Two Columbia Students win the Udall Scholarship

Friday, April 9, 2010

We have just learned that two Columbia students have won the Udall Scholarship.  This scholarship is the most prestigious award that can be given to an undergraduate in the field of Environmental Science.  Named in honor of Congressman Morris Udall, the award recognizes those students who have shown a deep commitment—through their scholarship and activism—to protecting the environment and who plan to become leaders in their chosen field.  The scholarship provides a grant of $5000 as well as the opportunity to attend a symposium in August that will allow them to meet and network with elected federal officials and leaders in environmental protection, public policy, and Native American and Tribal Affairs.

Hannah Perls is a junior from Weston, MA who is majoring in Environmental Science and pursuing a concentration in Sustainable Development.  She intends to become a climate scientist who will devise new and improved mechanisms to forecast how climate change affects water, agriculture, and human health.  She has worked in the past for Representative Ed Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.  She also represented Columbia at the Global Honors College at Waseda University in Tokyo last summer in the program’s pilot year.  She is currently studying abroad in Nepal.

Todd Nelson is a sophomore from Winston-Salem, NC who is pursuing a double major in Environmental Science and History. He envisions earning a Ph.D. in Environmental Public Health and then working as a policy advisor at the national level who will seek ways to decrease the public health risks associated with climate change.  Todd is a member of the Columbia Eco-Representatives, the Green Umbrella and is a member of Columbia’s Triathlon club team.

This is the first time that Columbia has ever had two Udall winners in the same year.