Biology major Kyle Dahilig becomes UOG’s first Udall Scholar
Kyle Dahilig, a University of Guam student majoring in integrative biology, is one of 55 students in the nation to be named a 2022 Udall Scholar. Dahilig was selected for the scholarship program from a pool of 382 candidates across 181 institutions. He is the first student from UOG to be named a Udall Foundation scholar.
The scholarship program, honoring Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who are committed to issues related to the environment or to Native American nations. Students are selected based on commitment to their careers, leadership potential, record of public service, and academic achievements.
“This scholarship spotlights the dedication and unwavering support from all my mentors who have guided me to enact change […],” Dahilig said.
He will receive up to $7,000 to cover academic expenses for the 2022-2023 academic year and access to the Udall Alumni Network, which includes more than 2,000 alumni from the Udall Foundation’s fellowship, internship, and scholarship programs.
Aside from meeting all the requirements, Dahilig said he applied for the scholarship because it was an opportunity to network and highlight the environmental work in Guam and the region.
In August, the scholars will attend the program’s orientation in Tucson, Ariz. The five-day conference will allow the scholars to work together on a case study and connect with Udall alumni and professionals working on environmental and tribal issues.
He also serves as the president of the UOG Green Army, as a youth ambassador for the Guam Green Growth initiative, and on the environmental committee of the Guam Youth Congress and recently completed his term as the youth representative for the Guam Regional Transit Authority’s Board of Directors. Dahilig will also begin work next semester at UOG as an ecosystems evaluations research associate.
In 2021, he became the fourth UOG student to be accepted into the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.
After graduation, Dahilig said he aspires to earn a Ph.D., become a faculty member at UOG, and serve as an expert in ecosystem service. He said he is also considering law school because of his desire to strengthen environmental policy for Guam and the region.
“My overarching goal is to protect tropical biodiversity while promoting sustainable development driven by collaborative decision making and community support within Guam and across Micronesia,” he said.
This summer, he will be conducting research on plant-soil systems at the University of California-Santa Cruz to understand their relation to invasion ecology.