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Sustainable Scholar

Ben LithicumWarren Wilson College junior Ben Linthicum says his path in life has been guided for some time by a single question: “How can I meaningfully contribute to ecological sustainability?” It’s a question that not surprisingly led him to WWC, and to various academic, work and service opportunities provided by the College’s learning Triad.

It also has resulted in Linthicum, with a commitment to sustainability that drives him in and out of the classroom, being selected for a Udall Undergraduate Scholarship (Environment) for the 2015-16 academic year. The competitive national scholarship awards up to $5,000 for academic expenses. Read more at .

Awarded by the Udall Foundation, the scholarship recognizes college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or the environment. The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall and the significant impact their careers had on American Indian self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

“My professors and crew supervisors were crucial to this achievement, which I’m quite excited about,” said Linthicum, an environmental studies major from Kirksville, Mo., with a double concentration in forestry and environmental policy. “In particular, I want to thank [WWC professor] Amy Knisley and (former adjunct professor] Steve Norris, who gave me the tough love I needed and kept pushing me to achieve more.”

Knisley, environmental law and policy professor at Warren Wilson, said Linthicum could not be more deserving of the scholarship.

“Ben’s record of accomplishment in environmental work, strong academic record, well-developed application materials, initiative and diligence in the application process all stood him in good stead,” she said. “He really earned this! And he won’t take it for granted; he will wrap it into his experience and use it to continue growing toward the environmental career he seeks.”

Linthicum recalled how a visit to the College’s Career Development Center helped set him on a path to receiving the Udall Scholarship.

“My second semester at Warren Wilson, I walked into the CDC for help with applying to summer internships,” he said. “As a freshman, I just wanted to settle for any position I could get, but (CDC Director) Wendy Seligmann had bigger plans. Wendy’s guidance and fiery encouragement helped me land my top internship choice as a field researcher in Wyoming.

“The following years, with help from the career center, I was offered my second and third internships as a community organizer and Pisgah Legal Services intern respectively. These internship experiences, coupled with the diversity of experience provided by the Triad, have undoubtedly paved the way for achieving the Udall Scholarship.”