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3 Indian Americans Among 55 College Sophomores and Juniors Named Udall Scholars

3 Indian Americans Among 55 College Sophomores and Juniors Named Udall Scholars

  • Additionally, Aishwarya Devarajan of the College of the Atlantic in New Jersey is one of 55 students who were awarded honorable mentions.

3 Indian Americans are among 55 college sophomores and juniors chosen as this year’s Udall Scholars, the Udall Foundation announced May 13. Scholars including Sonam Rustagi, Muskan Walia and Sahil K. Inaganti were selected from among 382 candidates “on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, tribal public policy, or Native health care; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement,” the Foundation said.

Each scholarship provides $7,000 for the Scholar’s junior or senior year of academic study. Scholars will connect August 3-7 for the annual Udall Scholar Orientation to meet one another and program alumni; learn more about the Udall legacy of public service; and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance.

Since the program’s inception in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,788 scholarships totaling over $9.1 million and 1,169 honorable mentions

Sahil K. Inaganti is a junior at Tulane University pursuing majors in environmental studies, public health, and political economy with a minor in urban studies. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Inaganti is passionate about addressing issues of environmental injustice that involve public health. He has interned at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic where he analyzed emissions in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley and at the Alliance for Affordable Energy where he researched the impacts of inequitable energy access on public health. At Tulane, Inaganti is president of the School of Public Health’s Student Government and is part of the Student Fossil Fuel Divestment Committee. He is also a trip leader for Tulane Outdoor Adventures where he leads students on outdoor trips across the Gulf South.

Sonam Rustagi is economics and environmental sciences major who is passionate about environmental justice and food systems. She is especially passionate about utilizing carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change and bolster the resilience of global food systems. Currently, she serves as the president of Cultivate Columbus, a student organization at Ohio State University that focuses on promoting food justice through community gardens and sustainability education. Her undergraduate thesis focuses on incentivizing regenerative agriculture through payments for ecosystem services. Outside of her professional and academic commitments, she enjoys trying new restaurants, exploring parks, and reading.

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Muskan Walia is a second-year student at the University of Utah, studying math and philosophy. She founded a campaign to commit her local school district to a 100% clean electricity transition by 2030 and has assisted with the expansion of local clean energy campaigns in Utah school districts. She is also a leader and mentor at U-YES where she supports the development of a new youth-based climate justice curriculum. Her experiences have cultivated a passion and commitment to community building, climate education, and environmental justice.

Additionally, Aishwarya Devarajan of the College of the Atlantic in New Jersey is among 55 students who were awarded honorable mentions by the Foundation.

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