Andy Hyland
Office of Public Affairs

Five KU students nominated for Udall scholarships

Tue, 03/29/2016

LAWRENCE — Five students at the University of Kansas are nominees for Udall Undergraduate Scholarships, which recognize students who demonstrate leadership, public service and commitment in the fields of tribal public policy, Native health care or the environment.

KU’s nominees:

  • Elizabeth Burney, a junior from Lawrence majoring in environmental studies with a minor in geographic information systems
  • Mallory Copeland, a sophomore from Topeka majoring in environmental studies and Chinese
  • Abigail Fields, a junior from Minneapolis, Minnesota, majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology and French
  • Alex Houston, a sophomore from Lawrence majoring in environmental studies and political science
  • Darra Stuart, a junior from Iowa City, Iowa, majoring in environmental studies and global & international studies with a minor in French.

The Udall Undergraduate Scholarship is a federal scholarship that honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, two former Arizona congressmen whose careers had an effect on American Indian self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

The Udall Foundation administers the program. This year, the foundation will award 60 students with scholarships of up to $7,000 each, access to the Udall Alumni Network, and a four-day scholar orientation in Tucson, Arizona. Students must be nominated by their university to apply.

“We know these talented students will make their university proud,” said Anne Wallen, assistant director of national scholarships and fellowships at the KU Honors Program, which oversees the nomination process. “They are all working hard during their KU careers and are on the path to become true leaders in their chosen fields.”

More information on each of the nominees is below.

Elizabeth Burney is the daughter of John Burney of Tampa Bay and Susane Burney of Topeka, and she is a graduate of Lawrence High School. A member of the Onondaga Nation, Elizabeth is a candidate in the tribal public policy field. Elizabeth is in the McNair Scholars Program, where her co-mentors are Professor Robert Antonio and Assistant Professor Paul Stock. Her research looks at problems of food access, particularly in Native American communities. She is the chair of the Student Environmental Advisory Board and has volunteered with Haskell Little Nations Academic Center.

Mallory Copeland is the daughter of Natalie and Tom Copeland of Topeka, and she is a graduate of Shawnee Heights High School. Mallory is a candidate in the environmental field. A member of the University Honors Program and the Global Scholars Program and a resident of Douthart Scholarship Hall, she has been active in campus organizations like Students for a Sustainable Future, Environs and the Student Environmental Advisory Board.

Abigail Fields is the daughter of Amy and Marko Fields of Minneapolis, and she is a graduate of South High School in Minneapolis. Abigail is a candidate in the environmental field. A member of the University Honors Program and the Global Scholars Program, she is co-president of the campus environmental group Environs and a member of the campus Sustainability Leadership Board. Abigail’s interests lie in sustainable urban agriculture, and she has completed the Permaculture Design Certificate through the Kansas Permaculture Institute.

Alex Houston is the son of Peter Houston and Mary Morningstar of Lawrence, and he is a graduate of Free State High School. Alex is a candidate in the environmental field. A member of the University Honors Program and the University Scholars Program, Alex was the Eagle Scout chosen to represent the Boy Scouts of America on a 2014 expedition to Antarctica with British explorer Sir Robert Swan. He is also a founding member of the Monarchs for Peace project.

Darra Stuart is the daughter of Scott and Shana Stuart of Iowa City, and she is a graduate of Iowa City West High School. Darra is a candidate in the environmental field. A member of the University Honors Program and Mortar Board, she has done archeological research in Tell es-Safi, Israel, and is currently studying abroad in France. Her research, which has been supported by grants from the Center for Undergraduate Research, combines excavations with ethnobotanical and water management studies. She has also been active with the EARTH garden program through the KU Center for Community Outreach.

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