The Tracy Soska and John Wilds Outreach and Engagement Leadership Award was established in 2020 to honor a faculty member or staff engagement professional who serves the University of Pittsburgh through their outstanding dedication to University-community connections. Through their contributions, the awardee strengthens our institution’s knowledge, understanding, practice, and reflection on the opportunities of community-based collaboration.
The 2021 Soska Wilds Outreach and Engagement Leadership awardee is David Sanchez.
David Sanchez is an Assistant Professor in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Civil & Environmental Engineering department, the Assistant Director for the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, and the Program Director for the Master’s in Sustainable Engineering, the Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability and the John C. Mascaro Faculty Fellows program.
Focused on co-creating long-term partnerships that synergize community vision with Pitt’s core competencies of research and education, David has built up Pitt Hydroponics in Homewood, founded Constellation Energy Inventor labs for K-12 students, and re-created the Mascaro Center’s Teach the Teacher sustainability program for science educators in the region.
As a teacher he designed and created the Sustainability capstone course which has annually partnered with community stakeholders to address sustainability challenges at all scales. Past projects have included evaluating composting stations in Wilkinsburg, building infrastructure resilience in Homewood, enabling community solar in PA, improving energy efficiency in McCandless Township, and improving water quality in our rivers.