Isabella Pardales ’21 is one of only 37 students in the nation to receive a prestigious 2020 scholarship from the Udall Foundation, which supports “future leaders across a wide spectrum of environmental fields.”
The foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment. The scholarship will support Pardales’ undergraduate academic expenses and offer her access to the Udall Alumni Network and a five-day orientation in Tucson, Ariz., where she will meet other scholars and program alums; learn more about the Udall legacy of public service; and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, Tribal health care, and governance.
“I want to help mitigate and solve global climate change by working to change the root cause of the problem: our energy system,” explains Pardales, an environmental studies and studio art double-major. “A world powered by renewable energy will be more equitable, interconnected and sustainable. Renewable energy is localized by nature and it has the potential to bring steady supplies of energy to nearly every part of the world. Transitioning to renewable energy will allow us to avert the climate crisis and build systems that address inequality and injustice.”
Through a “liberal arts education that has fostered a sound understanding of sustainability, public policy, law, climate science, history and social inequalities,” Pardales says she has “been trained to think about the consequences of policy decisions on different populations, the importance of sound science when it comes to informing policy, and…to analyze problems from a number of diverse viewpoints.”
As an HWS student, Pardales has interned with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Finger Lakes Institute and the eco-music-educational nonprofit REVERB, where she explored sustainability in the music industry. She studied abroad in Denmark and is the winner of both the Green Allies National Challenge and the HWS Hackathon. Named to the Dean’s List, Pardales is an HWS Trustee Scholar for Environmental Sustainability, an Eco-Rep and a WHWS DJ. She is also a member the William Smith Alpine Ski Team, the Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Program and the HWS chapter of the Public Leadership Education Network.
She plans to pursue a law degree with an environmental concentration to tackle the legal and policy challenges surrounding renewable energy at the municipal, state and national levels.
Pardales says she is grateful for the support from HWS faculty and staff throughout the Udall Scholarship application process — specifically Associate Director of Health Professions Counseling and Fellowship Advising Scott MacPhail; Writing and Teaching/Learning Specialist Susan Hess; Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Beth Kinne; Finger Lakes Institute Education Program Manager Nadia Harvieux; and Assistant Director of Recreation, Intramurals and Fitness Judy Wentzel.
Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships, fellowships and internships for study in fields related to the environment and to Native Americans and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and Tribal public policy; provides funding to the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy to conduct policy research and outreach on the environment and related themes and to the Native Nations Institute for research, education, and outreach on Native American and Alaska Native health care issues and Tribal public policy issues; operates the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus Program, which helps connect middle school youth to nature through photography, environmental education, and outdoor recreation; and provides assessment, mediation, training and other related services through the John S. McCain III National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution.