Cynthia A. Smith, Yale’s Associate Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity, was recently honored by the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) with its Campus Leaders who Care Award for her involvement and support in helping to create and sustain a culture of safety throughout campus.
The award was developed to recognize senior administrators for their understanding and championing environmental ethics and stewardship, health and safety issues at their institutions. Smith was nominated by the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Leadership Team.
“When I received the notification of the award, I was honored, but also very moved by the fact that EHS, a group that inspires me, would nominate me as a leader who sustains a culture of safety and environmental stewardship,” Smith said.
Smith plays many roles across the University including overseeing health-related activities such as HIPAA and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. She has implemented policies and procedures relating to academic integrity, was a driving force in the University’s implementation of Title IX and continues to serve on the Title IX Steering Committee. She came to Yale in 1997 and served as associate controller and director of financial systems and services prior to assuming her position in the Office of the Provost in 2007.
Among her many accomplishments, Smith has advocated for a new hazardous waste facility and led the development and adoption of a new University-wide personal protective equipment policy. She was also integral in putting together a Policy on Training and Other Requirements, which includes a Training Management and University-wide Compliance Guide, a tool for supervisors and administrators to both understand and communicate the necessity and importance of certain requirements and information on how to complete each requirement ranging from required classroom or online trainings to immunizations and certifications. Many units at Yale, including EHS, rely on this policy for tracking training and other requirements.
“Cynthia has been instrumental in providing guidance so that we can strategically meet the EHS needs of faculty and students pursuing a wide range of scholarly activities,” said Peter Reinhardt, director of EHS.
Smith is an active member of several EHS committees including the Chemical and Laboratory Safety Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, Shop Safety Committee and is the alternate chair for the University Safety Committee. She has been a vocal supporter of safety for students, faculty and staff. For example, she has worked to ensure students have proper personal protective equipment while at Yale.
“EHS has a unique vantage point as well as a unique ability to make an incredible difference at the University” Smith said. “They are integral to ensuring that each member of the Yale community, regardless of whether a person is in a lab, a dining hall or an office, has a safe working environment. The staff serves as stewards of our environment and also as subject matter experts who ensure the interconnectivity of core safety values across the University while working to build a strong safety culture here at Yale. They make the University a better and safer place to work and learn and I am privileged to work closely with them and to have the opportunity to support this important work.”
At the University level, Smith is a member of the Advisory Committee on Resources for Students and Employees with Disabilities, the Board of University Health, the HIPAA Privacy and Security Committee, the Technology Accessibility Working Group and the University Research Compliance Committee.
Her dedication also extends outside of the University itself and into the community. Smith has volunteered at New Haven Reads, a non-profit organization that increases literacy skills of children through free tutoring, family support and a community book bank, and has been heavily involved in fundraisers for her local library.
She received the award at CSHEMA’s 63rd annual conference on July 24th in Austin, Texas.