Christina K. Lettieri has become the second West Virginia University student to earn a Morris K. Udall Scholarship, worth up to $5,000. She was one of 80 students chosen from 517 national applicants.
Morris K. Udall Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates in fields related to the environment, and to Native American and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care or tribal policy.
The Morris K. Udall Foundation was established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 to honor Morris King Udall’s 30 years of service in the House of Representatives. Morris Udall’s career was distinguished by civility, integrity and consensus, as well as a commitment to preservation of the nation’s natural environment.
Lettieri, a native of Weirton, is a sophomore biology major in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. She plans to attend medical school and become a pediatrician specializing in the environmental aspects of health care. She is the daughter of Don and Sandy Lettieri.
“This latest prestigious award to a WVU student speaks highly not only of Christina’s accomplishments but also of the many outstanding faculty members in the biology department who are doing great work in teaching, research, and in serving as mentors to our students,”said M. Duane Nellis, Eberly College dean.”The national awards our students continue to receive each year highlight the value of a WVU degree.”
Lattieri says she first became active in environmental issues during her time at WeirHigh School where she joined the Envirothon team as a junior and competed in the statewide competition designed to enhance interest in environment-based careers. She also served as president of Weir Highs Environmental Science Club. Among the projects tackled by the group was lobbying to save Dolly Sods from industrial mining projects.
“Environment-aimed community service has been an integral part of my life and will continue to be as I become an adult,”Lettieri said.”I was very elated when I found out that I had won this scholarship. I applied for several, and this was the one I thought I had the least chance of getting because it was a national competition.”
At WVU , Lettieri is a member of the Sierra Club, the Association of Women in Science and the Newman Club. Her community service includes volunteer work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and at WVU Childrens Hospital. In addition, as a member of Circle K student service organization, Lettieri has worked on a project to restore the FairmontCityCemetery in MarionCounty.
A member of the WVU Honors Program, Lettieri has been honored for her academic
achievement with membership in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Helvetia sophomore honor society and Chimes junior honorary, inclusion on the National Deans List and a Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Freshman Award. She receives a WVU Presidential Scholarship and a Presidents Award for Excellence Scholarship.
In her spare time, Lettieri loves to spend time outdoors, whether it be mountain climbing, running or swimming.
“Its wonderful to know we have so many students committed to preservation of our natural resources and issues of fairness and justice with relation to our environment,”said Keith Garbutt, WVU Honors Program Director.”We are very proud of Crissy and all of the very qualified WVU students who applied for the scholarship.”
WVU s first Udall Scholar was Sheryl D. Young of Cresaptown, Md., who earned the honor in 1997.