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Environmental science major Anna Kottkamp named 2015 valedictorian

| Friday, May 1, 2015

Environmental science major and Wenatchee, Washington, native Anna Kottkamp was named valedictorian of the Notre Dame class of 2015, the University announced Friday.

Kottkamp is a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, the women’s varsity rowing team and the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir, according to a University press release. She has a 4.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and earned a spot on the Dean’s List each semester, the press release said.

In the summer of 2013, with a fellowship from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Kottkamp completed an internship in Peru, where, among other projects, she designed an environmental education curriculum, according to the press release. In 2014, with a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, she conducted research on an organization that works with farmers in Bolivia, the press release said.

Kottkamp is also an undergraduate research assistant in the College of Science, and she was part of a research team that studied the impact of cover crops on agricultural streams, the press release said. In June, she will present original research at the conference of the Society for Freshwater Sciences.

Kottkamp joined the rowing team without competitive experience, now has a full athletic scholarship and is an NCAA Elite 89 award winner, Atlantic Coast Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar-Athlete and ACC postgraduate scholarship recipient, the press release said. She is also a member of the athletics department’s Rosenthal Leadership Academy.

According to the release, Kottkamp plans to help develop educational programming for fifth-graders at the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute in Oregon, as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, before pursuing graduate education in environmental science.

Kottkamp will deliver the valedictory address at the University commencement ceremony on May 17.

The University also announced political science major Brendan Bell will offer the invocation at the ceremony. Bell has a cumulative GPA of 3.98, was on the Dean’s List each semester and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Pi Sigma Alpha honors society for political science, the press release said.

Bell, also a Tocqueville Fellow, interned for the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy, the office of Irish Sen. Mark Daly in Dublin and the office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., the press release said. The release said Bell studied abroad in Rome in the spring of 2014, completed a thesis on the relationship between education and social capital and will join the Alliance for Catholic Education program after graduation.

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