Callia A. Tellez
Environmental Policy and Decision Making - International Policy and Law
School of Environment and Natural Resources
Callia Tellez describes feeling her greatest sense of accomplishment when she was recognized as a Udall Foundation Scholar, a national acknowledgement of leadership, scholarship, and environmental advocacy. This recognition came from the culmination of hard work, service, connections, and research she had engaged in while an undergraduate student, from her position at the Environmental and Social Sustainability Laboratory to her study abroad in Tanzania. She says, “the Udall scholarship allowed me to take what I have learned in my time as a Buckeye to connect with student leaders across the nation to face the most challenging issues of social injustice and environmental degradation that our society faces.”
Callia was deeply involved in research throughout her time at Ohio State, beginning as a freshman. Projects and activities ranged from performing administrative and logistical support, conducting research in the field, analyzing findings, surveying farmers, coordinating with stakeholders and the public, and then generating next steps to advance the research. Her research efforts will directly contribute to causes she cares deeply about, such as water quality in the Great Lakes region and the creation of an early warning system for harmful algal blooms. Her remarkable level of engagement provided her the opportunity to present her interdisciplinary research at the International Association for Great Lakes Research and Soil and Water Conservation Society International Annual Conferences, to the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Region 5 EPA offices. She is submitting her research for publication in an academic journal. Callia cites her involvement in research as the most valuable learning experience as an undergraduate.
Callia didn’t stop with research, she maintained a commitment to environmental advocacy through involvement with several organizations, including the Ohio State Sierra Club Student Coalition. She moved from sustainability council representative to vice president and finally to president of the coalition. In her time as president, she advanced the coalition’s focus on advocacy and outreach by coordinating public panels featuring subject area experts, as well as creating successful grant proposals to support the coalition’s goals. She has also given back to her college by serving as a student ambassador for SENR.
Callia has been highlighted as a speaker at the university’s 2019 Environmental Professionals Network Signature Event: Women in Conservation and Ohio State’s 2020 Research and Innovation Showcase. In addition, she has received the following honors while at Ohio State: Bert W. Martin Fund Scholarship | Charles A. Dambach Memorial Fund Scholarship | Dean’s List | Mervin G. Smith International Agriculture Fund Scholarship | The Heiligmann Scholarship | James A. and Mavis Fletcher Endowed Memorial Fund Scholarship | Joseph and Nina Mattus Agricultural Scholarship | Morrill Excellence Scholarship | Sultzbach Memorial Scholarship | 2019 Udall Foundation Scholar.
After graduation, Callia hopes to advocate for marginalized populations by way of state and federal policy-advisement through employment at a non-profit, as she simultaneously prepares to pursue an advanced degree.
Dr. Robyn Wilson is the individual Callia identified as her mentor. In addition to benefiting from her support and encouragement, Callia is inspired by Dr. Wilson’s own commitments to leadership, altruism, scientific research, and political advocacy.