Published: May 12, 2020 By

Kelsey Grant, a junior who advocates for climate change policies and environmental stewardship, is one of this year’s Udall Scholarship recipients. 

A junior from Longmont, Colorado, Grant is the 11th CU Boulder student to win the scholarship, which rewards leadership, public service and a commitment to the environment and Native American issues.

Kelsey Grant

“I’m very humbled and excited. But, most importantly, I’m incredibly thankful for my professors, advisors, and the dedicated folks in my organization,” said Grant. “I know very well that I owe so much to their constant support.”

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors, and in 2020 awarded 55 scholarships of up to $7,000 each. This year’s 55 scholars were selected out of 429 eligible candidates nominated by 199 colleges and universities.

Udall Scholars attend a Udall Scholar orientation in August in Tucson, Arizona, to meet alumni and community leaders for exceptional networking opportunities and gain lifetime membership in a growing and active alumni network.

Grant, who is double majoring in political science and philosophy, is a leader for Citizens Climate Lobby, a group with the dual mission of building support for national bipartisan climate legislation and empowering volunteers to exercise their personal and political power. In her capacity as a regional fellow, she mentors students throughout a seven-state region and advises them as they launch their own campus chapters and climate campaigns.

A co-leader of the Boulder chapter and founder of the CU chapter, she helps craft lobbying strategies that are used throughout Colorado and has published a dozen letters and opinion pieces on climate change and policy in The Denver Post and other statewide newspapers. She has been featured in podcasts and radio interviews, and has been invited multiple times to be a guest speaker on environmental stewardship at local faith communities.

Grant is particularly passionate about developing and expanding the bipartisan dimension of climate and energy policy. She hopes to pursue a career in energy policy, which would enable her to directly promote bipartisan cooperation on climate change.

Deborah Viles, director of CU Boulder’s Office of Top Scholarships, said she was thrilled to have Grant represent the university as a Udall Scholar.

“Kelsey shows extraordinary leadership as an advocate for climate policy. She embodies the ideals of the Udall Foundation—civility, integrity and consensus—as she brings people together from all sides of the climate divide to work toward solutions. She’s had remarkable success and the scholarship will help propel her even further.” 

The Udall Scholarship honors the legacies of brothers Morris and Stewart Udall, Arizona lawmakers whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. 

Sophomores and juniors interested in pursuing careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care should contact Viles at for information on how to apply next year.