Hava Blair’s “green” passions have helped her earn a little “green.” The Lawrence University junior has been named one of 80 national recipients of a $5,000 Udall Scholarship.
She was selected from among 585 candidates nominated by 274 institutions from 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Lawrence was the only Wisconsin college or university to have a 2012 Udall Scholar.
Presented by the Arizona-based Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, the scholarships are awarded to students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care.
“I’m passionate about developing sustainable food systems that incorporate the diversity of the natural world,” said Blair, a geology major from Jefferson who has been heavily involved in the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG) since arriving on campus in 2009. “Practicing and teaching sustainable agriculture has the potential to improve not only the food we eat, but the communities we live in and the economies in which we participate.”
As a Udall Scholar, Blair will participate in a four-day orientation Aug. 8-12 in Tucson, Ariz., where she will meet with environmental policymakers and community leaders as well as other scholarship recipients and program alumni.
“I’m excited to attend the summit with fellow Udall Scholars and engage in a dialogue about current environmental challenges and solutions,” said Blair. “The funds from this scholarship will help to support the work I am doing in the Lawrence and Fox Cities community. I’m very grateful for the recognition.”
In addition to her role of manager of SLUG, Blair helped launch Lawrence’s first beekeeping operation in 2011, tending to five beehives and more than 200,000 European honeybees. Last fall, Blair harvested 110 pounds of honey — about $700 worth — half of which was sold to Lawrence’s dining service and the rest sold to faculty and staff. The sales are used to support the garden and beekeeping operation.
Beyond the campus, Blair has been an active volunteer with COTS, Inc., Appleton’s temporary, transitional housing program and its innovative Riverview community garden project.
Blair is the fourth Lawrence student to receive an Udall Scholarship in the program’s 16-year history, joining Jacob Brenner (1999), Gustavo Setrini (2001), and Stephen Rogness (2003).
Founded in 1992, the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is one of five federal foundations established by Congress. Among the missions of the foundation is to increase awareness of the importance of the nation’s natural resources, identify critical environmental issues and provide educational outreach regarding environmental policy.
Lawrence University, "Environmental Interests Earn Hava Blair ’13 Udall Scholarship" (2012). Press Releases. 212.