Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems to present U.S. Rep. James Walsh with Willis H. Carrier Achievement Award
Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems to present U.S. Rep. James Walsh with Willis H. Carrier Achievement AwardJune 19, 2003Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Congressman to be honored June 23 for his commitment to environmental initiatives
U.S. Rep. James T. Walsh will receive the second Willis H. Carrier Achievement Award during a June 23 breakfast and award ceremony in the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center’s Grand Ballroom.
The award serves to honor Walsh for his 14 years of service and commitment to preserving the environment and fostering an economic hub for environmental technology through his financial support of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems (CoE-ES) and the New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center (NYIEQ). Most recently, Walsh has secured more than $7 million in federal funds for CoE-ES projects and research into indoor environmental quality and urban ecosystems sustainability.
“For Congressman Walsh, there is a natural convergence of his abiding interest in the environment and his deeply-felt commitment to serving his constituency,” says SU Trustee Eric Mower, who will reflect on Walsh’s activities to start the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative and his role with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “And that convergence results in a level of responsiveness and proactivity to opportunities that literally make the world a better place to live. One evidence of that is his work on behalf of the Center of Excellence.”
Walsh was chosen to receive the award by the CoE-ES’s corporate and academic partners.
“Congressman Walsh has deep roots in both the wider Syracuse community and in the University,” says Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. “We could not ask for a better advocate and champion for all citizens in this area, both those who have lived here for generations and those who come to study on the Hill.”
“Embodying the spirit of innovation exemplified by our founder, Carrier Corporation is honored to have the Willis H. Carrier Achievement Award presented to Congressman Walsh in recognition of his continuing and tireless efforts on behalf of our environment,” says Todd Bluedorn, president of Carrier North America Commercial.
Onondaga County Executive Nicholas Pirro says that Walsh is a wonderful selection for the award. “Congressman Walsh has been a great friend to me and the people of Onondaga County,” he says. “He works hard to bring home the resources we need for environmental work such as Onondaga Lake, and for economic development such as the High Tech Incubator Center and the Center for Excellence at Syracuse University. He is most deserving of the Willis Carrier Achievement Award.”
“We, in Central New York, are very lucky to be represented by Congressman Walsh,” says SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Cornelius B. Murphy Jr. “His vision and advocacy for his constituents is one of our community’s most important assets.”
The award ceremony kicks off a morning-long CNY Industry “STAR” Search. The event will bring together University researchers and industry leaders to discuss potential strategically targeted academic research (STAR) projects and establish an important University-industry research and technology transfer agenda. This event is closed to the media.
“The STAR projects will strengthen companies in Central New York through the development of new products and services,” says Edward A. Bogucz, dean of SU’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. “We have the highest interest in forging long-lasting partnerships that continually create jobs, keep them here, and promote the region as an international leader.”
Walsh, who is chair of the House of Representatives’ VA/HUD Subcommittee on Appropriations (which includes the EPA), is well known for his work to protect the environment and conserve Central New York’s unique resources. He has secured nearly $115 million in federal funds for the cleanup of Onondaga Lake, and funding for numerous water infrastructure improvements along Onondaga Creek. Almost every community in Central New York has received a grant to upgrade either water or wastewater treatment and distribution facilities.
Walsh also obtained federal funding for a groundbreaking research project, currently being conducted here in Syracuse, to study the links between pediatric asthma and environmental factors. The project is coordinated by NYIEQ and involves researchers from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The results of the study will be presented in October at the third annual environmental symposium sponsored by the CoE-ES and its partners.
“Congressman Walsh has been an active partner in Gov. Pataki’s efforts to build and strengthen New York’s economy through initiatives such as the Governor’s Centers of Excellence,” says Russell W. Bessette, M.D., executive director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research. “As a result of Congressman Walsh’s support, Syracuse and the Central New York region are now well positioned to create new high-tech companies and jobs in the future. Congressman Walsh is well-deserving of the Carrier Achievement Award.”
The Willis H. Carrier Achievement Award is given to an individual who has made significant and sustaining contributions to the enhancement of the human environment. The first Carrier Achievement Award was presented to Gov. George E. Pataki in June 2002, during the ceremony establishing the CoE-ES, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Willis Carrier’s invention of modern air conditioning.