Two Willamette students earn Udall scholarships for helping the environment

Recognized for their commitment to the environment, two Willamette students earned honors from the Udall scholarship committee.

Matt Faunt ’13, an earth and environmental science major, has been named an Udall Scholar, while Jenna Chiono ’13, a psychology major, received an honorable mention.

Each year, the scholarship program selects about 80 sophomores and juniors who have a proven record of leadership and academic achievement. These students have also demonstrated commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 for school expenses, and it connects recipients with other students who are committed to change.

“I just feel incredibly lucky to be called an Udall Scholar, and to be at a university where professors constantly challenge me to do better and push myself harder,” says Faunt, who is studying abroad in Zanzibar Archipelago, off the East African Coast.

Faunt is a member of the Willamette Chamber Choir and the Willamette Singers. He is president of the Forestry Club, volunteers at the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School and is studying coastal ecology and natural resource management while in Zanzibar Archipelago.

Faunt recently earned a Carson grant to research camp planning and programming in Oregon, and he will be designing a camp program for the Salem community upon graduation. Faunt has also received the Ruth Bedford Music Scholarship.

He plans to be an environmental educator, either in the nonprofit sector, the National Park Service or the U.S. Forest Service. He also aspires to earn his masters in both teaching and business administration.

Chiono has volunteered at numerous homeless and outreach shelters through her involvement with Students in Service. She has served on the Willamette Events Board, the rowing team and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

Chiono has assisted in Ph.D. and undergrad research projects and has worked as a biological technician in the Wildlife Department of the U.S. Forest Service. She’s now interning at the Association of Oregon Counties, researching funding for rural education and how past funding has been distributed and used.

While at Willamette, she also received the Hatfield Service Scholarship and the Buzz and Elizabeth Yocom Scholarship, the latter of which financed her study abroad experience in New Zealand.

For more information on the Udall award and other scholarships, see the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards.