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Eli Hall is first Shepherd student to be named a Udall Scholar

ISSUED: 7 May 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: Cecelia Mason

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University rising senior Eli Hall has been named one of 55 students from across the country as a Udall Scholarship recipient. Hall, a triple major in political science, global studies, and environmental studies from Hansford, West Virginia, is the first Shepherd student to be named a Udall Scholar.

The Udall Foundation awards students interested in fields relating to the environment and Native American or Native Alaskan students who are studying healthcare or tribal public policy. The foundation is an independent executive branch agency dedicated to the legacy of Morris K. Udall, a former U.S. senator, and his brother, Steward Udall, former secretary of the interior.

Both Udall brothers were champions of the environment and Native Americans’ rights to self-governance. The Udall Scholarship awarded 55 scholarships from a large and accomplished national field of 406 applicants. Hall is the only student from West Virginia selected in 2024.

headshot of Eli Hall“It is a great honor to be deemed a scholar in the legacy of Morris and Stewart Udall, who both spent their lives advocating for the environment and indigenous peoples,” said Hall, who is an environmental advocate and looks to continue being a voice for American lands in his professional career.

Hall has been a point of Shepherd’s pride, recognized for his work with the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications, Young Democrats, Shepherd Environmental Organization, Pi Epsilon environmental sciences honor society, and as a resident assistant.

“I must also acknowledge the enormous role that the Stubblefield Institute has had in shaping my experience at Shepherd University, and I think it is one of the best opportunities that our school has to offer,” Hall said.

Hall looks at his time at Shepherd and the people who have supported him with great admiration.

“I would not be a Udall Scholar, going to Princeton University and Stanford University this summer, or have been a Truman finalist had it not been for the help and guidance of several professors,” Hall said.

He credits Dr. Sam Greene, associate professor of political science, Dr. Aart Holtslag, associate professor of political science, and Dr. Brooke Comer, assistant professor of environmental science, with pushing him to be the best student and person he can be.

“This award is testament to Eli’s commitment to environmental work, his leadership on Shepherd’s campus, and his work ethic and academic ability,” Greene said. “Being named as a Udall Scholar requires excellence in multiple areas and Eli has consistently delivered during his time at Shepherd.”

Opportunities to apply for scholarships such as the Udall Scholarship are made possible through the Paul and Lisa Welch Distinguished Awards Program at Shepherd. The program was established to provide targeted assistance to Shepherd students and faculty preparing for competitive prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and award programs such as Gilman, Fulbright, Rhodes, and MacArthur. For more information about these scholarship opportunities, contact Greene, assistant professor of political science and director of study abroad.

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