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Source: James Hohenbary, 785-532-6904,
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News release prepared by: Jennifer Torline, 785-532-0847,

Friday, March 4, 2011


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University is nominating six students for this year's Morris K. Udall Scholarship. The nominees include: DeeAnn-Rose Turpin, Leavenworth; Ellen Welti, Manhattan; Emily Patton, Prairie Village; Mark Sowers, Spring Hill; and Rachel Hoppins and Chloe Lewis, both from Wichita.

The Udall scholarship is worth $5,000 and is awarded to as many as 80 students each year. Scholarship recipients must be seeking a career related to the environment or be a Native American or a Native Alaskan seeking a career in health care or tribal policy. Scholars will be announced April 1.

K-State students have earned 21 Udall scholarships, which ranks the university third in total Udall scholars among state universities and fifth overall since the scholarship program began in 1996.

Turpin is a junior in biological systems engineering. She's the project manager for the K-State chapters of Engineers Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity, and she is involved with Students for Environmental Action. For spring break 2009 she worked with Engineers Without Borders on a rainwater harvesting assessment and design trip to India. She is conducting research on biofuel production from algae in K-State's bioenergy lab. Turpin is an associate National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering scholar, a Kansas State Scholar and involved with the K-State chapter of Alpha Epsilon, an engineering honorary society. In summer 2010 she interned with Siemens to create a renewable energy database and was selected to participate in the Siemens Intern Experience at Walt Disney. Turpin graduated from Leavenworth High School in 2008 and is the daughter of Shoney Turpin of Leavenworth.

Welti is a junior in history and biology. She's involved with Students for Environmental Action and the K-State Student Farm. Welti has received a Confucius Institute Scholarship and an Elfrieda Nafzinger Memorial Scholarship to study abroad in China for a semester, and she has also participated in a bird banding internship for the Institute of Bird Populations. She is on the board of the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice and has been involved with Amnesty International and the Kansas State Alliance for Peace and Justice. Welti graduated from Manhattan High School in 2006 and is the daughter of David Rintoul and Ruth Welti, Manhattan.

Patton is a senior in anthropology and psychology with a secondary major in natural resources and environmental sciences. She is currently a volunteer for Neotropical Primate Conservation, a nonprofit organization in Peru, and is conducting behavioral research on yellow-tailed woolly monkeys. In summer 2010 she was an apprentice at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. She has also performed research at the El Zota Biological Field Station in Costa Rica. Patton is a member of the K-State honors program, Smurthwaite Scholarship/Leadership House and the K-State Anthropology Club. She is a teacher's assistant for introductory physical anthropology, a docent at the Sunset Zoo and a volunteer at the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter. She is a Foundation Scholar and has received the Mark Chapman Scholarship and Ernest L. and Hettie C. Lahr Scholarship. Patton graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in 2008 and is the daughter of Leon and Connie Patton, Prairie Village.

Sowers is a junior in biology. He's the president of the African Studies Student Association and a member of the K-State Cat Crew. Sowers works as a research assistant in the Division of Biology, where he studies bison movement on the Konza Prairie Biological Station using GPS collars. He has completed two summer research internships with the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya. He is a Mark Chapman Scholar, a Kassebaum Scholar and received the Civic Leadership Scholarship. Sowers graduated from Spring Hill High School in 2008 and is the son of Paul and Diana Sowers, Spring Hill.

Hoppins is a sophomore in wildlife biology. She's the vice president of Gamma Rho Lambda sorority and secretary of the K-State Tennis Club. Hoppins has been involved in the Strong Complex Diversity Team, Van Zile Hall Governing Board and the Association of Residence Halls. She has received a Putnam Scholarship and a Sherrid Scholarship. She has spent 10 years volunteering in the education and veterinary medicine departments at the Sedgwick County Zoo, where she also leads a high school summer program called Zoo Crew. Hoppins graduated from Wichita Northwest High School in 2009 and is the daughter of Jim and Barbara Hoppins, Wichita.

Lewis is a junior in interior architecture and product design. She's a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, where she has been environmental chair and a Panhellenic representative. In summer 2010 she interned at 360 Architecture in Kansas City, Mo., where she had firsthand experience with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, projects as well as local urban development projects. In fall 2010 Lewis restarted Greeks Going Green and is currently a co-president of the organization. She works for K-State's Division of Facilities and promotes recycling around campus. Lewis is also a member of the U.S. Green Builders Council and is helping to promote the Take Charge! Challenge. She has received the Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas Scholarship. Lewis graduated from Kapaun Mount Carmel Catholic High School in 2007 and is the daughter of Randy and MaryAnn Lewis, Wichita.