Three UGA Honors students-a record number-were among 80 students nationwide who were awarded 2012 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarships. The $5,000 scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors pursuing careers with an environmental or Native American public policy focus.
The recipients bring the university’s total of Udall Scholars to 10 since 2003. This year’s winners are Heather Hatzenbuhler, a junior from Lawrenceville who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental ethics and management; Malavika Rajeev, a junior from Tifton who is pursuing a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree in ecology; and Theresa Stratmann, a junior from Irmo, S.C., who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in ecology.
Juniors Ian Karra of Roswell and Rosemary Gay of Douglasville each received honorable mentions in the national scholarship competition. Karra is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in economics and Spanish. Gay is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agroecology and sustainable development (Honors interdisciplinary studies).
“Once again, UGA students have proven that they are competitive with the best students at any American institution,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “The Udall Scholarship recognizes potential in one of the most critical areas facing our world in the 21st century, and I am proud that UGA students are being recognized for their good work and commitment to environmental issues.”
The Morris K. Udall and Stephen L. Udall Foundation administers the scholarship program, which was established by Congress in 1992 to honor U.S. Rep. Morris Udall’s 30 years of service. In 2009, his older brother, Stewart, was included in the foundation recognition for his service as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
“The Udall Foundation identifies future leaders to help preserve and protect our national and natural heritage,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of UGA’s Honors Program. “I am very proud of Heather, Malavika and Theresa, who are very worthy of being named Udall Scholars. I am also pleased that Ian and Rosemary received honorable mentions, because they too are very deserving of recognition. All of these students are inspiring, and I expect great things from them in the future.”
Hatzenbuhler has taken advantage of her academic experiences at UGA to help prepare for a public service career in environmental justice.
Last fall, a public policy proposal she wrote addressing clean energy improvements, especially for residential homes, led to her current involvement with the Athens Department of Housing and Economic Development to implement her
On campus, Rajeev serves as co-president of the Ecology Club and co-president of the UGArden, a student-run community garden promoting the benefits of sustainable gardening.
She also is involved with Real Food UGA, a student group that supports local food purchasing for campus dining halls.
Stratmann, who was also recently named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar, currently is working on two conservation biology projects integrating mathematics and fieldwork. One project is a faculty-guided inquiry on understanding the process of extinction and the other is her own inquiry to help conserve the federally threatened bog turtle.