Ariella Amarachukwu Chukwuma, a member of Duke’s class of 2024, has received the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment, health care or Native American tribal public policy or health care.
Scholars also demonstrate leadership potential and academic achievement. From Allen, Texas, Chukwuma is one of 55 scholars chosen nationwide. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 during the scholar’s junior or senior year.
Chukwuma is a Rachel Carson Scholar majoring in environmental science with a minor in inequality studies and plans to pursue a career in coastal conservation and ecology research.
Last year, Chukwuma was awarded a Udall Scholarship honorable mention. Since then, she has expanded upon her previous environmental work to focus on subsistence fishing and the role it plays in strengthening community cohesion.
Ultimately, she plans to continue building relationships with the fishers through conducting interviews while at the same time pursuing a historical analysis of Black, indigenous and other people of color fishers and their cultural traditions.
Chukwuma plans to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental science. When asked about her further plans, she shares, “I want to focus on uplifting historically marginalized coastal communities, especially as climate change makes groups that are already subjected to environmental racism more vulnerable to such discrimination.”
The Udall Scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.
A 20-member independent review committee selected this year’s group of Udall Scholars. The review committee also awarded 55 honorable mentions, which includes Duke junior Grace Dewyer.
Duke students and alumni can receive support for opportunities like the Udall Scholarship from the Nationally Competitive Scholarships team at the Office of University Scholars and Fellows.
For more information on the Udall Scholarship, visit www.udall.gov.