Congratulations to Anthropology major Jessica Lambert ’22, awarded the Truman Scholarship. The award recognizes students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. Jessica will use the scholarship to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology and environmental studies, and eventually plans to work with tribal nations to create tribal environmental protection agencies, remediate sites of contamination and pass tribal environmental laws.
Lambert, an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and a registered first-generation descendant of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. An anthropology concentrator, Lambert is pursuing certificates in environmental studies and technology and society. She will use the scholarship to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology and environmental studies, and eventually plans to work with tribal nations to create tribal environmental protection agencies, remediate sites of contamination and pass tribal environmental laws.
“Jessica is poised to become a significant scholar, researcher and representative of her tribe and Indigenous communities writ large,” said Ryo Morimoto, assistant professor of anthropology. “Through teaching and collaborating with Jessica and further sustained interactions, such as listening to the powerful speech she gave at the Princeton Climate Strike, I have learned about her passion for environmental justice and commitment to advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples who have historically been subjugated and undermined.”
As a research fellow with Nuclear Princeton, an undergraduate-directed project facilitated by Morimoto and composed completely of American Indian and Native Hawaiian student researchers, Lambert has investigated how nuclear research, nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining have impacted Indigenous communities. As an air quality researcher for the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, Lambert has worked with tribal professionals, policymakers and scientists to monitor air quality in McAlester, Oklahoma.
Lambert is a recipient of Princeton’s Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. She is a 2020 Udall Scholar, and also has been awarded the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and a Cobell Scholarship, among many others.
A member of Whitman College, Lambert is president of Natives at Princeton, and a co-founder and executive board member of the Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition. She serves as an advising fellow with Matriculate, whose mission is “to empower high-achieving, low-income high school students to make the leap to our best colleges and universities.” She represents Princeton in the Ivy Native American Council and serves as co-president of the National Congress of American Indians Youth Commission.
by the Office of Communications