Carleton junior Courtney Dufford has been awarded the Udall Scholarship, making her one of only 50 individuals to receive the award nationwide. Dufford, a political science and environmental studies major, was selected from a pool of 488 candidates nominated by 230 colleges and universities.
The Udall Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding students that have demonstrated a commitment to careers related to environmental issues or Native American tribal policy and health care, provides up to $5,000 dollars for each scholarship recipient’s junior or senior year. Dufford, along with her fellow scholarship winners, will travel to Tucson, Arizona this August to receive her award and meet leading policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance.
“I’m excited to meet individuals who are passionate about creating new and innovative environmental policies,” said Dufford, speaking about the planned reception in Tucson. “ I want to learn about what strides others have made on their campuses, and think about how I can productively continue this activism here at Carleton and beyond.”
Dufford was nominated because of her extensive involvement in a number of sustainability initiatives on campus, particularly involving waste management. “My interest in waste management began during my freshman year when I created a short documentary with the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group on the disposal processes for each of Carleton’s three waste streams,” she said.
Since then, Dufford has worked alongside the custodial department as a Sustainability Assistant (STA) in order to develop a new, standardized waste system in academic and administrative buildings. She also serves as one of the co-leaders of Carleton’s Take Back the Tap group, which is working to eliminate bottled water on Carleton’s campus, expand Carleton’s water infrastructure, and raise awareness about water privatization in the United States and abroad.
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, which is responsible for the scholarships, is one of only five independent federal foundations founded by Congress. Since 1996, the foundation has awarded 1,364 scholarships totaling $6,820,000. Each year, around 50 scholarships are awarded to sophomore and junior level college students. Dufford is the first Carleton student to win the Udall Scholarship since 2005.