Clarkson University Senior Celia Darling Receives Frederica Clarkson Award

May 11, 2024

Graduating senior Celia Darling of Webster, N.Y., received the Frederica Clarkson Award during Clarkson University’s spring 2024 commencement ceremony on May 11. She was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on her scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.

Portrait of Celia Darling in traditional regalia

The award was established in 1921 as a bequest in the will of Frederica Clarkson, sister of Thomas S. Clarkson, for whom the University is named. This award and the Levinus Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Darling, a member of the Honors Program, earned a bachelor of science degree in Political Science with minors in Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Environmental Policy. She was a Presidential Scholar for all of her semesters at Clarkson. She also piloted a 3+1 master’s program for Clarkson and finished her master’s degree in Environmental Policy in conjunction with her undergraduate degree. She graduated with a GPA of 4.0. She was inducted into Phalanx, Clarkson’s highest Honor Society her junior year.

She received Phalanx Leadership, Service, and Induction Awards, the Institute for a Sustainable Environment’s Outstanding Service Award, Jerome D. Barnum Memorial Award from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, and is a two-time winner of the Kristin Bandy Craig Honors Scholarship. She is also a Clarkson Ignite Presidential Fellow.

Celia has presented her research at over 10 conferences during her time at Clarkson. She was the student lead for education and outreach on a 5 university food waste audit project which developed a toolkit to help universities reduce their food waste titled “Management of Wasted Food: A How-to-Guide for University Campuses”. Her honors capstone was titled “Understanding Key Factors in the Success of Clarkson’s Adirondack Semester Program”. Her graduate research focused on community engagement strategies for a LEED for Communities Certification in the New York Olympic Region. She also participated in the 2021 ADK semester producing a final report titled "A Comprehensive Aquatic Connectivity Restoration Plan for the St. Regis River Watershed".

During her time at Clarkson, she was the President of the Sustainability Club, founded and was president of Clarkson’s Peace Action Chapter, and was the Honors Steering Board Historian. She also works at the Third Wheel Pottery Studio in Potsdam.

Darling has held several internships including, the Food Waste Intern in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment running Clarkson’s compost program, Education and Outreach Intern on a food waste grant, Communications Intern for Clarkson IMPETUS, Campus Organizer for Peace Action NYS, and interned for the Alaska Center’s program Alaska Youth for Environmental Action.

After graduation, she will spend the summer doing environmental education and trail maintenance at Champlin Area Trails in the Adirondack Park.

Clarkson University is a proven leader in technological education, research, innovation and sustainable economic development. With its main campus in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley, Clarkson faculty have a direct impact on more than 7,800 students annually through nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate STEM designated degrees in engineering, business, science and health professions; executive education, industry-relevant credentials and K-12 STEM programs. Alumni earn salaries among the top 2% in the nation: one in five already leads in the c-suite. To learn more go to
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