Lauren Horning received the 2013 Morris K. Udall Scholarship
Campus activist awarded prestigious environmental scholarship
Lauren Horning ’15 is fascinated by the way humans affect the environment and has dedicated herself to ensuring that this impact is positive.
In recognition of her efforts, Horning received the 2013 Morris K. Udall Scholarship, a $5,000 tuition prize awarded annually to sophomore and junior college students committed to careers in the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care. Horning was selected from a pool of nearly 500 applicants to receive the prestigious scholarship.
Robert East, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the environmental studies program, nominated Horning for the award. “The Morris K. Udall Scholarship is prestigious because it is a gateway to incredible academic opportunities, other fellowships, scholarships, graduate school acceptance and job opportunities,” he said.
W&J’s Udall Scholarship Representative since 2004, East has nominated 11 students. Horning is the first winner. “The application process is reasonably arduous and the selection is highly competitive, but Lauren possesses the most impressive qualifications I have seen,” said East.
Horning is committed to changing W&J students’ effect on the environment. She initiated a composting program and created the Green House, an environmentally- themed residence hall that promotes recycling, environmental stewardship and energy conservation. She also coordinates a campus division of Better World Books, which collects donated books to fund global literacy initiatives.
An environmental studies and Spanish double major who intends to join the Peace Corps following graduation, Horning would like to one day manage an environmental education center with a summer camp for kids, teaching programs on how to buy sustainably, grow organic food, recycle and up-cycle old products.
“Ultimately, my future career will promote environmental awareness through a grassroots approach because I believe long-term change begins small with impassioned individuals,” Horning said. “When you are passionate and feel strongly about something, that authenticity is apparent,” said Horning, an Alpha scholar from Bellefonte, Pa. “I became interested in the environment when I was a freshman, and it has become my lifestyle.”
After receiving the award, Horning completed a Magellan Project that took her to Argentina, where she spent 10 weeks working and living with organic farmers. She plans to study abroad in Ecuador during the spring of her junior year. “These experiences coupled with my educational training are planting the seeds for a future devoted to environmentalism,” Horning said.
– ROBERT REID