Annual Awards Party 2018: About Our Awardees

Maxine Lipeles

Maxine Lipeles is the founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law, where she is also a Senior Lecturer in Law teaching Environmental Law.  In the clinic, interdisciplinary teams of students supervised jointly by attorneys and engineers/scientists handle pro bono environmental and community health cases for non-profit organizations and individuals.  Maxine previously practiced environmental law at the firm of Husch & Eppenberger, served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Protection Division, and clerked for Judge William H. Orrick, Jr., at the federal court for the Northern District of California.  She has received Sierra Club’s William O. Douglas Award and St. Louis University Law School’s Clarence Darrow Award. She serves on the national boards of Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund. Maxine earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from Harvard Law School.

Thomas “Yusha” Sager

Yusha has been an advocate for peace, justice and the environment for over half a century. Since his retirement from Missouri University of Science and Technology, he has worked extensively as a volunteer. He was a charter member of the Great Rivers Board and has been a plaintiff on several cases that Great Rivers has litigated. Most recently he is suing the State of Missouri over SB 35 and its attack on Missouri’s State Parks.

Representing Yusha and other citizens, Great Rivers won a landmark victory in the Buehler Park case when Missouri’s Courts ruled for the first time since 1910 that users of public property have standing to sue to maintain that use.

Yusha was coordinator of the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project which seeks to provide clean water to the people of Iraq. He is part of a small group which maintains weekly vigils for Peace in front of the Rolla Post Office. He likes to read to young children and maintains a website at

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