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News Release - For Immediate Release - July 30, 2009

Posted: 7/30/2009


From August 5-9, 2009, 80 students from 66 colleges and universities will assemble in Tucson, Arizona for an orientation of the 2009 Udall Scholars. This strong class of Udall Scholars was selected from among 515 candidates nominated by 233 colleges and universities. Seventy Scholars intend to pursue careers related to the environment. Six Native American/Alaska Native Scholars intend to pursue careers in tribal public policy; four Native American/Alaska Native Scholars will study healthcare.

The Scholars will receive their awards and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance. These leaders include: Terry Bracy, chair of the board and CEO of a highly respected consultancy firm in Washington, D.C.; Dr. Anne Udall, vice chair of the board and executive director of the Lee Institute in Charlotte, NC; Eric Eberhard. a distinguished practitioner in residence at the law school at Seattle University; Joan Timeche, the executive director of the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona; and Sharon Megdal, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Charles Redman from Arizona State University's School of Sustainability will kick off the orientation on Thursday, August 6. Guest speakers, including members of the Udall Board of Trustees, staff of the Udall Foundation, and former Udall Scholars will be leading sessions on numerous topics ranging from Indian economic development to international climate change policy.

Each scholarship provides up to $5,000 for the junior or senior year of college. Honorable Mentions receive a $350 award. This prestigious scholarship has generated more than 1,000 Udall Scholars since the first awards in 1996.

The Morris K. Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was created by Congress in 1992 to honor Congressman Udall's legacy of public service. Congressman Udall served in the House of Representatives for three decades, a career distinguished by civility, integrity and consensus. His love for the environment resulted in numerous pieces of legislation, chief among them the Alaska Lands Act of 1980, which doubled the size of the national park system and tripled our national wilderness. Congressman Udall also championed the rights of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, using his leadership in Congress to strengthen tribal self-governance. The Foundation's education programs are supported by a trust fund in the U.S. Treasury and contributions from the private sector. The Udall Foundation also includes the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, which assists in resolving conflicts related to the environment, public lands, and natural resources.

For a listing of the 2009 Udall Scholars and Honorable Mentions and more information on the Foundation and related programs, visit or contact Mia Ibarra at (520) 901-8564 or

Selected statistics on the 2009 Udall Scholars

  • 482 nominees were pursuing careers related to the environment

  • 16 nominees were Native American/Alaska Native and pursuing careers related to health care

  • 17 nominees were Native American/Alaska Native and pursuing careers related to tribal public policy

  • 15% of nominees identified themselves as belonging to an ethnic minority

  • 84% were juniors at the time of application for the scholarship

  • 68% are women

  • 21% self-identify as Native American/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or African-American

  • 3 Scholars attended a two-year college at the time of application for the scholarship

Sampling of the 2009 Udall Scholars

Aerica Banks: an environmental studies major at Seattle University. Banks aspires to work on federal environmental justice policy through the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jeremy Doochin: pursuing degree in environmental economic policy at Vanderbilt University. Doochin has been very involved in the Tennessee American Chestnut Foundation to revive the American Chestnut and is the youngest member of the Sierra Club National Board of Directors. He is a second year Udall Scholar.

Robert Howard: pursing a degree in accounting and American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. He has served in an elected governmental capacity within the San Carlos Apache Tribe and is employed in the current trial administration working on tribal projects that further the needs of the community from a socio-economic perspective.

Zazell Staheli: pursing her bachelor's degree in biological sciences at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. She is an Alaska Native from the native Village of Kiana and plans to serve her people as a dentist and obtain a master's degree in public health. Staheli is balancing her academic goals with family and community obligations and will be traveling approximately 24 hours to attend the orientation.

For additional information, please contact Libby Washburn at (505) 332-9079 or

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