Arthur and Carol Silverman have not only been long-time friends and supporters of the Academy, but also absolutely integral to our mission to inspire everyone to care about the natural world.
The Silvermans established the Cheryl Beth Silverman Award here at the Academy in 1989 as a living memorial to their daughter, Cheryl Beth, who was a true force for nature. The award internship recognizes the outstanding talents, leadership and contributions of Outside In volunteers who share Cheryl Beth’s devotion to wildlife and the environment. Each year, exceptional high-school volunteers compete for the prestigious award by creating fun, educational projects that benefit museum visitors.
“The Silverman award has been an invaluable resource in the development of many spectacular volunteers over the years,” says Academy Educator Amy Hoyt, “fostering leaders and building connections to nature in unique and creative ways. Art and Carol’s generous support in large and small ways also allows Academy staff to share their passion for animals in the spirit of Cheryl Beth.”
“I really enjoyed my time as a Silverman intern,” says Ramon Torres, winner of the 2005 award who is now the web coordinator at the Academy, putting his institutional knowledge and volunteer experience to work in the digital realm. “I’m really grateful to be a part of such a great group of people. It made me the person I am today.”
In 2008, the Cheryl Beth Silverman Memorial Lecture Series began, an annual talk featuring phenomenal scientists, environmental advocates, well-known authors and naturalists who are making an outsized impact on our scientific understanding of the natural world. Past years have seen Conservation Scientist and Black birder Corina Newsome as well as Biologist and television host Phil Torres take to the stage. This year, we are excited to share in our love of birds with the American Bird Association.
Thanks to the Silvermans, Cheryl Beth’s dedication and passion for honoring and protecting wildlife continues to flourish, here at the Academy and beyond, inspiring all who knew her and those who simply uphold and cherish her values.
“The community the Silvermans have created through this award and these lectures, is really just amazing,” says Joshua Kulak, winner of the 2020 award for creating and sustaining a breeding program of rare cockroaches. He currently studies animal behavior at Franklin & Marshall College and continues to volunteer at Outside In, as well as the Academy’s beloved Bug Fest.
“I am incredibly proud and honored to be supported by the Silvermans, to be a part of this significant network of people who all have the same drive and enthusiasm as Cheryl Beth.”