University of Vermont

The Honors College

University of Vermont Udall Scholarship Award Winners:

  • 2013
  • Erick Crockenberg '14 (Honorable Mention)

  • 2012
  • Tad Cooke '14

  • 2011
  • Tyler Wilkinson-Ray '12
    Colin Arisman '13 (Honorable Mention)

  • 2010
  • Joanie Stultz '12 (Honorable Mention)

  • 2006
  • Kesha Ram '08
    Zach Ewell '07

    Erick Crockenberg '14, Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention

    Erick Crockenberg

    UVM student Erick Crockenberg ’14 received Honorable Mention status in the 2013 Udall Scholarship competition. Crockenberg has been a leader and a change-maker on the UVM campus and in the Burlington community when it comes to implementing energy efficient systems. He, along with current undergraduate student Tad Cooke ’14, have submitted a proposal to the city detailing a plan to repurpose the defunct Moran Power Plant into an energy net-zero building that would house local businesses and non-profits. The building would be run using biomass energy produced from food waste the businesses within the building create, as well as through local urban waste.

    Crockenberg has been rethinking how energy produced from biomass (in a process called anaerobic digestion) can make businesses operate in a more energy efficient manner in 2011. That year, he and Cooke were awarded a Public Research and Creative Endeavors Scholarship (the award is now the Simon Summer Research Fellowship) through UVM’s Office of Undergraduate Research to pursue research on energy capture with existing compost management at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne. They found a way to convert the energy waste the farm produced daily to power other farm activities (such as growing food in a greenhouse during the winter).

    Creating a system that would foster increased agricultural energy independence while also enabling year-round cold climate food production has huge potential significance for local farmers, businesses and universities. Since then, Crockenberg has worked to implement projects to use and reuse organic materials to reduce the cost of energy at UVM. In 2012 Crockenberg and Cooke received first place in UVM’s Clean Energy Fund competition for their proposal to research and then build a carbon-negative, compost heated production and research greenhouse on UVM’s Horticultural Farm.

    On campus, Crockenberg has been active in areas beyond energy efficiency. A Charlotte, Vt. native, Crockenberg is a co-founder of the Ecological Design Summit, and he is also a wilderness TREK leader and a UVM Outing Club leader. He self-designed his ecological food and energy systems major, and he is currently a renewable energy policy intern at the Vermont State House. After graduation, he intends to create a non-profit redevelopment firm that works with communities to implement projects that repurpose older, under-used spaces into structures that integrate local food and renewable energy production projects (similar to his Moran Plant proposal).

    Tad Cooke '14, Udall Scholar

    Tad Cooke

    Tad Cooke’ 14 was named a 2012 Udall Scholar. A Charlotte, Vermont native and a sustainable food and energy systems major, Tad has worked to fundamentally rethink the way organic material has been used and reused in the way that society produces food and energy. In 2012 Tad, along with fellow student Erick Crockenberg ’14, received first place in UVM's Clean Energy Fund competition for their proposal to research and then build a carbon-negative, compost heated production and research greenhouse on UVM’s Miller Farm. This would be the first greenhouse of its kind in the country. Tad also helped create UVM’s Ecological Desgin summit, and are also the university’s lead project coordinators on an EPA P3 grant, which will help them further fund the research on heat system technology for the greenhouse operation.

    Tad got a jump on his work in 2011 when he was awarded a Public Research and Civic Endeavors Scholarship through UVM’s Office of Undergraduate Research. Using this grant, he began conducting research on energy capture with existing compost management at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne and found that capturing the energy given off by compost can create a viable energy source. Farmers in New England can use this energy to lower their energy bills and to heat buildings that allow for a longer growing season.

    On campus, Tad has also been a wilderness TREK leader as well as a trip leader and UVM Kayak Club treasurer. He is a volunteer EMT on Colchester Rescue, and has volunteered for Burlington’s Farm2School Program, as well as on Bread & Butter Farm. After graduating from UVM, Tad plans to continue his research in graduate school while pursuing a degree in community development and applied economics. With his education, he intends to create a company that designs self-sustaining food and energy systems which will create healthy foods while producing the energy that can be used to run the system.

    2011 Udall Scholars

    Tyler Wilkinson-Ray '12

    Tyler Wilkinson-Ray

    Tyler Wilkinson-Ray '12 was named a 2011 Udall Scholar. Wilkinson-Ray, a Richmond, Vt. native and a double global studies and political science major, has been one of the most active student leaders at UVM. He's immersed himself in UVM food and environmental organizations, with service as president of the Garden Club, a campus representative of the environmental co-op, treasurer of Common Ground Farm and a member of Slow Food. In 2009, he organized the eco-block, the largest ever environmental takeover of the Student Government Association. As an SGA senator he also led the initiative to create a student vision for the university.

    He's also completed independent research throughout the state of Vermont, where he's traveled to learn more about how policy affects farmers. After graduating from UVM, Wilkinson-Ray plans to pursue a degree in law as well as a master's in public policy. With this education, he hopes to work on policy that would enable a sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural system on the national level.

    Colin Arisman '12

    Colin Arisman

    Colin Arisman '12 has been given Honorable Mention recognition in the 2011 Udall Scholarship competition. As a natural resources major and an Honors College student, he has been active in working on issues related to indigenous populations and natural resource extraction abroad. While participating in a service learning trip to the Dominican Republic in 2010, Arisman had the opportunity to spend time in Batey Libertad with a group of Hatian migrant workers. While there, he learned that the Batey community lacked access to clean water, so when he returned to UVM, he organized a fundraiser and donated all the proceeds to build a pipe from an aquifer to the village. Currently, Arisman is living in Ecuador and working with local non-profit groups on issues related to resource extraction. He is also doing research on promoting sustainable farming practices in the Intag Cloud Forest region, a project on which he will base his senior honors thesis. When he graduates, he plans on joining the Peace Corps and pursuing a master's in environmental anthropology so he can continue to work with indigenous populations on environmental and natural resource extraction issues.

    Colin is a Marshfield, Vt. native.

    2010 Udall Scholar

    Joanie Stultz

    Joanie Stultz '12

    Joanie Stultz has big plans for the way we understand waste management.

    The environmental engineering major from Kent, Washington, sees waste two ways: either it's useful (recyclable, compostable), or it's not. What needs to happen, she says, is we need to create a system that allows us to get more use out of the things we throw away. By implementing more efficient technologies to deal with wastewater and composting, more of our waste will be useful. That means our society can take an important step toward becoming more sustainable.

    It's a big goal, but these big goals and her determination to build up the skills achieve them is why Stultz was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2010 Morris K. Udall Scholarship competition. This national award is the most prestigious undergraduate award available for current sophomores and juniors who are pursuing careers focused on environmental or Native American issues.

    Stultz has spent the past two years at the University of Vermont developing her ability to pursue a career in sustainable technology. Her interests lay in engineering new waste management technologies, specifically related to wastewater and composting, that she believes will enable communities to shift their industrial waste infrastructure into a zero-waste system.

    While she's been working toward becoming a sustainable waste management expert in the classroom, Stulz has been busy working with and organizing UVM students to live more sustainably. She's a Resident Advisor in the Greenhouse and a member of both Engineers without Borders and the Vermont Campus Energy Group. She was also one of UVM's organizers for Powershift '09, and she volunteered with Growing Power, a non-profit that helps develop community food systems in Milwaukee, Wis., as part of an alternative spring break trip in 2009.

    The Udall acknowledges students who want to pursue an environmentally related career, have succeeded academically, and have stood out as strong student leaders on campus or in the community. The award was created in 1992 and are named for Morris Udall, a former U.S. congressman from Arizona, and his brother Stuart Udall, former Interior Secretary from Arizona.

    Stultz is UVM's first Udall award winner since 2006. She is also the first student from the College of Engineering and Mathematics to receive the award. She is among 80 scholars and 50 honorable mentions to be acknowledged.

    2006 Udall Scholars

    Kesha Ram

    Kesha Ram

    Kesha Ram, an Honors College senior from California, has been named a Truman Scholar for the coming year. She is the first Truman winner at UVM since 1995. Ram, recently elected SGA president, is a student in the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources as well as the College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a double major in natural resources and political science. The highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship - approximately 80 are awarded nationwide - provides $30,000 to juniors planning to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in public service. Winners also receive leadership training, graduate school counseling, preferential admission to premier graduate institutions and internship opportunities with federal agencies. Prior to her winning the Truman, Kesha was selected as a McNair Scholar during the summer of 2006 in recognition for her involvement in campus activities.

    As a McNair Scholar, Kesha participated in summer research, working on a project entitled, Preventing Environmental Injustice: A Tale of Two Cities. Last year, as a junior, Kesha received a $5000 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, the premier undergraduate environmental scholarship, becoming one of 80 students from 59 colleges across the country to win the award. She, together with Zachary Ewell, were the first-ever Udall winners from UVM. In addition to her scholarship awards, Kesha spent the fall of 2006 in an internship in Washington, DC, in the office of Senator Diane Feinstein, D-California.

    Prior to her election as this year's SGA president, she served as a senator to the Student Government Association during the 2005-06 academic year. Presently, she serves as a member of the UVM President's Commission on Racial Diversity, as well as the student representative on the UVM Board of Trustees Executive Committee. Capping off her remarkable year, Kesha is the 2007 student life award winner, and recipient of the Environment Citizen Award for her outstanding commitment to the environment.

    Zachary Ewell

    Zachary Ewell - Udall Scholar

    Zachary Ewell, an Honors College senior from Shelburne, Vermont, majoring in Environmental Studies, was a recipient of a 2006 Udall Scholarship. The Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship is the premier undergraduate environmental scholarship, with the winners selected on the basis of their commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy, leadership potential, and academic achievement. Zachary joined a group of 80 students from 59 colleges across the country in winning the award. He, together with Kesha Ram, were the first-ever Udall winners from UVM.

    Zachary received a $5000 award from the Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation, authorized by congress in 1992 to honor the former congressman's legacy of public service. After hearing of his selection, Zachary said in an email from Mexico, where he was participating in a UVM study abroad program, "In addition to the personal honor and the recognition for the UVM Environmental Program, I am particularly grateful for the honor this gives to the student-run Slade Hall Environmental Housing Co-op."

    Zachary credits Slade for exposing him to experiences related to local foods, community and advocacy that comprised the bulk of his application. In addition to his Udall scholarship award, Zachary has been selected as a Vermont Community Service Scholar for 2007-08. This scholarship is for Vermont students who have shown dedication to academics and community service, and is the only student-run scholarship program at UVM. As a Community Service Scholar, Zachary will be expected to complete 80 hours of service and active participation in a community service program, displaying and developing his leadership skills in carrying out the mission of the VCSS which is to strengthen connections between the University and Vermont communities.

    Last modified May 14 2013 01:12 PM