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Manning Is Awarded Udall Scholarship

Joseph Manning

By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 10, 2013

A prestigious Udall Scholarship has been awarded to Boston College junior Joseph Manning, whose passion for the environment spurs him to be a spokesperson for his generation, many of whom are concerned about the harsh realities of climate change.

Awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental careers, each scholarship provides up to $5,000 for junior or senior year. Manning was among 50 students from 43 colleges and universities selected as 2013 Udall Scholars, from a pool of 488 candidates nominated by 230 institutions.

Last fall, Manning represented the Sierra Club for the fourth year at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 18th annual Conference of the Parties in Doha, Qatar.

A Presidential Scholar from Ovideo, Fla., he chairs the executive committee of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC). His SSC role earned him an invitation as a sophomore to hear President Obama speak at the White House about energy policy.

“I cannot imagine a candidate more qualified than Joseph for the Udall fellowship,” said Environmental Studies Program Director Noah Snyder, associate professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

“He has a strong dedication to environmental issues, evidenced by his extensive work for the Sierra Student Coalition and participation in several United Nations conferences on climate change.

“He has also shown leadership in the UGBC Senate on sustainability issues,” said Snyder, who serves as BC’s faculty representative for the Udall award and nominated the political science major, who also pursues a minor in environmental studies.

“I am truly humbled to be named a Udall Scholar,” Manning said. “This is a huge honor for me and I’m incredibly grateful. Past Udall winners that I know have been some of the most amazing advocates for environmental protection, they’ve been mentors of mine, and I’m surprised and honored to be counted among them.

“Academically, my interests follow my advocacy interests,” he said. “I focus on environmental policy, specifically related to the politics of climate change. BC has been incredibly supportive of my endeavors. In 2011 I was awarded an Advanced Study Grant to conduct research in Nova Scotia on the public perception of renewable energy development. The Presidential Scholars Program has given me the opportunity to travel and study in Nicaragua and the Galapagos Islands. 

“And when I’ve jetted off to UN climate change negotiations, BC has supported my efforts. I will be writing my thesis next year on the UN climate talks,” he added.

This summer he will work on renewable energy development in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.

Manning was recently confirmed as a Undergraduate Government of Boston College senator and named chair of the UGBC Institutional Policy Review Committee. A member of the University Chorale, he also performs in theater productions, most recently in the adult musical comedy “Avenue Q.” 

After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy in environment and energy, and work within civil society and the government to advocate for action on climate change and other issues of sustainability.

Manning and the other Udall Scholarship winners will assemble August 7-11 in Tucson, Ariz., to receive their awards and meet policymakers and community leaders.

“In my opinion the scholar orientation week in Arizona is the most exciting and beneficial part of winning the Udall,” Manning said. “It is rare that you get the opportunity to meet with fellow students from across the country who are working on the same type of issues. I’m very excited to be able to get to know all of these outstanding individuals; I hope we can share experiences so we learn from each other.”