MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Tufts University student Matthew W. Thoms has been named a Morris K. Udall Scholar for 2009. Thoms, a junior studying mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering, was one of 80 students selected from 515 nominees nationwide.
Thoms will receive a $5,000 scholarship and attend the Udall Scholars orientation in Tucson, Ariz., August 5-9. There, he and other scholars will meet environmental policy makers and past scholarship recipients.
Thoms, of La Grange Park, Ill., is currently the engineering director for Team Boston, a group of students from Tufts and the Boston Architectural College who are building an energy-efficient solar-powered house in this year's Solar Decathlon competition, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Teams from 19 other universities from around the United States, Canada and Germany are also competing. The contestants will transport their projects to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in October for final judging.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Thoms says that he would like to study and research sustainable energy on the graduate level. "To be selected from such a competitive field of talented students means that they believe that I can make a contribution in this field," says Thoms. "It's extremely motivating to be part of such a select group."
Established in 1992, the foundation is a tribute to the former Arizona congressman's 30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives. The foundation seeks to nurture future leaders across a wide range of environmental fields, including policy, engineering, science and education.
The scholars program is restricted to college sophomores and juniors. Candidates are selected based on commitment to environmental research and issues. In addition they have demonstrated leadership abilities and interest in careers related to the environment.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.