This environmental studies and communication double major joined the SLURP class her first year at SCU. Now, she is one of 60 Udall scholars from a pool of nearly 500 applicants.
Déjà Thomas ’17 and her high school classmates rode on a bus through mounds of trash, smelly and wet with Washington state rain. As their tour guide explained the importance of recycling and composting, Thomas could see the landfill quickly filling before them. “We had been talking about life cycles in class,” Thomas recalls. “This trip kind of made it real.” Since that field trip, Thomas has devoted her time to finding innovative methods for environmental change. Before coming to SCU, she volunteered with Bellevue’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative, which allowed her to help prepare her hometown’s application for the Georgetown Energy Prize. She has served in leadership roles for several groups at SCU, including an initiative aimed at reducing energy consumption in campus laundry rooms. For her efforts, Thomas was awarded the Udall scholarship, which provides $7,000 for research as well as networking and professional development. Thomas is interested in the social and cultural components of environmental movements and wants to advocate for communities disproportionately affected by these issues.