K-State announced last Friday that the university has nominated six students for this year’s Morris K. Udall Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to students working toward careers related to the environment or Native American Indians or Alaskans who hope to work in tribal policy or healthcare, said James Hohenbary, assistant dean for scholarship admissions.
“All of our nominees this year are focused on the environmental side of things,” Hohenbary said. “I think that what made them stand out, beyond their academic success, is the fact each one has a record of active involvement and leadership that speaks to their desire to work for a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.”
The students nominated for the scholarship are DeeAnn-Rose Turpin, junior in biological systems engineering, Ellen Welti, senior in biology and history, Emily Patton, senior in anthropology and psychology, Mark Sowers, junior in biology, Rachel Hoppins, junior in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, and Chloe Lewis, senior in interior architecture and product design.
“I was pretty ecstatic when I found out,” Turpin said. “I was really happy because I knew some of the other students applying and I knew it was a competition to get nominated.”
Hohenbary said 21 K-State students have won Udall Scholarships since the award’s creation in 1996, which ranks the university fifth overall and third among state universities.
“K-State students are very competitive nationally,” Hohenbary said. “We want to put forward nominees for the Udall, and hopefully see them win, because we have great students at K-State.”
Turpin, one of the six nominees, said the initial stages of the application process have been taxing.
“The application process is pretty long. I had to write a total of eight essays, which include short essays and one long essay where I analyzed one of Morris Udall’s speeches,” Turpin said. “It took a lot of time.”
Turpin, who is active in Students for Environmental Action and Habitat for Humanity, said she is looking forward to the chance to meet other nominees and winners.
“It’s a chance to be part of an organization where I can network with other students to work towards environmental change,” Turpin said. “In August, you get to go for a weekend to Tucson, Arizona, to meet other scholars. It would be great to work with them and see what kind of changes they are making on campus.”
Win or lose, Turpin and the other nominees expressed gratitude for even being chosen to represent the university.
“I feel really happy and proud, and really thankful that I had the support of K-State,” Turpin said. “It really meant a lot to me, and I’m thankful to all the faculty that helped me throughout the way.”
Udall Scholarship recipients will be announced April 1.