Positive disruption

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.When Saamon Legoski sees something wrong, he feels compelled to make it right.Last year, for example, while working as a behavioral specialist and staff sergeant for the U.S. Army in Kuwait, he helped several of his peers and soldiers come forward with allegations of sexual violence. A formal investigation substantiated the allegations, he said, and the accused sergeant was discharged from the Army.“I’ve learned to be disruptive in a positive way,” said Legoski.These days, as a student in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s M.P.H.-45 program, he’s focused on redressing the wrongs that arise when people, because of race, national origin, or income, are treated unfairly with respect to environmental laws and policies. He said it riles him that underprivileged neighborhoods are often the most polluted, that tax credits for electric cars predominantly benefit the wealthy, and that the world’s poorest communities bear the biggest burdens from global warming.Legoski plans to become an environmental justice attorney — one who understands enough science to be an expert litigator in court. “At the end of the day, I don’t want the opposing counsel to fool judges, juries, or me with scientific-sounding nonsense,” he said. “I want to be a one-stop shop for interpreting scientific data in the courtroom.”Saamon Legoski joined the military after high school. He is pictured in Kuwait. Courtesy of Saamon LegoskiOrder from chaosLegoski is clear about his goals these days, but that wasn’t always the case. His childhood was chaotic. He grew up in southern California, where parental disputes sometimes led to living in homeless shelters with his mother and younger siblings. He worked in school cafeterias to pay for his lunches. “I got better in high school, but in the earlier years, the disruption would come with me from the house to the classroom,” he recalled.After high school he decided to join the military “to get away from everything” — and loved it. “It was the first place where I challenged myself and leaders really encouraged me,” he said. “Plus, in the military I found a lot of people who had the experience that I did. Growing up I was usually the poorest kid, the least well-dressed, usually just the ‘least’ among people. But when I got to the Army, I was on pretty equal footing with a lot of people.” He says the Army helped him mature and straighten out his rough edges.During his yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Legoski saw scores of what he thought were needless deaths, and fellow soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress. The experience cemented his interest in psychology, and also led him to think deeply about how to avoid war. “The Afghanistan war led me to believe that our political leaders weren’t effective at conflict resolution and would keep us in Afghanistan indefinitely,” Legoski said.In 2013 he enrolled at Stanford to study psychology. He chose as his adviser social psychologist Lee Ross, who had done real-life conflict resolution work in Ireland, Israel, and other parts of the world. “I spent a lot of time in and outside of class picking his brain about political and social conflicts and pathways to resolution,” Legoski said.Matters of justiceDuring a Stanford quarter in Washington, D.C., Legoski took a seminar in civil rights law and learned about “disparate impact,” which occurs when laws or rules negatively impact a particular group of people. “It’s up to civil rights lawyers to prove disparate impact through testimony, data, and analysis in the courtroom,” Legoski said. He decided that becoming a lawyer “would be a good career match for my strong sense of justice,” he said.The field of environmental justice caught his attention when he spent a year as an executive fellow in California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, working on projects to keep consumers and workers safe from the toxic chemicals found in some nail products. The field “had all the civil rights components that I want and I love,” he said.Environmental advocateThanks to support from the Harvard Presidential Scholars Program, Legoski was able to come to Harvard Chan School to get the science background he wanted. In a class last fall on analytical methods and exposure assessment, he and a group of fellow students studied the role of compostable beverage containers in microplastic contamination.Jonathan Buonocore, research scientist at Harvard Chan School, advised Legoski and the other students on their research. “With the issue of plastics, we have been hearing about impacts on sea turtles and pollution on beaches, but Legoski wondered if humans are getting exposed to microplastics through compostable cups,” he said. “He took it upon himself to find a way to address the question.” Previous studies have suggested that microplastics consumption may harm health. The students found significant leaching of microplastics from some of the compostable cups they looked at.While at Harvard Chan, Legoski has done field work at Clean Water Action, an environmental advocacy group. Last fall he spoke on the organization’s behalf to a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection panel about the health impacts of the Wheelabrator Saugus incinerator, the nation’s oldest. He also spoke at a Massachusetts Department of Transportation board hearing about the need in underserved communities for better public transit service, lower fares, and reduced transportation-related pollution. On campus, he serves as a student ambassador for the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE), helping promote collaborations among departments to address environmental issues.“He’s definitely a driven individual and has a good line of sight on how to use both scientific evidence and the legal mechanisms we have to improve public health and, in particular, right environmental justice wrongs,” said Buonocore.“What I love as an environmental justice advocate and future lawyer is that I will be able to tackle civil rights from a perspective that takes many issues into account — environmental issues, housing, transportation, job insecurity, food costs— that are often treated as separate issues by policymakers,” said Legoski. “It’s a field where I’ll be able to channel my passion for helping people and making sure there’s justice.”last_img read more

UVM College of Medicine names John Lunde, MD, Buttles Professor of Pathology

first_imgEdwin Bovill, M.D., professor and chair of pathology, has announced that John Lunde, M.D., associate professor of pathology and medicine, has been named the recipient of the Buttles Professorship in Pathology for 2009-2014. Established in 1984 to honor the late Ernest Hiram Buttles, M.D.’08, who served as chair of pathology and bacteriology from 1921 to 1946, the professorship recognizes a pathology faculty member for their commitment to and excellence in the teaching of pathology.Born in 1880 and raised in Brandon, Vt., Dr. Buttles received an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont in 1901 and graduated second in the College of Medicine’s Class of 1908. According to Roy Korson, M.D., professor of pathology emeritus, Buttles was “best remembered as a teacher and model for clear thinking. His opinions were respected in the classroom as well as in his pathology practice.”Like Buttles, Lunde, who joined the UVM faculty in 1987, received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from UVM. Medical students have recognized him for his teaching excellence several times over the years. In 2007, the Class of 2009 presented Lunde with The Foundations Teaching Award, which recognizes clarity of lectures and overall outstanding teaching ability. He was also named Basic Science Teacher of the Year by the Class of 2000. Other awards he has received include the Golden Apple Award for best teacher with limited contact hours from the Classes of 1998 and 2000, as well as the Silver Stethoscope Award from the Class of 2007, given to teachers with few lecture hours, but who have made a substantial contribution to students’ education.Source: UVMlast_img read more

The two major concerns Arsenal have about hiring Carlo Ancelotti

first_imgAncelotti was sacked by Napoli this week (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are not considering Carlo Ancelotti as a serious candidate to take charge at the club, according to reports.Ancelotti is a free agent following his exit from Napoli and is keen on a return to the Premier League.Everton are interested in the Italian, but ESPN claim Arsenal have two major concerns about hiring Ancelotti.The 60-year-old does not fit the profile of the head coach they are looking for and Arsenal are concerned by his recent record.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Coral BarryWednesday 11 Dec 2019 10:15 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link166Shares Arsenal board not interested in hiring Carlo Ancelotti as head coach Advertisement Comment Arteta fits the profile Arsenal are looking for in their new coach (Picture: Getty)Despite being regarded as one of the best coaches in the world, Arsenal are wary of his short spells at Bayern Munich and Napoli.AdvertisementAdvertisementAncelotti was sacked by Bayern in his second season in charge and left Napoli this week after months of turmoil at the club.Arsenal are preparing to interview a host of coaches for the full-time position and there could be as many as ten applicants.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe Gunners have received several applications since the sacking of Unai Emery last month and the board is in no rush to make an appointment.Arsenal are prepared to give interim coach Freddie Ljungberg time to prove himself after a difficult start in the dug-out.Ljungberg reacted to the news of Arsenal’s interest in Ancelotti on Wednesday, saying: ‘I try just to concentrate on my job,’ he said ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League match against Standard Liege.‘Who the club decide to choose is totally up to them. I stay out of it.’MORE: Arsenal make offer to Vitor Pereira to become new head coachMORE: Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney expected to miss three months with dislocated shoulderlast_img read more