Student Receives Udall Scholarship for Leadership in Environmental Issues

Student Meredith Bain is a 2018 recipient of the highly-regarded Udall Scholarship, an award that recognizes undergraduates for their leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment. 

Bain, a junior majoring in German studies and mathematics, is president of NC State’s chapter of the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps, a group that advocates for clean energy and sustainable solutions on college campuses. Under Bain’s leadership, the organization recently submitted a proposal to shift the campus’ electricity usage to renewables from fracked gas. 

Bain also serves as an executive committee student representative with the Sierra Club’s Capital Group and works as an activist with The Dogwood Alliance. In addition, she has been active with the Student Government Sustainability Department, participated in the Women of Welch Living and Learning Village, conducted undergraduate research, and tutored math for grades K-12 for over two years.

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 local municipal government. She plans to earn a law degree with a concentration in energy law and aims to reach a career goal of establishing renewables as North Carolina’s primary source of energy.

The Udall Scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources, according to the program’s website. This year, 50 Udall Scholars were selected from 437 candidates at 209 colleges and universities. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the recipient’s junior or senior year.

Bain is NC State’s 15th Udall Scholar. 

“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,” Bain says. “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.”

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