Andrew McGowan, senior in agronomy with a soil and environmental science option, Prairie Village, is Kansas State University's 21st Morris K. Udall scholar.
McGowan is among 80 students to win a 2009 Udall scholarship, a $5,000 national scholarship that is awarded to students who demonstrate a commitment to a career related to environmental protection or to students who are Native Americans or Native Alaskans seeking careers in health care or tribal policy. He was selected from a pool of 515 candidates nominated by 233 colleges and universities.
"We're so pleased that Andrew McGowan is our 2009 Udall scholar," said Jon Wefald, K-State president. "Andrew has shown his dedication to protecting the environment through his involvement in numerous K-State organizations. He is a great model of a Udall scholar and demonstrates K-State's continued success in the scholarship competition."
K-State ranks third in total Udall scholars among state universities and fifth overall since the scholarship program began in 1996.
McGowan plans to pursue a doctorate in soil ecology. He said by studying the human effects and the natural processes that occur in soil, he would like to provide information to farmers, consumers and society in order for people to make more informed, environmentally friendly decisions.
"I firmly believe that considering the environmental consequences of our actions is essential in sustaining our existence and that of the rest of the environment," McGowan said. "Because agriculture is one of the major ways people alter the earth's landscapes, making sure we care for the soil, air and water when producing food is critical."
McGowan currently is studying abroad at the Beijing Language and Culture University in China. He was a member of the 2008 National Champion K-State Soil Judging Team. He has served as the environmental chair on the Moore Hall Governing Board, campus issues coordinator for the K-State Association of Residence Halls and webmaster for Students for Environmental Action. He also is an Eagle Scout and has been a staff member at Philmont Scout Ranch.
He has received a Chinese Government Scholarship, agronomy departmental scholarships and was a Phi Kappa Phi sophomore scholar. A 2006 graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, he is the son of Bill and Joby McGowan, Prairie Village.