FSU student earns prestigious Udall Scholarship

Abril Hunter (FSU Photography Services)
Abril Hunter, a decorated FSU Environmental Science and Policy student (FSU Photography Services/Bruce Palmer)

A Florida State University environmental science major with a passion for public service has earned another coveted academic award.

Abril Hunter, a rising senior from Belleville, Illinois, received a Udall Undergraduate Scholarship from the Udall Foundation, which selects students devoted to Native American self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

The news follows Hunter’s recent selection as a 2022 Truman Scholar, among the most coveted undergraduate awards in the country.

Hunter said her passion for environmental justice was sparked by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but has grown since she arrived at FSU.

“I dedicated four years of high school research into remedying water pollution, and I learned that it was my passion,” she said. “When I came to college, that passion grew to include more than water, and I learned about environmental justice and how much it impacts us in daily life.”

Hunter, set to graduate in May 2023, said she plans to attend graduate school to study urban and regional planning with an emphasis on social justice, climate resiliency and urban development.

Hunter is one of 55 students from 49 colleges and universities to earn a Udall Scholarship this year. The scholarship provides $7,000 for the student’s junior or senior year of academic study.

She expressed excitement about the funding and opportunities the scholarship provides, including an August gathering in Tuscon, Arizona,  where the recipients will have an opportunity to get acquainted with each other and to meet with program alumni, tribal leaders and environmental experts.

“It will be exciting to meet the other 54 scholars and to visit public lands and learn from each other,” she said. “It means so much to me to have these conversations with people who are potentially friends and colleagues in the future.” 

For more information, visit https://udall.gov/.