Senior Abby Tennenbaum is the first College of Charleston student to be selected as a Udall Scholar, a recognition of her commitment to the environment. Tennenbaum, a political science major in the Honors College, will receive a scholarship for $5,000 and an opportunity to meet with policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields during an orientation in Arizona.
Tennenbaum leads the College’s undergraduate student organization for sustainability, Green CofC, and has interned for the college’s Office of Sustainability. Through these programs she has grown passionate about food systems and the interconnecting social and environmental degradation that food systems encompass. Her undergraduate research focuses on farm laborers in South Carolina, analyzing whether or not public perceptions of the “goodness” of small, local farming holds true.
“Abby has shown tremendous commitment to lightening the College of Charleston’s environmental footprint, particularly in the area of food systems,” says Seth Pritchard, biology professor and director of the undergraduate environmental studies minor. “Abby has also been a campus leader working to protect academic freedom and acting as an advocate for under-represented minority groups on campus. This is a tremendous honor for Abby as well as the College’s undergraduate Environmental Studies Program.”
The Udall Foundation selected 50 scholars from a pool of nearly 500 applicants, including two other College of Charleston students. The scholars were selected for their commitment to careers in the environment, American Indian health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; academic achievement; and record of public service.
“Political science is a great major choice for students passionate about the environment,” says Gibbs Knotts, professor and chair of the political science department at the College of Charleston. “We advocate an interdisciplinary approach to studying today’s environmental challenges and help our students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world policy problems. We offer a range of courses for students interested in the environment including environmental policy, international environmental politics, sustainability, and environmental geography.”
The College of Charleston’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards works directly with students to identify relevant awards, navigate complex application processes, and revise application materials. Since the inception of the Office, the number of national award recipients has grown rapidly.