Devin Gladden, a Fordham College at Rose Hill junior, has won Fordham University’s first ever Morris Udall Scholarship.
The Udall prize, named for Arizona Congressman Morris K. Udall, is widely considered the highest honor an undergraduate can earn in the environmental science field. For Gladden, it’s an opportunity to tap into a vast network of like-minded policy and science professionals when he attends the organization’s orientation in Tucson in the later summer.
It’s a direction Gladden is eminently prepared for, having spent this past semester observing the interplay of humans and nature in Tanzania, where he is studying. As an example of how actions in the United States impact far away lands, Gladden, an International Political Economy major, noted that he has watched women in Tanzania harvest seaweed from the beaches for use in products made by multinational corporations like L’Oreal.
“I wanted to emphasize the need of the U.S. to understand its global role in environmental issues,” he said. “This emphasizes America’s role as an environmental leader.”
Gladden joins 80 students from 64 colleges and universities (selected from a field of 510 candidates) as a 2008 Udall Scholar. He’ll be returning to the United States at the end of the May, but before he departs for his orientation for the Udall Scholarship, he will head to Princeton University to attend the Public Policy & International Affairs Junior Summer Institute. The institute is an intensive seven-week summer program that focuses on preparing students for graduate programs in public and international affairs and careers as policy professionals, public administrators and other leadership roles in public service.
Gladden’s award comes on the heels of news that ten Fordham students have also been awarded Fulbright Scholarships, breaking a previous record of eight winners. John R. Kezel, Ph.D., director of the Campion Institute of Prestigious Fellowships, said that he felt the award is recognition of Fordham’s commitment to ecology and the environment, as well as the institute’s motto, “Attain the prizes your worth deserves.”
“We have developed wonderful collaborations with the deans, various departments, and faculty friends,” Kezel said. “With such enthusiastic support, our students are now getting the national and international recognition that their “worth deserves.”