KU nominates 3 juniors for Udall Undergraduate Scholarships
LAWRENCE — Three 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.
- Nidia Lazos, a junior in environmental studies minoring in geology and peace & conflict studies
- Grant Misse, a junior in environmental studies and music composition minoring in French
- Rylie Parr, a junior in chemical engineering minoring in biomedical engineering
The Udall Undergraduate Scholarship is a federal scholarship that honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, two former Arizona lawmakers whose careers influenced 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. Selected scholars will also receive access to the Udall Alumni Network and attend a four-day scholar orientation in Tucson, Arizona. Students must be nominated by their university to apply, and universities are limited in the total number of nominations they can make. At KU, the nomination process is coordinated by the Office of Fellowships within Academic Success. Students interested in applying next year should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biographical details of the candidates follow.
Nidia Lazos, from Wichita, is a graduate of Wichita North High School and the daughter of Veronica Rubio and Horacio Lazos. She is a member of the University Honors Program and is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in geology and peace & conflict studies. In her future career, Lazos plans to address water quality issues in low-income communities. She is a student ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and serves as a coordinator for Earth, a program within the Center for Community Outreach, where she creates and promotes events on campus regarding sustainability and the environment. Through this position, she also supervises and helps develop the on-campus community garden and corresponding KU Student Gardeners Program. In summer 2022, Lazos participated in LAKES Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Menomonie, Wisconsin, where she conducted research on the psychological aspects of environmental issues surrounding lake pollution in the Red Cedar Watershed, particularly the influences on farmers’ perceptions of specific management practices.
Grant Misse, from Gardner, is a graduate of Gardner-Edgerton High School and the son of Brett and Kourtney Misse. He is a member of the University Honors Program and is a double major in environmental studies and music composition with a minor in French. He plans to start a nonprofit in eastern Kansas to make a global impact through prairie restoration, composting and scalable regenerative farming techniques. As a member of the Sunrise Movement KU leadership team and as the 2040 Vision committee chair, Misse focuses on environmental initiatives to stop climate change and promote sustainability and environmental justice. He also serves as a program coordinator for the Music Mentors Program in the Center for Community Outreach and is continually inspired by the nonprofit work he takes part in through the organization. He also is the vice president of the New Music Guild and is a section leader in the KU Glee Club.
Rylie Parr, from Smithville, Missouri, is a graduate of Smithville High School and the daughter of Stephanie Parr and Casey Parr. Rylie is majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in biomedical engineering. She plans to pursue a career that allows her to utilize chemical engineering concepts to prioritize sustainability. In summer 2022, Parr participated in an REU at the University of Texas-Austin, where she measured the rate of water permeability of droplet interface bilayer systems. She is an active member of the KU Improv Club “Safety Goggles On,” Society of Women Engineers and Society for Biomaterials. Parr also currently serves as one of the food board managers for the KU Student Housing Association and is a IHAWKe ambassador where she helps increase the number of diverse engineers through outreach and recruitment activities. In summer 2023, she will be interning at Hostess Brands to reduce water and energy usage across multiple locations.