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Yale-Jefferson Award for Public Service: A Fireside Chat

December 17, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Yale-Jefferson Award for Public Service:

A Virtual Fireside Chat with 2020 Award Recipients

Virtual Fireside Chat
Thursday, Dec. 17 | 3:00 PM ET
All welcome to attend; Registration required


The Yale-Jefferson Awards are presented annually, recognizing sustained public service that is individual, innovative, impactful, and inspiring. The recipients are three Yalies – a Yale College student, a graduate or professional school student, and a member of the alumni body – all of whom have demonstrated service that draws on the Yale community and benefits the world beyond Yale.

Join us for this event as we honor the 2020 award winners. They have made an impact – for minorities in STEM, for those in need, and for those with special needs – improving the lives of their communities and those within them.

In this virtual interactive chat, the honorees will share their stories and discuss the impact of their service engagement. In addition, they will talk about their work in the context of today’s challenges, including the COVID-19 landscape, and ways to get involved.


Robert W. Fernandez ’20 PhD
A dedicated mentor, Fernandez served as a coordinator for Yale’s Science, Technology, and Research Scholars program (known as STARS II), which is committed to supporting women, minorities, the economically underprivileged, and historically underrepresented students in the sciences, engineering, and math. He also co-founded Científico Latino, a STEM organization that works to bolster the pipeline of underrepresented students in higher education in the sciences. Fernandez is a decorated scientist, having been named a 2014 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and as one of the 100 most inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America by Cell Mentor. He received his PhD from the Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry Department at Yale and is currently a postdoctoral scientist at Columbia University.
Morris is the founder and chief executive officer of Church Health in Memphis, Tennessee, which provides quality, affordable healthcare for working, uninsured people and their families. A family practice physician and an ordained United Methodist minister, Morris has revolutionized healthcare for the working poor in Memphis, recruiting doctors, nurses, dentists, and more to volunteer, all while securing a broad base of financial support from the faith community. Buoyed by those efforts, Church Health has grown to become the largest faith-based, privately funded health center in the nation, serving more than 75,000 patients and handling approximately 44,000 patient visits annually. For his efforts and great work, Morris has been recognized by major organizations including the American Medical Association, which awarded him its Excellence in Medicine Award in 2008.
G. Scott Morris ’80 MDiv
Megan Sardis ’21
A believer in the power of community to help vulnerable children reach their full potential, Sardis founded the nonprofit organization SNUGS National, which has developed free aquatic clinics for special needs children at eight locations across the U.S. That includes Yale’s Payne Whitney gymnasium, where the sessions are run by Yale student volunteers. To date, SNUGS National has served more than 150 families and has raised more than $15,000 in donations, and it has cultivated a 13-member board with teams in finance, communications, marketing, and development. As a student of Global Affairs, Sardis is on pace to graduate in May 2021. She has a specific interest in health initiatives on the African continent. She hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in pediatric global health after her time at Yale.
Orlando Yarborough III, PhD GRD ’10, Moderator
Yarborough is passionate about values-based transformation and empowering executive and global leaders to change the world. A consultant, speaker, and coach, Yarborough co-founded the Well Company for leaders committed to creating an environment of leadership development and personal growth. He facilitates values-based collaborative leadership with the Community Leadership Program of New Haven, and also with learning labs for interpersonal and group dynamics (IDP) and global team leadership with the Yale School of Management. He serves on the executive board of Friends Center for Children and on the Meyerhoff Alumni advisory board. Yarborough earned his BS in Biology and Africana Studies from University of Maryland and a PhD in Genetics from Yale. Yarborough pastors Black Church at Yale and is co-president of Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY).
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December 17, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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