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Civil engineering student earns nationally competitive Udall Foundation scholarship

Anna Hartenbach and Colleen Carow | Jul 20, 2018

Civil engineering student earns nationally competitive Udall Foundation scholarship

Anna Hartenbach and Colleen Carow | Jul 20, 2018

A Russ College civil engineering student is just one of 50 students from 42 colleges and universities across the country to have been named a 2018 Udall Scholar.

Erin Milligan won the Udall Scholarship, which will provide her with $7,000 towards expenses for her upcoming senior year. She’ll also benefit from attending the annual Udall Foundation conference this August in Tucson, Arizona, where scholars can network with peers, distinguished alumni and Udall family. 

Guy Riefler, professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, has advised Milligan’s undergraduate research in acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation, including on a local pilot-scale plant project.   

“It is a tremendous achievement for her to win the award, and it will provide a great opportunity to meet leaders in the field that can be of great benefit to her career,” he said. “She has a strong environmental ethic, she is motivated, and she knows what she wants to pursue in her career.” 

This year’s scholars were selected from 437 students representing 209 colleges and universities for their leadership, public service work, and commitment to environmental-related careers and issues related to Native American nations.

Milligan said she hopes the recognition will serve her as she pursues graduate research programs and her research in chemical and microbial contamination of groundwater.

“Through the Udall network, I can learn from many Native American and environmental leaders from across the country who are working at the intersection of environmental and social justice issues that affect their local communities,” she said. 

To expand her environmental research experience, Milligan is participating in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, this summer.

Prior scholars include civil engineering alumna Natalie Kruse Daniels, BSCE ’04, now an associate professor in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, who received the honor in 2003; and other Ohio University students.