Focus on Climate Justice Earns CALS Student Prestigious Scholarship

Dejah Powell

Dejah Powell ’18, a major in environmental and sustainability sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been selected for a prestigious Udall Scholarship, which provides $7,000 to undergraduates committed to careers related to the environment or, if they are Native Americans, to health care or tribal policy.

Powell founded the “Get Them to the Green” project to promote love of the environment among young students of color in Chicago. This semester she is part of the School for International Training’s International Honors Program on climate change, traveling to Morocco, Vietnam, and Bolivia, where she is studying the politics of food, water, and energy.

Powell, who is also a Rawlings research scholar, works in an environmental microbiology lab and is a member of two project teams with Cornell University Sustainable Design. Her career aspirations include work that educates people on the environment and addresses issues of environmental and climate justice. She wants to return to her hometown of Chicago to start this work.

“I don’t feel that I will have lived out my life duty if I’m not striving toward creating a greener, more socially and environmentally just city… and world,” Powell said. “My aspirations are rooted and intertwined with the goals of the scholarship.”

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.