American University Student Kruttika Gopal Among Latest Group of Udall Scholars
Indian American Kruttika Gopal was the lone Indian American named among the 55 scholars announced as 2021 Udall Scholars. (udall.gov photo)
India-West Staff Reporter
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation May 7 announced its latest cohort of scholars, with Indian American Kruttika Gopal among the honorees.
A total of 55 students from 42 colleges and universities were selected as 2021 Udall Scholars, chosen from a 20-member independent review committee.
Scholars were selected based on their commitment to careers in the environment, Tribal public policy, or Native health care; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement.
Gopal, of Connecticut, studies at American University, majoring in environmental studies and minoring in political science.
She is a member of the Honors Program and the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, where she has conducted several research projects studying the impact of environmental racism on community health, her bio notes.
She aspires to work in environmental health policy so she can advocate for clean air for marginalized populations.
Gopal is the operations co-lead of AU’s Sunrise Movement, which fights for climate and environmental justice.
This summer, she is interning with the Children’s Environmental Health Network. In her free time, Gopal sings in an a cappella group, studies Indian classical music, and enjoys the outdoors, the bio notes.
This highly qualified class of Udall Scholars was selected from 416 candidates nominated by 187 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, the foundation noted in its release.
Each scholarship provides $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year of academic study. Since the program’s inception in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,788 Udall Scholarships totaling over $9.1 million and 1,169 Honorable Mentions. Fifty-five students were given honorable mentions in 2021.
The 2021 Udall Scholars will connect Aug. 3 to Aug. 6 for the annual Udall Scholar Orientation to meet one another and program alumni; learn more about the Udall legacy of public service; and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, Tribal health care, and governance.