Udall Scholarships Awarded
Blair Braverman '11 and Sarah Sorenson '11 both won scholarships from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation on April 8. The juniors, both majoring in environmental policy, are two of 80 students out of a pool of 537 to receive the scholarships based on their commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy.
Udall scholars exhibit strong leadership potential, academic achievement and a dedication to "educating a new generation of Americans to preserve and protect their national heritage," according to the Foundation's website. Each year, the Foundation awards 80 scholarships of $5,000 and 50 honorable mentions of $350 to college students in their sophomore and junior years. The Foundation seeks out future leaders in all environmental fields, ranging from engineering to education.
Braverman and Sorenson will each receive up to $5,000 in scholarship money for their senior year of college and are invited to attend the Udall conference in Tucson, Ariz. from August 4 through 8.
Braverman has studied environmental issues in Alaska, Norway and Namibia. In her application for the scholarship, she addressed the importance of writing in environmental activism. "I explained how the tools I'm learning in writing classes are directly applicable to a career in environmental studies, how important it is that an activist be able to communicate effectively and how art and science overlap far more than is usually acknowledged," she said.
Sorenson has worked with the Environmental Advisory Group and works on the College's sustainability initiatives. She also serves as the co-president of the Environmental Coalition. Last spring, Sorenson was hired as the Green Graduation program coordinator and is currently leading an initiative to reduce the use of bottled water.
Braverman's interests lie in writing, the Arctic and environmental toxicology. She weaves the three together to convey the need for environmental awareness to others. This semester, Braverman is part of a campaign to change the way Maine regulates toxic chemicals in consumer products, as well as environmental justice. She said that these conflicts are "relevant to today's situation in the Arctic, as the Arctic is saturated with toxic substances, and native people are being harmed directly."
After graduation, Braverman wants to attend graduate school but would also love exploring toxicology issues in the Arctic.
"Whatever I end up doing, I'll write about it," she said.