2023 Alumni Sustainability Awards

2023 Alumni Sustainability Awards

Award Categories

  • Lifetime Achievement: Recognizes significant multi-year body of work 
  • Graduates of the Last Decade: Recognizes significant multi-year body of work in the professional or civic lives of graduates of the last decade

Alumni Awards

Lifetime Achievement

Kerem Durdag '94G

Chief Operating Officer and President, Great Works Internet; Founder/Managing Partner, Indus Fund 
As the President and Chief Operating Officer of Great Works Internet, Kerem Durdag uses his leadership role to promote conscious capitalism, digital equity, and, as a first-generation immigrant himself, advocates for immigrant business owners in Maine through the Indus Fund, a micro lending program he founded.

As a certified B Corp, Great Works Internet provides rural communities with reliable and affordable broadband internet. Large internet providers such as Comcast or Verizon often consider rural areas as not financially viable, preventing digital inclusion across education and employment opportunities.

Kerem headshot

Jason McBriarty ‘92

Director of Communications and Operations, Levi Strauss Foundation 
In his role at the Levi Strauss Foundation, Jason McBriarty advances corporate social responsibility, corporate philanthropy, and sustainability. The Levi Strauss Foundation has gained a reputation as an investor in equitably and environmentally minded causes, notably Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, democracy and voting rights, and reproductive health rights. Apart from his role at the foundation, McBriarty is also a mentor with the Unreasonable Group, supporting entrepreneurs taking on social-environmental challenges, and serves on the Net Impact Corporate Advisory Council. 

Jason headshot

Sharon Runge ‘83 

Executive Director, Kenya Connect 
Dr. Sharon Runge leads the mission of 501 c-3 and NGO Kenya Connect to develop education access in rural Kenya. As a major proponent of economic sustainability and independence, Dr. Runge has worked to ensure local Kenyan communities are represented and can be provided with resources. Her work as Executive Director advances practices of fiscal responsibility and stewardship, board development and leadership, and assessment and monitoring across rural Kenya, as well as promoting health, education, technology, income generation, professional development, empowerment, and enrichment programs. 

Sharon headshot

Graduates of the Last Decade

Andres Mejia '14, '18G 

Director of DEIJ Initiatives, SAU 16 (Exeter, NH) 

As the first person in his family to receive his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Andres has been a powerful advocate for social justice since he was an undergraduate student at UNH. This included founding Men of Strength, Diversity Education and Family (MoSDEF) and serving on the President's Commission on the People Status of Color. Since graduating from UNH with a B.S. in Social Work, Andres Mejia has implemented initiatives of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging in every position in which he has served. His efforts to develop diversity initiatives and support programs at UNH and in communities across New Hampshire and Massachusetts have earned him induction into the 2019 UNH Alumni Diversity Hall of Fame. Andres spent six years working at UNH implementing diversity initiatives and spearheading underrepresented students support and helping leaders across campus to become more culturally competent. This included his role as director of UNH Connect for fellow first-generation and underrepresented students, leader of the Martin Luther King Leadership Summit, and as advisor to this year’s Student Organization of the Year, the Black Student Union. Andres went on to earn his masters in Community Development Policy and Practice from UNH’s Carsey School, and since 2021, Mejia has been the director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Justice for Exeter public schools, continuing his strong legacy of being a social justice leader in the sphere of public education.  

Andres headshot

Andreanecia Morris ‘20G 

Executive Director, HousingNOLA 
Through her roles as Executive Director of HousingNOLA, President of the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, and chairperson of the HousingLOUISIANA Alliance Network, Andreanecia Morris has devoted her career to promoting housing accessibility and affordability in New Orleans. Morris was instrumental in developing the HousingNOLA 10-year Strategy and Implementation Plan, as well as in programs that created 500 first time homebuyers, disbursed $10 million in homebuyer subsidy, and provided support for 5,000 households in the city. Morris’s work has earned her multiple awards, including the Neighborworks Community Building & Engagement Staff Award, UNITY Outstanding Advocate for Affordable Housing, one of twelve JP Morgan Chase “Icons of New Orleans,” and Gambit’s 2017 New Orleanian of the Year. 

Andreanecia headshot

Sarah Wrightsman ‘15, ‘17G 

Community Engagement Coordinator, New Hampshire Housing 
Since receiving her master’s degree from the Carsey School of Public Policy, Sarah Wrightsman has been instrumental in advancing equitable access to housing across the state of New Hampshire. Prior to serving as New Hampshire Housing’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Wrightsman was Executive Director of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast and the Housing Coordinator for the Regional Economic Development Center. Wrightsman was included in the Union Leader’s 40 Under 40 list in 2020, was featured in New Hampshire Magazine’s 2019 It List, named a 10 To Watch winner by Seacoast Media Group and Catapult Seacoast, and was selected as “Civic Leader of the Year” by Stay Work Play and NH Public Radio in 2018. 

Sarah Wrightsman