Nominating outstanding students for nationally-competitive scholarships and fellowships is one way to showcase the world-class undergraduate experience at Texas A&M. Not only do the winners in these competitions receive valuable support for their educational expenses, but they also join professional networks that will continue to open doors throughout their careers. But a student does not have to win a competition to realize the value of the national fellowships application process. The applications for these awards ask students to reflect on their ambitions and how they are building knowledge, skills, and experience related to following their dreams. Students report that the application is a truly clarifying experience.
One of the awards that LAUNCH: National Fellowships serves as a nominating official for is the Udall Scholarship. This award, from the Morris K. & Stuart L. Udall Foundation, recognizes top students planning careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care. Students who are selected will receive scholarships of up to $7000 and join a community of scholars whose dedication to sustainable public policy honors the legacy of the Arizona congressmen.
We are proud to announce the nomination of three TAMU students for the 2019 Udall Scholarship competition: Courtney Bartlett, Megan Dawkins, and Grace Vielleux.
Courtney Bartlett ‘21 is an ecological restoration and forestry double major from Houston, Texas. She has undertaken research on bioluminesce in Galveston and served as a teaching intern for Dr. Carol Loopstra and Dr. William Rogers. Courtney serves as Vice President for the student guild of Society for Ecological Restoration, Treasurer for the TAMU Range Club, and is lead coordinator in a Post Oak Savannah restoration project along White Creek on the TAMU campus. In the summer of 2019, she will be interning with TAMU faculty to extract and analyze DNA from Loblolly pines in order to breed for drought resistance and water efficiency. Courtney plans to pursue a Ph.D. in ecological restoration and ultimately hopes to teach at the university level.
Megan Dawkins ’19 is a mechanical engineering major with a minor in Spanish from Lakeway, Texas. Through her research on solar cells with Dr. Ying Li, electric utility internships focused on energy storage, and in an international engineering experience designing layouts for solar farms in Santiago, Chile, Megan has been preparing herself to address the challenges that will need to be overcome to incorporate clean energy solutions for a sustainable future in the U.S. and around the world. Megan has served as a Sophomore Advisor in the Honors Housing Community, is a member of the Texas A&M Cycling Team, a founding chapter member for Engineers for a Sustainable World, and was a competitor in several campus entrepreneurial and inventor competitions, earning second place in the 2016 Aggies Invent challenge. Megan was also awarded the K. R. Ramamani Undergraduate Thesis Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2018. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, developing expertise in distributed energy resource integration while performing cutting-edge research in solar energy.
Grace Vielleux ‘21 is a wildlife & fisheries science major with a focus in wildlife ecology and conservation from Cedar Park, Texas. Grace has pursued her passion for the outdoors through Howdy Farm, the TAMU Wildlife Society, and Texas A&M Students Serving Scouts. She has pursued undergraduate research with Dr. Jason Martina and Dr. Jessica Light’s lab focused on conservation. Grace has also undertaken fieldwork trapping Nelson’s Pocket mouse and Sage Dunebrush lizards, as well as a fieldwork internship with an environmental consultant. She plans to pursue graduate education in environmental and forest sciences, and plans a career working to protect natural ecosystems around the world through research and field work.
Since 1996, Texas A&M has had six Udall Scholars and two Honorable Mentions. The most recent Udall Scholar was Victoria Easton ‘15, who was the first TAMU Udall Scholar selected in the Tribal Public Policy category.
For more information about the Udall Scholarship see http://udall.gov.
To read more about how LAUNCH: National Fellowships helps prepare outstanding students to compete for nationally-competitive awards such as the Udall Scholarship with the generous support of the Association of Former Students, please visit http://tx.ag/NatlFellows.