Northeastern is delighted to announce Amarachukwu “Amara” Ifeji CHHS’24 was named an Udall Scholar, while Benjamin Lanava COE’24 earned an Honorable Mention in this year’s competition. Each year since 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 55 scholarships and 55 honorable mentions to aspiring sophomores and juniors who carry on the legacy of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, champions for the environment and advocates for Native health care and Tribal public policy. This year’s Udall Scholars and Honorable Mentions represented the nation’s youth leaders in the fields, including 384 candidates nominated from 172 colleges and universities. Thirty-seven Scholars intend to pursue careers related to the environment; nine Native American/Alaska Native Scholars intend to pursue careers related to Tribal public policy; and nine Native American/Alaska Native Scholars intend to pursue careers related to Native health care.
Amara Ifeji CSSH’24, Political Science with minors in Environmental Studies and Philosophy
Mentors: Nathan Broaddus, Lustila Getty, Olivia Griset
Home State: Maine
From her humble roots as a Nigerian immigrant and first-generation student from Bangor, Maine, Amara began addressing systemic racism in her high school at 14. Seven years later, she’s helped to create and implement a multi-million dollar bill addressing climate education in Maine and serves as the Director of Policy at the Maine Environmental Education Association. Amara was one of four Scholars who were Honorable Mentions in 2022. Amara joins Amina Ly and Tyler Hall as Northeastern University’s third Udall recipient. She is also one of only three students selected as a Udall and Truman scholar this year. Read more about Amara here.
Benjamin Lanava COE’24, Environmental Engineering
Mentors: Annalisa Onnis-Hayden, Jessica Ormsby, Alina Dess
Home State: Massachusetts
Benjamin believes safe and clean access to water is a human right. Working tirelessly in the lab on plant-based solutions, Ben is aiding in solving the PFAS, highly toxic fluorinated “forever chemicals,” and for carbon sequestration efforts to stem climate change. This past year, Ben was awarded a PEAK Summit award to continue his research. In addition, he served as a campus director for the United Nations Millennium Fellowship, Vice President of the New England Water & Environment Association, and is a Design Lead with Engineers without Borders. The Udall Foundation recognized Ben as one of 55 honorable mentions for his efforts. Read more about Benjamin here.