|UNC junior awarded Udall Scholarship|
|Thursday, April 08, 2010|
Michael Mian of Concord, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, seeks a career that embodies his commitment to environmental justice and international action on climate change.
For his goals and many achievements, Mian has been chosen by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation in Tucson, Ariz., as one of 80 Udall Scholars nationwide for 2010. The recipients were chosen recently from among 537 candidates nominated by 256 colleges and universities nationwide.
Congress authorized the Udall Foundation in 1992 to honor Morris Udall, the late Congressman from Arizona. A trust fund in the U.S. Treasury and private contributions support the foundation. Udall, who served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1991, advocated environmental conservation and championed the rights of American Indians and Alaska natives. Last year, Congress added the name of Udall’s brother, Stewart, to the foundation’s name for his contributions as Secretary of the Interior. Stewart Udall died in March.
Each year the foundation chooses its scholars for commitment to careers in the environment or, for American Indian and Alaskan native applicants, commitment to careers in health care or tribal public policy. Scholars also must demonstrate leadership potential and academic achievement.
Mian brings the number of Udall Scholarships awarded to Carolina students to 14 since the awards began in 1996. The award will cover tuition, books, room and board up to $5,000 for Mian’s senior year.
He hopes to earn a joint law and master’s degree in environmental management, and then to resolve environmental disputes while shaping new policies to prevent such disputes from occurring. Climate change is on his front burner.
“Conflict, legal or otherwise, is imminent in negotiating a new carbon-friendly global economy,” he said. “It is to the resolution of this rising conflict, as well as the prevention of future problems of environmental mismanagement, that I intend to dedicate my career.”
Mian is double-majoring in political science and in environmental justice and conflict resolution, a self-designed major, with a minor in entrepreneurship, all in the College of Arts and Sciences. Last December, he was a delegate to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen.
The son of Patricia and Dr. Khalid Mian of Concord, he came to UNC on a Morehead-Cain Scholarship, which pays all expenses for four years of undergraduate study and for four summer enrichment experiences. Additional funding is provided for educational and experiential opportunities during academic years.
Before he graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in 2007, Mian had already co-founded an organization that would go national. ScienceDays Inc., began with he and 30 of his classmates leading after-school interactive science demonstrations at schools. Now, the nonprofit group has 25 U.S. and Canadian college and high school chapters working to eliminate inequality in science education.
Mian also helped implement HOPE Gardens, a project of the UNC organization Homeless Outreach Poverty Eradication. The gardens in Chapel Hill lease plots to gardeners and also produce organic food for local sale. Proceeds employ members of the local homeless population.
Recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Mian studied abroad last year in Spain, attending the School for International Training in Granada. Morehead-Cain summer experiences have taken him to internships with the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Uganda and the broadcast-film operation of Smithsonian Networks in Washington, D.C. This summer, he will research carbon mitigation projects with the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia.
“Michael is a remarkable young man, and we are very proud that he has been selected for this award,” said Michael Lambert, Ph.D., associate professor of African and Afro-American studies and head of the Udall nominating committee at UNC. “It was clear to us and the Udall Scholarship National Review Committee that he is already well advanced on the path to realizing a career that reflects the spirit of Morris Udall’s commitment to environmental issues.”
Udall Foundation Web site: http://www.udall.gov/
Note: Mian can be reached at (980) 622-6725 or
Office of Distinguished Scholarships contact: Linda Dykstra, Ph.D., (919) 962-6595,