LAWRENCE — Four 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.
Madison Foster, a junior from Topeka, double majoring in ecology, evolution & organismal biology and global & international studies
Alex Murray, a junior from Lawrence, majoring in finance
Meredith Shaheed, a sophomore from Lawrence, majoring in political science
Jonah Stiel, a sophomore from Topeka, majoring in chemistry
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, 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 in Undergraduate Studies. Students interested in applying next year should contact Anne Wallen, program director of the Office of Fellowships and campus representative for the Udall Scholarship.
Biographical details of the candidates follow.
Madison Foster is the daughter of Andrew and Laura Perkins of Topeka and Kevin Foster of Kansas City. Foster is a candidate in the environmental field. A graduate of Shawnee Heights High School, Foster has been involved with the KU Environs student group, the All Scholarship Hall Council, the University Honors Program and as an undergraduate researcher for the Kansas Biological Survey, working with Terrance Loecke, assistant professor of environmental studies, and Amy Burgin, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology and environmental studies and alumna of the Udall Scholar Program. Foster has completed internships with the Douglas County Health Department and at an organic farm in Oregon.
Alex Murray is the son of Craig Murray and Sherrie Murray of Lawrence and is a graduate of Olathe Northwest High School. Murray is a candidate in the environmental field. At KU, Murray has been involved with the Business Leadership Program, Net Impact and the Student Environmental Advisory Board, and he is the founder of the KU Beekeeping Club. He serves on the Student Advisory Board and as a discussion groups coordinator at the Dole Institute of Politics.
Meredith Shaheed is the daughter of Gail and Peter Shaheed of Lawrence and a graduate of Lawrence Free State High School. She is a candidate in the environmental field. At KU, Shaheed is a member of the University Honors Program and was recently selected for the University Scholars Program. She has worked as an orientation assistant and coordinator in the Office of First-Year Experience. Shaheed was a campus organizer for the Kansas Democratic Party during the 2018 midterm election cycle and served as an executive board member on the KU Young Democrats Club.
Jonah Stiel is the son of Debbie Stiel and Steve Stiel and a graduate of Washburn Rural High School. Stiel is a candidate in the environmental field. At KU, Stiel has been very involved with research, serving as a research ambassador for the Center for Undergraduate Research and working in the lab of James Blakemore, assistant professor of chemistry. He also serves as the development chair of the KU Chemistry Club and is a member of the University Honors Program.