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Awards / Honors

CSU student wins Rotary International award

November 30, 2009

Phoenix Mourning-Star is a graduate student studying Environmental Epidemiology at Colorado State University. In February, Morning-Star will be traveling to the island nation of New Zealand to study the international legal issues of environmental refugees as the recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship.

Adverse health effects of air pollution on infants

Mourning-Star's current research investigating the adverse health effects of air pollution sources on infants is being funded by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR (Science To Achieve Results) Grant, now Rotary International is putting part of their future in his hands.

Begun in 1947, the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship is the world’s largest privately funded scholarship with the purpose of furthering understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas.

Environmental disaster victims

Mourning-Star was selected following a nomination from the Downtown Fort Collins Rotary Club of District 5440 and a series of rigorous interviews. “I will make the Rotary Club proud and hope to represent CSU and Colorado well,” says Mourning-Star.

Mourning-Star has a number of plans to make good on his pledge to make us proud. As the founder and president of a student run non-profit organization the Society of Global Health Researchers in Action, he is mobilizing his team to launch a joint fund-raiser for environmental disaster victims.

Plans to live in refugee tent

“We’re working out plans with some of our partners for me to live out of refugee tent and posting videos of our efforts to raise money on our website – we haven’t set a goal amount yet, but we’re an ambitious group.”

In preparing to make the most of his Rotary experience, Mourning-Star has been in contact with the U.S. State Department and has been given ‘sponsored’ status for a post in the U.S. Embassy where he hopes to implement his academic studies on the international stage.

Cross-cultural and international communication

Throughout his Rotary service, Mourning-Star will be meeting with numerous Rotary Clubs and other community organizations to share the Rotary Scholar mission as well as connecting Fort Collins middle and high school students with students in New Zealand in discussions about the importance of cross-cultural and international communication of science and the environment.

“At my scholar training, the majority of my fellow scholars also had a passion for the environment, so it made sense to help pass on this interest by engaging middle and high school students. We are currently working to get our message to Rotary International President-Elect Ray Klinginsmith to incorporate the environment into his 2010-2011 theme for Rotary International.”


Contact: P. Mourning-Star
E-mail: phoenix@globalhealthresearchsociety.org
Phone: (970) 491 7507