Coordinator Update: M&E

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator
The Coalition was founded with the mission to highlight Best Practices from and for university student groups around the world. As a result, our efforts with Monitoring and Evaluations (M&E) have started! We released our first two annual surveys to try and tease out these Best Practices. One is focused on the Coalition and the teams’ experiences with being a part of a Global Coalition. The data attained and analyzed from this survey will be used to improve the Coalition for the next year as we expand.

The other survey is stylized specifically for each team, asking them about their deliverables, their results, and trying to figure out what would have made the projects more successful–whether it was more team members, more administrative support from the university, or more funding!

The teams are currently filling out the surveys and we will be releasing that sometimes early in 2011! Be on the look out!


December 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Skype with MIT

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

Speaking with Katherine from MIT the other day gave me great insight into understanding what it’s going to take to make this Coalition more successful!

While she’s been working away on the MIT/Yale project, studying almost 200 different sustainability projects across universities–she’s also got some wise words about the Coalition.

  • Coalition teams had varying degrees of involvement–for future development, how can we incentivize the teams to contribute equally to the idea-sharing and the implementation of the project?
  • The involvement of the administration at the University is crucial–Katherine says it’s one of the reasons why the MIT/Yale project succeeded.
  • There was a lot of confusion about what it meant to be a part of the Coalition–looking forward to the second year of the Coalition, we should look into making it clear what joining the Coalition involves!

Will definitely follow up on these suggestions. Thanks, Katherine!

October 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Meeting with Yale STEP

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

Last night, at a coffee shop underground at the Yale University Bass Library, I met a few leaders of Yale’s Student Taskforce for Environmental Partnership (STEP). The point person that I’ll be communicating with about future Coalition plans is, Jimmy Murphy.

We’ve gotten word from STEP that they’ll definitely support any Coalition endeavors or campaigns in the future. And if anyone wants to know what it’s like working on Sustainability at Yale from a student standpoint–STEP leaders definitely have experiences to share!

We look forward to more correspondence from them!

October 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Skype Meeting with Tongji Team

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

I had the opportunity to meet a few of the members from the Tongji team this morning (but last night for them). The key take-away from the meeting in regards to the coalition is that for Tongji, they are in it for the communication. They hope the Coalition will be able to foster a sharing of useful ideas and exciting projects.

They were definitely excited to share some of the initiatives going on in Shanghai at Tongji University! They’re trying to tackle waste by training students on how to conserve water, e-waste and paper. In the coming months, they’ll be providing more details and visual updates for you.

Another exciting thing is that for the past year, our team at Tongji hasn’t been able to access the old website–but on this new wordpress portal–they finally have access! So you’ll be seeing more posts from them.

October 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Interview w/ Nasser Brahim

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

Again, in following through with trying to gain a deeper understanding of the Coalition, I had a chance to interview Nasser Brahim. Nasser is a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry. He was the Coordinator of the Coalition last year so I had a lot to learn from him! You can watch him talk about his engagements in the environmental movement!

Here are the three take-aways I took from Nasser:

  • The website is valuable–it is the space through which the idea-sharing can take place.
  • We must find a way to get more traffic to this website so it becomes a real-live communication space.
  • Participation in the Coalition is an underlying problem. Our teams had trouble reporting on time.

Similar to what we hope to do with Matt’s suggestions, Nasser’s suggestions will be very useful as we try to troubleshoot and improve the Coalition.

Thanks, Nasser!

October 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Interview w/ Matt Ramlow

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

In a past post, I mentioned that I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the Coalition and connect with those that had been instrumental to the Coalition’s functioning last year. One of those people is Matthew Ramlow. I had the chance to speak with him over a meal and I wanted to share the three key take-aways with you!

Matt is currently a senior at Yale University, very involved in on-campus environmental initiatives at Yale. Specifically, Matt was at Cop15 and attended the meeting with the original Coalition members. He had been the Yale point-person for the collaboration with MIT on one of the projects presented at Cop15 during the Coalition Conference. He’s been a leader of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition (YSEC) and actively competes on Yale’s Crew Team. From the conversation with him, I took away three things:

  • The Coalition is important–but students are busy so all this ‘trading of information’ might not work out as we hoped or be as useful as we think.
  • The teams included in the Coalition were at varying stages and had various strengths. This may make it difficult to collaborate, but it is also a great opportunity for the teams to share their experiences and expertise with each other.
  • Having teams with more than one person is incredibly incredibly important.

We will be keeping these things in mind as we build a stronger Coalition. Thanks, Matt!

October 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Cop16 in Cancun

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

With 38 days left until the Cop16 conference in Cancun, we are trying to set up a meeting with the Coalition members in conjunction to the Cop16. Here was our pitch:

EVENT DETAILS: The Yale Climate and Energy Institute and the Yale Office of Sustainability will host a 1-day conference for about 50 attendees, consisting of student groups from universities around the world. The conference will include peer-to-peer evaluations and bonding, workshops, presentations, and debates by student groups representing the different universities. Policymakers and experts in attendance in Cancún will offer insights on student projects and hold a Q&A session for students to ask current leaders about their experiences.


  • Video report of workshop day
  • Analysis of pre & post survey of usefulness of workshop for attendees
  • Two mid-year reports on the activities of the Coalition

Many of the Coalition members are anxiously waiting to hear the news of whether our pitch was successful! We will keep you updated as news come in.

September 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

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