Ivy Tech-Bloomington alumni, Chris Reinhart, named a national Udall Scholar


April 16, 2012

Ivy Tech-Bloomington alumni, Chris Reinhart, named a national Udall Scholar

Chris Reinhart, 2010 Ivy Tech-Bloomington alumni and Ball State University architecture major, has been named a 2012 Udall Scholar. Reinhart is the first BSU architecture major ever to receive the Udall Scholarship, the nation’s most important environmental scholarship, aimed specifically at juniors and seniors who show promise of becoming future environmental leaders. In addition to receiving a $5000 Udall Scholarship award, he has been invited to Tucson, AZ this summer for Udall Scholars Week.

“The Udall Scholarship is a tremendous honor for anyone in the environmental realm,” said Sarah Cote, Ivy Tech-Bloomington Associate Professor of Biotechnology, who wrote a letter of recommendation for Reinhart. “They receive hundreds of applications and only select 80 recipients. This is a national program and a huge honor.”

During his time at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, Reinhart was active in the Ecology Club, serving as president. Most notably, the club launched a recycling bin campaign that doubled the recycling containers on main campus, in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, which is a 145,000 sq. ft. space.

“I stress the idea that ‘trash’ is concept that human beings must move beyond – we are the only life form on earth that makes products that do not feed a natural cycle,” Reinhart said.

Reinhart was chosen as an Ivy Tech-Bloomington 2010 Commencement address speaker. He talked about the work of the Ecology Club and thanked his most influential teachers; Kirk Barnes, Dean of the School of Technology; Sarah Cote, Associate Professor, Biotechnology; and Olga Lucia Vargas-Lammana, adjunct faculty in design technology.

In addition to being named a 2010 Commencement address speaker, he was awarded the campus Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award and the Outstanding Student Award in the Design Technology program.

“Chris found his calling in the architecture courses at Ivy Tech,” said Kirk Barnes, Dean of the Ivy Tech-Bloomington School of Technology. “He used his previous building experience along with his passion for the environment to envision how they can coexist and improve the interaction between architecture and environment.”

Reinhart earned his Associate of Applied Science in Design Technology with a focus on Architecture, and graduated summa cum laude for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

“Ivy Tech made it possible for me to return to academia after a decade-long hiatus,” he said. “When I started taking classes again, I was working, and the flexible schedule allowed me to ease my way back into the life of a full-time student.”

Currently, he is pursuing a career in sustainable architecture, focusing on issues of waste, sustainable materials, and equitable housing at the BSU School of Architecture in Muncie, Ind.

“I built my home of earth, straw bales, timbers and other natural and salvaged materials,” he said. “Currently, I’m creating an outdoor bar built of earth and glass bottles at Be Here Now, a music venue in Muncie.”

Reinhart has a ten year-old son, likes skipping rocks at the creek, and strumming a ukulele.

The U.S. Congress established the Udall Foundation as an independent executive branch agency in 1992 to honor Morris K. Udall’s 30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2009, Congress enacted legislation to honor Stewart L. Udall and add his name to the Foundation. It is now known as the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

Scholarships are offered in any of three categories:

  • To students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, economics, and other related fields; or
  • To Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy, including fields related to tribal sovereignty, tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American justice, natural resource management, cultural preservation and revitalization, Native American economic development, and other areas affecting Native American communities; or
  • To Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native health care, including health care administration, social work, medicine, dentistry, counseling, and research into health conditions affecting Native American communities, and other related fields.

Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.