LAWRENCE — Tomas Green, a junior from Lynnwood, Washington, is the latest University of Kansas student to earn a Udall Scholarship for his work in environmental policy and sustainability efforts on and off campus.
Green is majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in public policy.
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation awards 60 Udall Scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or the environment.
The scholarship honors the legacies of the Udalls, two former Arizona congressmen whose careers had an effect on American Indian self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. Scholars receive awards of up to $7,000 each, access to the Udall Alumni Network and a four-day scholar orientation in Tucson, Arizona.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little called Green to inform him that he had been selected and wished him well as he continues his academic and professional career.
“I offer congratulations to Tomas for his achievements as a leader at KU and for his selection as a Udall Scholar,” Gray-Little said. “We look forward to following his upcoming career and the positive contributions he will make in our society. I know he will make his university proud.”
This academic year, students from KU have received Rhodes, two Goldwater, Truman, Schwarzman and Udall scholarship awards.
Green has served as the policy and development director on the student body president’s executive staff, and in that role, he has worked to raise additional student fee money for sustainability initiatives on campus. The fees helped to fund an energy dashboard program and helped the KU Center for Sustainability focus on behavior changes in research labs that will lead to energy savings.
He said he was overjoyed when the chancellor informed him he had earned the scholarship.
“This is incredibly exciting,” Green said. “You get connected with a wide variety of talented people who are interested in the same things you are and are going the same places, too.”
He has traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with federal representatives on bipartisan climate policy efforts. He volunteered with the Citizens Climate Lobby. He also wrote a 60-page paper that was published in the Journal of Engineering and Public Policy on the topic of renewable fuels technology, focusing on political barriers.
“When you show passion in these areas and a genuine interest in bipartisan solutions, people are typically very excited to work with you,” Green said.
He plans to attend graduate school and study science and technology policy, after which he plans to move to Washington, D.C., and begin a career in public service, getting involved specifically in the area of federal energy policy.