BOSTON – May 29, 2008 – Northeastern University alumnus Sajed Kamal received a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New England Region, at an awards ceremony held on April 22 at Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Kamal is an international leader in promoting sustainable energy and has served as both an educator and a consultant to create urgency around the development of sustainable energy resources.
A long-time Boston resident, Kamal has been working on sustainable energy initiatives for more than 25 years both at home and abroad. In Boston, he co-founded Solar Boston, an organization to promote renewable energy solutions. Between 1999–2003, Solar Boston helped install over fifty grid-connected photovoltaic solar electric systems. In 2002 he initiated and continues to serve as the coordinator of Solar Fenway, a volunteer committee that has installed two grid-connected photovoltaic systems in the Fenway neighborhood.
At home, Kamal uses a small stand-alone photovoltaic system, installed in 1986, to power some of his appliances, truly living out his work. He also has a collection of solar cookers. Placed on the roof-deck, these have “cooked many sumptuous dishes over the years,” he says. “I hope that by teaching people about the potential of renewable energy sources, our dependence on nonrenewables will decrease,” said Kamal.
Internationally, Kamal has helped establish pilot programs on renewable energy in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Armenia and El Salvador.
Kamal received both his undergraduate degree in economics (’70) and graduate degree in education (’71) at Northeastern, and later received his doctorate in humanistic studies from Boston University. At Northeastern he also met his wife of 37 years, Rosemary. Following her undergraduate degree in psychology (’72), she too went on to receiving her doctorate in humanistic studies from Boston University. The Teacher-Director of Corner Co-op Nursery School in Brookline, “she’s my partner in everything I do,” says Kamal. They have a son, Ashok, a graduate of Boston University and The New School, who works with youth and family services in New York City.
While a student at Northeastern, in 1969 Kamal organized “The Middle East: The Next Vietnam?,” a forum that looked at the militarization of the Middle East as similar to the Vietnam War and the fight for global resources and land. Soon after, he dedicated his studies to the exploration of alternative energy sources, combining this with his other interests and commitments. Kamal is also an award-winning poet, artist, educational consultant, psychotherapist, translator, published author of a dozen books and many articles in a wide range of areas, and an adjunct lecturer teaching Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Kamal. “My hope is that before it’s too late the global community will adopt sustainable lifestyles, which will prevent our species from driving itself into extinction and preserve all life on Earth.”
Kamal’s other awards include Boston “Mayor’s First Annual Green Award for Community Leadership in Energy and Climate Protection” and a “Community Service Award” from the Fenway Community Development Corporation, both in 2007.
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.