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Park Scholar, Garik Sadovy Named Udall Scholar

The Udall Foundation is pleased to announce that 80 students from 61 colleges and universities have been selected as 2011 Udall Scholars. Among them is Garik Sadovy ‘12 from Wake Forest, North Carolina. Sadovy is working towards a major in materials science and engineering and a minor in environmental science. He is a Park Scholar and a member of the University Honors Program. Sadovy serves as president of Tau Beta Pi, a national professional engineering society.

Garik Sadovy ‘12 at the summit of Mt. Shasta during a summer research project in California.

“This impressive Scholars class represents the best and brightest; they are the future environmental and tribal leaders in this country. The Udall Foundation is thrilled to help them advance their education,” said Terrence L. Bracy, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Udall Foundation.

A 14-member independent review committee selected this year’s group of Scholars on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy; leadership potential; and academic achievement. This highly qualified class of Udall Scholars was selected from 510 candidates nominated by 231 colleges and universities. Each scholarship provides up to $5,000 for the Scholar’s junior or senior year. Since the first awards in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,234 scholarships. In August, the 2011 Udall Scholars will assemble in Tucson, Arizona, to receive their awards and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance.

Meet the Class of 2011 Udall Scholars

“There is a serious disconnect between valuable scientific research in sustainable technologies and the responsible, economically attractive implementation of that technology to address social needs,” says Sadovy. “As an entrepreneurial engineer, I want to bridge that gap by creating globally oriented, sustainable development strategies for our future, based in solid science but with an understanding of cultural context.”

Last summer, Sadovy received a Park Enrichment Grant for a research project where he helped create a model to determine environmental factors on the fisher population in northern California. He worked with graduate student Robert Swiers, under the guidance of Dr. Roger Powell, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology. The research study, which was begun in 2006, is a conglomerate of several different projects that study the life history and population dynamics of fishers. The fisher is poised to go on the endangered species list, and this listing could cause restrictions on timber harvest by government regulatory agencies, so loggers are especially interested in practices that encourage fisher preservation.

Sadovy was previously involved in a research project on the NC State campus with Dr. Yaroslava Yingling in the Department of Materials Engineering involving DNA thin films. He also spent time in Poland as part of a team researching RNA photocrosslinking under the direction of Dr. Stefan Franzen at Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza in the city of Poznan.

In his spare time, Sadovy enjoys singing and has performed at Carnegie Hall with the choir Resounding Harmony. The group’s performance was part of an event entitled Sing for the Cure – a joint project involving Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

“I am driven by a vision of a tenable future for my generation – a world where infrastructure revolves around biologically grown materials, where businesses invest in natural resources and biotechnology funds profitable environmental preservation efforts, where energy alternatives are integrated with society, and where our culture’s idea of happiness is not predicated on conspicuous consumption,” Sadovy says.

Sadovy is currently preparing to spend a year in Indonesia where he will combine his studies in materials engineering with sustainable development research. Afterwards, he plans to begin his Ph.D. in geography and environment at Oxford University where he will expand on his work in Indonesia. Ultimately, Sadovy intends to pursue a career with the Environmental Protection Agency or World Resources Institute as a consultant for strategy in sustainable development, particularly in the areas of biological infrastructure materials, investment driven biodiversity preservation, and non-toxic, environmentally compatible technology.

View Sadovy’s TEDxNCSU Talk entitled LSD Changed My Life: Students Taking Responsibility for Their Education

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intending to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to Native American students pursuing tribal policy or health care careers.

Garik Sadovy ‘12 and a group of runners at the starting line of the 2011 Krispy Kreme Challenge.
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