Ganeshan and Wilkes named 2017 Udall Scholars

headshots of two women students

Udall2017 teaser.jpgUGA added two new Udall Scholars to its ranks this year as third-year students Shreya Ganeshan and Elizabeth Wilkes were honored for their leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to the environment.

Each year, the Udall Foundation awards about 60 scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for their efforts related to Native American nations or their work in environmental advocacy and policy.

Ganeshan, from Johns Creek, is majoring in economics and statistics and plans to pursue a doctorate in clean energy innovation and deployment. Wilkes, from Atlanta, is majoring in geography and ecology and plans to pursue a master's degree in either food policy or agricultural and environmental studies. Both are Honors students and Foundation Fellows.

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Ganeshan is a campus tour guide through the UGA Visitors Center, executive director of the Roosevelt Institute at UGA, director of UGAvotes, adviser for the Lunchbox Garden Project and an emerging fellow for energy and environment for Roosevelt Institute national. She was a research assistant on the UGA geography department's Seattle Project and on a Leiden University aquaculture project in the Netherlands, a Vinson Institute policy fellow, an energy intern for the UGA Office of Sustainability and an Honors in Washington intern at the State Department's Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

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Wilkes is currently a research intern with the national Food and Water Watch and a national student representative on the Real Food Challenge steering committee. She mentored high school students through the Young Urban Farmers Program, volunteered on the UGA Office of Sustainability's zero waste and compost teams, was executive director of the Lunchbox Garden Project and presented at the Association of American Geographers meeting and the Mississippi Sustainable Food Summit.

Emphasis added in the above. Two wonderful examples of UGA students combining Franklin majors with one from another UGA school or college to create a credential that meets their ambitions to make a difference. They are so many ways to go about it and we encourage all students to find theirs. And the Udall scholarships are among some of the most prestigious in the country. Congratulations to these young women as they head into their senior year.

Image: Shreya Ganeshan, left, and Elizabeth Wilkes. Photos by Wingate Down for UGA.