Juniors Andrew Cushing, Teona Williams Named Udall Scholars

Story posted April 19, 2011

Andrew Cushing ’12 and Teona Williams ’12  have been selected as 2011 Udall Scholars.

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation’s scholarship program recognizes students who are environmental leaders in their communities and on their college campuses.

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Andrew Cushing '12 and Teona Williams '12

Cushing and Williams are among 80 students from 61 colleges and universities selected to receive the scholarship, which provides up to $5,000 for the recipient’s junior or senior year.

In his winning application, Cushing, of Piermont and Grafton, N.H., and a former Psi Upsilon Fellow, wrote about his goal of becoming a historic preservationist and developing policies to support the incorporation of sustainable solutions and practices into historic preservation efforts.

“By adapting and restoring historic buildings, we can lessen the environmental impact of new construction while bolstering community identity and maintaining the architectural fabric of our built landscape,” says Cushing, a coordinate major in environmental studies and history, and an earth and oceanographic minor.

“I know that the field of historic preservation can be seen as regulatory and elitist — I have no interest in propounding that myth —instead I want to work towards a more sustainable and inclusive method of preserving our architectural heritage.”

Williams, an environmental studies major and Africana studies minor, wrote about the research she has undertaken as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate and Psi U Fellow, examining the relationship between African Americans and the environment, and her goal of becoming a history professor specializing in environmental history and teaching at a historically black college.

“I became interested in the environment when I was 17,”  says Williams, who is from Forestville, Md.

“In my human geography class we watched An Inconvenient Truth, and the first thing I thought was how would climate change effect my community if they aren't even aware of it? Since that day I knew I would be interested in working to bridge the gap between the environment and social justice.”

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intending to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to Native American students pursuing tribal policy or health care careers.

The 2011 Udall Scholars will assemble August 3-7, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, to receive their awards and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance.

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