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Eve Downing wins Udall scholarship for leadership on environmental issues

Third year Weinberg student is second consecutive Northwestern winner
Eve Downing is Northwestern’s first Alaskan recipient of the Udall Scholarship and the 13th Northwestern recipient overall.

Eve Downing, a third-year student in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern, has won a $7,000 scholarship from the Udall Foundation, recognizing her leadership and service on environmental issues. 

Downing is originally from Alaska, where she has been active in environmental and climate causes. She is Northwestern’s first Alaskan recipient of the Udall Scholarship, and the 13th Northwestern recipient overall.

“I plan to work on environmental policy after graduation, and I hope to contribute to an equitable transition to clean energy in Alaska and the Arctic. My community is already feeling the impacts of climate change, and I want to help create a better future for my home,” she said.

Her work has included promoting the divestment of university endowments from fossil fuels; advocating for nuclear nonproliferation; studying the treaty regimes and legal frameworks around people displaced by environmental disasters; storytelling to highlight people’s real-world experiences with climate change; and voter engagement on environmental issues.

“Eve’s track record of leadership and service on behalf of the environment is highlighted by her experience as an Arctic youth ambassador, a role that saw her interact with several high-level elected officials, including U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski,” said Jason Kelly Roberts, associate director for outreach and communications at Northwestern’s Office of Fellowships.

Roberts also emphasized Downing’s participation in the UNLEASH Innovation Lab in Greenland, which enables young people to create solutions, become leaders and drive networks to help reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The Udall Foundation is named after brothers Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall, Democrats from Arizona who were both U.S. Representatives in Congress. Stewart Udall also served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in the 1960s.

Both men emphasized environmental stewardship and productive partnerships between the U.S. government and native communities.

Today, the Foundation is an independent entity of the federal government that engages scholars, fellows, interns and other partners on environmental protection, as well as health care and public policy work related to American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Downing is the second consecutive winner of a Udall Scholarship from Northwestern, after Kadin Mills, a current third-year student in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, won the same scholarship last year.

Isabella Twocrow, a current fourth-year student in the School of Education and Social Policy, also received an internship from the Udall Foundation in Washington, D.C. in 2022. 

Learn more about the Udall Scholarship by contacting Northwestern’s Office of Fellowships.