Two University of Montana students recently received prestigious national scholarships. Kim Ledger won a Goldwater Scholarship for science research and Mara Menahan won an Udall Scholarship.
Ledger, a junior majoring in biology with an emphasis in ecology, won the Goldwater Scholarship for her research titled “Biogeographic Investigation of Exotic Invasion.” Her study will take her to Hungary this summer. Ledger plans to pursue a doctorate in ecology and continue her research in community ecology and species interactions.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded 271 scholarships to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the U.S. for the 2013-14 school year. Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,100 mathematics, science and engineering students who are nominated by faculty members from colleges and universities nationwide. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to $7,500 per year.
The Goldwater Scholarship, honoring U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. It is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
Menahan, a junior majoring in environmental studies and geography and minoring in climate change studies, received $5,000 as a 2013 Udall Scholar. Scholars are selected on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy, as well as their leadership potential and academic achievement. The review committee awarded 50 scholars and 50 honorable mentions. Menahan hopes to start a career in urban planning with a focus on mitigating climate change while creating livable communities.
Menahan will meet with other Udall Scholars Aug. 7-11 in Tucson, Ariz., to receive her award and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance.