Push for sustainability earns Honors College student prestigious Udall Scholarship

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —The Udall Foundation has named Purdue Honors College student Sabrina Myoda a 2017 Udall Scholar.  Myoda is among 50 U.S. students across the nation to receive the prestigious award.

Sabrina Myoda, Honors College student & 2017 Udall Scholar

The Udall Scholarship recognizes college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to the environment or American Indian nations. It provides up to $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year, connects them to a rich network of leaders in their fields of study and develops their skills with a five-day national conference in Tucson, Arizona.

“As a Udall Scholar, I am invested in making real change in the agricultural sector, particularly in developing nations,” Myoda said. “I hope to build a career around improving global food systems, increasing food security and having a real impact on the day to day lives of people who are facing hunger and malnutrition.”

Myoda also wants to help consumers make more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable decisions.  The Wilmington, Delaware native is studying sustainable food and farming systems in the College of Agriculture.  She is also a member of Purdue Honors College.

“Sabrina is the quintessential ‘stand up citizen’: morally grounded and ethically motivated,” said Steve Hallett, professor of horticulture and faculty advisor for Purdue Student Farm Organization. “She is extremely engaged in learning and has the ability to understand complex theories of land use, preservation and management.”

Myoda shares her knowledge as a peer mentor in the Honors College and is spreading the word about sustainable agriculture with Purdue Student Farm, a group dedicated to producing fresh, healthy food on campus. She also designed and organized a panel discussion at Purdue to connect agricultural experts to students and local citizens.

“In addition to recruiting experts and developing an excellent rubric to measure changes in perception, she was able to generate a large enough group of attendees to make the event ‘standing room only,’” Paul Ebner, associate professor of animal sciences said.

Ebner was also impressed with Myoda’s diligence in a service learning course where students work directly with livestock producers in Romania to implement solutions to operational challenges.

“No other student spent as much time learning about Romanian culture, economics and agricultural practices in the semester leading up to the in-country portion of the course,” he explained. “This included learning the Romanian language. Her drive was in fact motivating and helped me become a better teacher.”

“Sabrina is a focused, yet open, leader who prioritizes excellence and diverse experiences,” added Honors College professor Jason Ware. “She has a seemingly innate ability to bring people together.”

Myoda earned a Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention in 2016. She is Purdue’s third Udall Scholar. Students undergo a rigorous application process to become Purdue’s nominees for the scholarship through the National and International Scholarships Office, which is housed in Purdue Honors College.