February 28, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Bridget Wall, a junior biology major at Illinois Wesleyan from Maplewood, Minn., is a finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service.
Wall will interview in Minneapolis on March 5, competing against other finalists from her home region. Nationally, 75 winners will be selected from 200 finalists representing 129 institutions across the United States. Including Wall, Illinois Wesleyan has generated four student finalists for the award in the past five years: Jordan Ault '04, J.R. Glenn '05, and Amy Buenning '05. Buenning won the scholarship in 2004.
Wall has worked closely with Biology Professor and Chair Given Harper in toxicology research at Illinois Wesleyan, currently examining the pesticide content in the eggs of a species of sparrow. She hopes in her future work to combine her research interests with environmental advocacy, a combination in which she considers Harper an inspiration.
"There can be chain reactions that are catalyzed by people like Dr. Harper, who is talking to students and really being a visible force for, 'This is what's right. This is what I can do and therefore I'm doing it, and how can I help you do it?'" Wall said. "(He) understands the issues and is willing to be an advocate to students in a person-to-person, very grassroots way, and he advocates on the policy-making scale."
Wall said her passion for the environment was instilled while she was young, through involvement with Camp Fire USA. And she has made an ongoing effort to be involved in the greater community while at Illinois Wesleyan.
Wall is a member of the Tri Beta biology honors society, a biology tutor, a member of the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Horn Ensemble and Brass Quintet, and was a founding member of the campus chapter of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. She is involved with the Sierra Student Coalition, and has volunteered as a tutor at Bloomington High School and as a Spanish translator at Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis.
Contact: Ann Aubry, (309) 556-3181