Two NC State juniors selected by Udall Foundation as 2018 Scholar, Honorable Mention

Meredith Bain was recently selected as North Carolina State University’s 2018 Udall Scholar and Thomas Reed was selected as NC State’s 2018 Udall Honorable Mention.

The Udall Foundation awards its highly-regarded undergraduate Udall Scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Natives committed to issues related to health care and tribal public policy and to students committed to issues related to the environment. Selections were made by a 16-member independent review committee on the basis of leadership potential, a record of public service, and academic achievement. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the recipient’s junior or senior year; both Scholars and Honorable Mentions gain access to a listserv and directory of program alumni. The Udall Foundation has distributed 1,624 scholarships since its first awards in 1996.

Bain is NC State’s 15th Udall Scholar; its 14th recipient, Karli Moore, was named in 2014 for the health care track and its 13th recipient, Caroline Hansley, was named in 2013 for the environment track. Aaron Sugar was named in 2014 as an Honorable Mention for the environment track.

This year, 50 Udall Scholars were selected from 437 candidates at 209 colleges and universities, and 50 sophomores and juniors were awarded Honorable Mentions. Eligible institutions are allowed to nominate, or endorse, up to eight students each year. Sophomore Belton Moore and junior Michaela Bate were the other two outstanding students endorsed this year after applying for the campus nomination for endorsement through NC State’s Fellowship Advising Office (FAO).

Bain, 21, a junior from Charlotte, NC, is majoring in both mathematics and German studies. She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and came to NC State as a Goodnight Scholar. She is the president of the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps, which recently submitted a proposal to shift the campus’ electricity usage to renewables from fracked gas. In addition to serving as an executive committee student representative with the Sierra Club’s Capital Group and working as an activist with The Dogwood Alliance, Bain is an executive with the Student Government Sustainability Department, was a participant in the Women of Welch Living and Learning Village, conducted research last summer with Professor Dmitry Zenkov in the Department of Mathematics, and has tutored math for grades K-12 for over two years. She was also one of this year’s four Truman Scholarship endorsees. This summer Bain will travel to Ingolstadt, Germany, where she will use statistical programming to model the city’s carbon dioxide emissions during an internship with the municipal government within the Department of Climate Protection, Public Health, and Environment. She plans to earn a JD with a concentration in energy law and aims to reach a career goal of establishing renewables as NC’s primary source of energy.

“Learning about [Stewart] Udall’s work reinforced my sense of the urgency of promoting renewable energy, but it also encouraged me to see the extent to which renewable technologies have progressed since [his] time,” said Bain. “He spent his career advocating for the research to develop the affordable solar and wind technologies on the market today, and it is awesome to think that the work I want to do will build upon his success by implementing those technologies.”

Reed, 21, a junior from Stallings, NC, is majoring in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology. He came to NC State as a Carson Scholar and a Fred J. Epstein Award honoree. Reed is the current president and former vice president of the campus’ Herpetology Club and is a budding photographer of wildlife, especially reptiles and amphibians. He is an Eagle Scout and has been both an EcoVillage Mentor and Ambassador; Reed is also a member of The Leopold Wildlife Club and has participated in The Orianne Society and The North Carolina Herpetological Society. This summer he will assist an NC State alumnus conducting research on native frog species in Nanjing, China.

“I am extremely interested in outreach and enjoy teaching the public about reptiles, amphibians, and conservation,” said Reed. “I also work within wildlife research to provide records on wildlife around the country.”

Chancellor Randy Woodson surprised Bain in-person with the news of her Udall Scholarship selection, and Dr. Tiffany Kershner, adjunct teaching assistant professor of anthropology and FAO director, surprised Reed with news of his Udall Honorable Mention selection.

The 2018 Udall Scholars will assemble in Tucson, Arizona August 7-12, 2018 to meet others in the cohort, past Scholars, and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance.

Previous Udall Scholars from NC State have also been recognized as Boren Awards recipients, a Critical Language Scholarship recipient, a Hollings NOAA Scholarship recipient, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant recipients, a Presidential Management Fellow, and a Scoville Fellow. NC State’s previous Udall Honorable Mentions have been recognized as Udall Scholarship recipients and an entrepreneur.

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Click here for video of NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson surprising Bain with news of her Udall Scholar selection.
Click here for a photo of FAO director Tiffany Kershner surprising Reed with news of his Udall Honorable Mention selection.

Photography credit: Alsace Gallop/Fellowship Advising Office

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The Fellowship Advising Office (FAO) helps NC State’s undergraduate students, graduate students, and alums learn of and apply for nationally competitive and prestigious awards. These awards fund a wide range of opportunities, and many are connected to undergraduate and graduate degree programs or internships, overseas opportunities, and independent projects.

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