Len and Sandy Sargent Environmental Activism & Advocacy Fellowship Award

book cover

Anyone who wants to understand the modern history of conservation in Montana, and beyond, learns about Leonard (Len) and Sandy Sargent, and their legacy of activist philanthropy. Defenders of the natural world and supporters of all those who worked to conserve the land during their lives, their activism and generosity lives and grows in Montana and the world today.

Among many others, EVST graduate students benefit from the ongoing legacy of the Sargents and their descendants and of the Cinnabar Foundation, which they began in 1982. The possibilities for the future were foreseen by Len when he wrote in 1986: “While each of us is mortal, the horizon of Cinnabar is perpetuity. Sandy and I take great joy in the thought that a century from now some young crusader, with help from this foundation, will stand defiantly in defense of this land . . . and the grizzly and wolf will salute him from the north rim.”

Copies of the book Len and Sandy Sargent: A Legacy of Activist Philanthropy, by Robin Tawney Nichols and Scott McMillion are available in the EVST office, free of charge, to any EVST student. The connection between Cinnabar and the Sargents and the EVST Program is deep, but the inspiring genesis of the Leonard and Sandy Sargent Graduate Fellowship EVST award fund was in 1992, when Rick Hubbard Sargent and his wife, Judith Stauffer, presented his parents with this unique gift on the occasion of Len’s 80th birthday.

To understand how the Sargent legacy works its way into and through the world today in the form of former Awards, please see the professional biographies of many of the EVST grad recipients (those highlighted below) on the Cinnabar Foundation website Partnerships page.

While the ongoing Sargent Awards each year generated by this fund will continue, in Spring 2015, as a result of the recent, additional generosity of the Sargent heirs and the Cinnabar Foundation, the prestigious Leonard and Sandy Sargent Fellowship of $5,000, which qualifies the recipient for TARA resident tuition, will be awarded to one outstanding student in the area of environmental activism and advocacy.

Current Award Recipients

Holly Seymour

The EVST M.S. Program at the University of Montana is proud to announce that Holly Seymour is the 2018-19 Leonard and Sandy Sargent Graduate Fellow. Holly graduated from UM in 2016 with a BA in Political Science, a BA in Spanish, and a minor in International Development Studies. While an undergraduate at UM, Holly served as Associate Students of UM (ASUM) Senator, serving on both the Sustainable Campus Committee and the Political Action Committee. She was active in petitioning for Smith River protection and for the Clean Power Plan in Montana. Holly was selected to participate in the Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) program, and she received the GLI Capstone Project of the Year award in 2016.

Since receiving her B.A.’s, Holly has worked as Campaign Organizer for Environment Montana, doing community outreach, event planning, lobbying, fundraising, and campaign design. In 2017, the Montana League of Conservation Voters sent Holly to Washington D.C. to represent Montana millennials in their fly-in campaign in efforts to lobby Montana senators about the BLM Methane Rule.

As Sargent Fellow, Holly’s graduate interests and plans are to study policy transition toward renewable energy, and community adaptation and resilience in response to climate change effects such as drought, decreased snowpacks, higher temperatures, and poor air quality in fire season. She also would like to collaborate on a preliminary proposal for a city or county solar transition initiative. 

Past Award Recipients

See bios of highlighted recipients on the Cinnabar Foundation Partnerships webpage.

1992-93 Jim McGrath
1994-95 Tom Platt
1995-96 Carla Abrams, Olga Maiboroda, Rob Perks, Bryony Schwan, Seth Wilson
1996-97 Kaarsten Turner
1997-98 John Adams, Kira Sherwood-Jewett
1998-99 Keith Stockmann
1999-00 Mary Anne Hitt and Kristen Sykes
2000-01 Dan Brister and Amy Stix
2001-02 Gary Hughes and Pamela Uihlein
2002-03 Amy Barry
2003-04 Josh Burnim, Derek Goldman, Carolina McCready and Joellen Shannon
2004-05 Margot Higgins, Melissa Matthewson and John Senn
2005-06 no fellowship awarded
2006-07 Jason Brininstool
2007-08 Cassidy Randall
2008-09 Shannon Donahue and Jennifer Hill-Hart
2009-10 Aaron Kindle
2010-11 Talasi Brooks, Heather Day, Jonathan Leiman and Micah Sewell
2011-12 Douglas A. Davis and Kate Sheridan
2012-13 Kascie Herron and Stephanie Laporte
2013-14 Elizabeth (Ellie) Costello and Rachel Mockler
2014-15 Sam Plotkin and Nick Triolo
2015-16 Andis Adams and Tabitha Espinosa
2016-17 Teresa (Terri) Nichols
2017-18 Rachel Ackerman