Dec. 18, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University alumnus Danny Kenny ’13, a native of Wildwood, Mo., will receive a Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management and development at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
Kenny’s grant is for $50,000, the largest Rotary scholarship ever received by an IWU student. Kenny said he is “immensely fortunate and incredibly grateful to Rotary” and to Warren Kistner, director of the Hart Career Center, and Tom Hodson, chair of the Rotary District 6490 Scholarship Committee, for their assistance with his grant application.
An environmental studies and Hispanic Studies double major at Illinois Wesleyan, Kenny was the University’s recipient of the 2012 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular activities among college seniors. As a Weir Fellow, Kenny coordinated campus-wide efforts to establish a new community garden, named the Peace Garden, near campus.
Among his accomplishments and activities as a student, Kenny was captain of the men’s varsity soccer team; president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; and named as an Academic All-American in 2013. He was awareness events commissioner of the Student Senate and served as co-chairperson of the GREENetwork, a group of volunteer students, faculty, staff and administrators addressing sustainability on the IWU campus.
Kenny is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, national honor societies; Phi Beta Delta, an honor society recognizing achievement in international education; and Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honors society. He also completed several internships as a student, including positions at State Farm, the Ecology Action Center and the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan.
Kenny said he wanted to enroll in an environmental program for his graduate work, and the Australian university is consistently ranked in the top 25 universities in the world for its master’s program in environmental management and development. His yearlong program begins in January.
“My ultimate goal is to set up a social enterprise, or some sort of entity that sits at the intersection of government, the private sector and nonprofits, working with communities to undertake environmental initiatives that offer both short- and long-term benefits,” said Kenny. “There is this prevalent idea that we have to choose the environment or the economy, not both, and I think that is rubbish. I want to work to prove that those two worlds can co-exist, and I want to do it in communities that stand to gain the most from holistic sustainable development.”