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Source: Jim Hohenbary, 785-532-6904,
News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415,

Thursday, March 5, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University has nominated four students for the $5,000 Morris K. Udall Scholarship Competition: Zack Pistora, Lawrence; Caitlin Brown and Andrew McGowan, both of Prairie Village; and Mary K. Herzog, Wichita.

The Udall scholarship is awarded to students that demonstrate a commitment to a career related to environmental protection, or to students who are Native Americans or Native Alaskans seeking careers in tribal policy or health care. K-State is tied for second among all public four-year colleges in America and tied for fifth overall in Udall scholars since the program began in 1996.

The 2009 scholarships will be awarded to 80 students and will be announced April 8.

Pistora is a senior in political science and is pursuing minors in women's studies and nonprofit leadership. He plans to obtain a law degree in environmental law and work for a nonprofit environmental advocacy group or for state government, focusing on environmental policy issues. He serves as the president of K-State's Students for Environmental Action and the attorney general for K-State residence life. He is a member of the University Task Force on Sustainability, the K-State Recycling Committee, the SEE Green Campaign, the K-State Alliance for Peace and Justice, the American Humanics Student Association and the K-State Honors Program. Pistora is a co-founder of Gameday Recycling and is a resident assistant in Goodnow Hall. He was a congressional intern for former Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas and a stewardship assistant for the Kansas Land Trust. He is a K-State Foundation Scholar, a K-State honors list student and received the First Year Experience Award from the National Residence Hall Honorary. A 2006 graduate of Tonganoxie High School, he is the son of Joe and Peggy Pistora, Lawrence.

Brown is a junior in animal sciences and industry with an emphasis in bioscience/biotechnology. She also is working on a minor in leadership studies. She plans to attend K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, and her career goal is to be an exotic animal veterinarian with an emphasis on endangered species. She has been a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and the Exotic Animal Veterinary Medicine Club, and is an entomology laboratory assistant. With her acceptance into the 2006 class of Early Admission Scholars program for K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, Brown is guaranteed admission into the college with the completion of 64 hours of preprofessional requirements. Brown has received the Stitt Science Scholarship Award for Outstanding Female Graduate in Science and the K-State Foundation Scholarship. A 2006 graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, she is the daughter of James and Elizabeth Brown, Prairie Village.

McGowan is a senior in agronomy with a soil and environmental science option. He plans to earn a doctorate in soil ecology. He has served as the environmental chair for the Moore Hall Governing Board, campus issues coordinator for the K-State Association of Residence Halls, webmaster for Students for Environmental Action and has been a member of the K-State Soil Judging Team, including the 2008 national championship team. He is an Eagle Scout and has been a staff member of Philmont Scout Ranch. He has received a Chinese Government Scholarship, agronomy departmental scholarships and was a Phi Kappa Phi sophomore scholar. He is currently studying abroad at the Beijing Language and Culture University. A 2006 graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, he is the son of Bill and Joby McGowan, Prairie Village.

Herzog is a senior in anthropology, French and life sciences, and has secondary majors in international studies and American ethnic studies. She is working on minors in biology, chemistry and economics, and has a certificate in conflict resolution. After graduating from K-State, she plans to pursue graduate studies in ethnobiology. Her career goal is to work with groups in the United States and abroad to promote sustainable culture, both environmentally and culturally. She has served as the president of K-State's Golden Key, the international honor society, and has held several office positions with Fair Trade Advocates. She has served as the Students for Environmental Action committee chair and as a member and student representative for the K-State Bicycle Master Plan committee. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies and has been a tutor for the K-State Athletic Department. Herzog, who works as an emergency medical technician with Riley County Emergency Medical Services, also has been a member of the K-State women's rowing team, soccer team and cycling team. She has volunteered as an International Buddy and as a mentor for the Women in Engineering and Science Program. In addition, she has received several scholarships, including the K-State Presidential Scholarship, the June D. Hull Sherrid Cancer Center Scholarship, the K-State Arts and Sciences Fund for Excellence award, the Mary and Robert Koch Scholarship and K-State semester honors. Herzog transferred to K-State from Williams College. A 2005 graduate of Sanford School in Hockessin, Del., she is the daughter of Benjamin D. and Kathryn R. Herzog, Wichita.