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Aleena Siddiqui Receives Udall Scholarship

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Kaitlyn Landram
College of Engineering

Aleena Siddiqui, a rising junior with a double major in materials science and engineering(opens in new window) and  environmental and sustainability studies(opens in new window), has received the 2024 Udall Scholar award(opens in new window), which recognizes future leaders in environmental, tribal public policy and health care fields. 

The award, which is conferred by The Udall Foundation, honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. Siddiqui is Carnegie Mellon University's first Udall Scholar since 2009.

Aleena Siddiqui

Aleena Siddiqui

“I’m honored and thankful to have received this scholarship,” said Siddiqui. “It’s a very tangible culmination of my experiences at CMU that have supplemented my education in the classroom.” 

Siddiqui is passionate about the research and development of ethical material manufacturing to create infrastructure that can have a positive impact on our environments. 

“I found engineering to be a field where I could create solutions that are rooted in sustainable practices to address issues of environmental injustice that disproportionately affect marginalized communities,” Siddiqui said. “I decided to add an additional major of environmental and sustainability studies to center my education around doing ethically responsible work for the people and the planet.”

Her experiences outside of the classroom have played a pivotal role in enabling Siddiqui to better understand the broader implications of the work of a materials scientist and engineer.

As an intern for CMU’s Sustainability Initiative(opens in new window), she focuses on finding meaningful ways to engage with the campus community and share resources that allow others to think critically about how their work connects to broader sustainability efforts. She is also involved with the CMU's Green Practices Committee(opens in new window)'s efforts, including a campus-wide compost education program.

“Sustainability is more than the environment. It has economic and social implications, and understanding how these facets intersect is crucial to doing meaningful work in any field.”

Encouraged by staff from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholar Development,(opens in new window) Siddiqui was motivated to apply for the scholarship because she knew the award could enhance her educational experience.

“I was deeply impressed by Aleena’s involvement with CMU’s Sustainability Initiative, and knew she would be a great fit for this award based on her leadership skills and commitment to pursuing environmental work,” said Richelle Bernazzoli, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholar Development at Carnegie Mellon. 

The support of the scholarship will have an immediate impact, as Siddiqui plans to use the funds toward a study abroad program this summer in Costa Rica, where she is taking a class focused on sustainable agriculture. 

“I’m excited to take this class and engage in meaningful conversations with locals in a country that is a forerunner in sustainability.” 

Later this summer, she will have the opportunity to meet fellow recipients of the Udall Scholar Award.

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