Campus News

Honors student named recipient of Udall Scholarship

Muktha Natrajan
Muktha Natrajan

Honors student named recipient of Udall Scholarship

Muktha Natrajan, an Honors student at UGA, has received a 2010 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarship. This national award recognizes sophomores and juniors who are pursuing careers focused on environmental or Native American issues.

Natrajan, a third-year student from Martinez, was among a group of 80 Udall Scholars, and is the sixth UGA student to receive the scholarship. She is pursuing a combined bachelor’s/master’s program in which she will earn a bachelor of science degree in genetics and a master of public health degree in environmental health science.

Stephen Pettigrew, a third-year Honors student from Alpharetta, is one of 50 students to receive an honorable mention in the scholarship competition. He is pursuing a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in history.

“A sustainable university acts as a living laboratory where sustainability is researched, taught, tested and constantly refined,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “Muktha Natrajan and Stephen Pettigrew demonstrate UGA’s commitment to sustainability and excellence in education daily through their class work, research and environmental advocacy. Their recognition by the Udall Foundation is further evidence of their dedication to UGA and the environment.”

The $5,000 scholarships are administered by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, which was created in 1992 by the U.S. Congress to recognize Morris Udall’s
30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last year, Congress expanded the foundation to honor the legacy of former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, his older brother, who died in March.

Natrajan, also a recipient of the university’s Foundation Fellowship and a 2009 Goldwater Scholar, has been conducting stem cell research in the laboratory of Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Steven Stice since her freshman year. She also participated in New York University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

With interests in environmental and ecological issues, Natrajan has spearheaded efforts for campus sustainable solutions through the Go Green Alliance, a coalition of UGA environmental groups. As an executive council member and grants committee chair, she has written several proposals for locally and nationally competitive grants.

After graduation, Natrajan plans to enter a Ph.D. program in neuroscience focused on toxicology.