First-Generation Student Thrives in Environmental Studies and Sociology: Claudia Long Yee Yu, '22

May 9, 2022

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Claudia Long Yee Yu
Claudia Long Yee Yu

Claudia Long Yee Yu, who is graduating summa cum laude with degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology and a minor in Sustainable Built Environments, is the recipient of the spring 2022 SBS Student Success Award, which is given to a graduating senior who is a first-generation college student.

Claudia has not only excelled in the classroom, but she volunteers on- and off-campus in community and club work in sustainability and has a depth and breadth of understanding of and true commitment to these issues,” said Dereka Rushbrook, associate professor of practice in the School of Geography, Development & Environment. “Her work is carefully thought out, showing a deep interest and analytical capacity.”

Claudia was part of the Sustainable Tucson’s Ambassador program and completed a Design Project Internship. She interned with CONSERVE, where she translated conservation science to the public. Claudia continued her outreach with the Environmental Defense Action Fund, where she trained in grassroots organizing, event planning, and community engagement. She’s also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Delta.

On campus, Claudia worked to create a welcoming atmosphere and resources for other international students as an active member of the Hong Kong Student Association, where she expanded the student network and organized events to educate the campus community via cultural exchanges.

“The courses for Environmental Studies and Sociology are so diverse!” Claudia said. “I find courses that I love. I wouldn't be able to complete my double major without help from SBS. Everyone at SBS is supportive and helpful. It has been my pleasure to attend the UA.” 

Claudia will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall as a student in their master’s in Environmental Studies Program, where she will study community resource policy with a focus on the ways in which minoritized communities can combat urban heat islands and other impacts of climate change.