NORMAN — Alexander Nongard of Tulsa, a University of Oklahoma student majoring in economics, is the recipient of the 2018 Carl Albert Award, presented each year to the outstanding senior in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.
Nongard will be presented with the Carl Albert Award at 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, at a ceremony in Beaird Lounge of the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.
He will graduate cum laude with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and with a graduate certificate in geospatial technologies with distinction during OU’s Commencement ceremonies on May 11. Upon graduation, Nongard intends to return to Tulsa to work in civil service and eventually run for office.
During his college career, Nongard has received numerous scholarships, honors and awards, including the Honors Undergraduate Teaching Fellows Award for outstanding service as an undergraduate teaching fellow for the Honors College; Truman Scholarship finalist; Udall Scholarship honorable mention; Regents’ Award for Outstanding Junior, Cortez A.M. Ewing Public Service Fellowship; Philips 66 Shield Scholar; PACE Award and Oklahoma Regents Award for Higher Education.
His research has been published in the OU Journal of Economics, at the Niskanen Center and presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society.
Nongard volunteers his time and talents to various community organizations, including as chair of the Informed Citizens Discussion Group, the Oklahoma Group, Generation Citizen, Honors College Mentorship Program, Environmental Concerns Committee and Student Environmental Council. He has held internships at the National Institute for Risk and Resilience, SafetySkills, the Niskanen Center and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In his Carl Albert Award essay, Nongard said while at OU, his instructors inspired him “to pursue political economy as a means to environmental solutions. And my lesson in empathy was important to realize that not everyone on Earth has the same priorities, abilities, knowledge or understanding and I should not begrudge those who do not fight the same fight that I do in the same way I do. My job at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management gave strong research fundamentals and an emphasis on smart policy making and why public service is key to crafting environmental policy.”
The Carl Albert Award, the most prestigious given to a student by the OU College of Arts and Sciences, is based on academics, moral force of character and promise of future service to the state and nation. First presented in 1966, the award was established to honor Carl Albert, the late OU alumnus and U.S. Speaker of the House, for his distinguished undergraduate career and national service. Julian Rothbaum, former state regent and longtime friend of Albert, endowed the award in 1965.