts on SOM Connect Victor has been a steadfast partner to the Yale School of Management Alumni Relations communications team on an array of initiatives that all have one unifying link—connecting alumni to the school and one another while empowering them to make the most of their alumni experience. Victor was nominated by Brendan Hansen, Director of Alumni Communications and Marketing for Alumni Relations and Development at the School of Management.
Lee Race ’93 MPPM
Lee Race is one of those rare, incredible, volunteers who identified a need, offered a solution, and has persistently partnered to see that solution through. These efforts have been to the ongoing benefit of her alumni community at Yale School of Management and have led to connections across class years, programs, and industries in way that would not have happened if not for Lee’s efforts. Lee serves on the Yale School of Management Alumni Advisory Board communications committee and launched an initiative called “Just Five Questions.” “Just Five Questions” engages alumni to speak on an evolving and thoughtful set of five questions for leaders in business & society. The Yale School of Management alumni relations communications team has partnered with Lee to feature this content in their monthly alumni newsletter, their site, and in their social media, creating added value across all communications channels thanks to Lee’s dedicated and ongoing work engaging fellow alumni on behalf of the school. This monthly, alumni-driven feature persistently inspires conversations, connections, and thoughtful responses around meaningful topics of interest to our alumni community. Lee was nominated by Brendan Hansen, Director of Alumni Communications and Marketing for Alumni Relations and Development at the School of Management.
The Alumni Schools Committee Ambassador Award is for the ASC leaders who truly do incredible work leading their local committees, exemplify the mission of the program, and inspire volunteer participation, enthusiasm, and creativity.
Dean Kim ’86 has been exceptional in every way. He started interviewing for the ASC in 1999 and became an ASC Director in 2017. Since that time Dean has been a proven guide and resource for his members, new and old alike. Anytime that the ASC has called upon him for last-minute interviews he finds a member to conduct it or conducts the interview himself. He ensures that his members who travel to school fairs have all the materials they need and are up to speed on current admissions and financial aid information. Ensuring that prospective students are provided with accurate information. Dean was recently called upon to aid in the interviewing of recruited athletes and said yes without any hesitation. He loves Yale and is extremely grateful that he had the opportunity to attend Yale as a first-generation student from New Haven. He loves looking for and speaking with the prospective next generations of Yalies, and leaders of the world.
Everett Hutt ’92 is a dedicated ASC Director in Paris who has been a volunteer interviewer for over 20 years and led the ASC in France for the past 10. He leads his volunteers with clear communications and reads every submitted report to ensure quality reports for admissions review. In addition, he administers the Yale Book Award at various schools in Paris to spread the Yale name and inspire each new generation of applicants. He has participated in local college fairs and cares deeply about ensuring that excellent students across France, no matter their educational background, see Yale as an exciting and attainable college option. His dedication to leadership and ambassadorship is a fixture of the Yale alumni community in France.
Chaeri Tornay ’00 is an alum of Tottenville High School, one of a few massive public schools on Staten Island. Chaeri understands the importance of access to opportunities at places like Yale. Her continued hard work and passion are an inspiration. She understands that it’s not just about ensuring students are given a good interview experience, and it's about writing thoughtful and nuanced reports. She's hosted (and paid for!) admitted student receptions/dinners in her area, she reaches out to support the Staten Island admits in making their final college decision, and is likely part of the reason why admissions has consistent, high yield in this area.