Udall Foundation recognizes two Kansas State University students
Thursday, May 4, 2017
MANHATTAN — The Udall Foundation is recognizing two Kansas State University students for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to the environment or Native American nations.
Amber Berg, sophomore in regional and community planning, Centertown, Missouri, is one of 50 students in the U.S. who will receive a 2017 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, worth up to $7,000. For the second year in a row, Jael Whitney, a junior in marketing, Overland Park, is one of 50 students in the nation to receive an honorable mention.
"Amber and Jael show strong leadership in regard to sustainability and Native American communities, respectively," said Jim Hohenbary, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. "It is great to see their efforts acknowledged by the Udall Foundation, and I hope their success inspires even more students to engage in leadership regarding issues of importance on campus and in their communities."
The national scholarship is for college students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care. The 2017 Udall Scholars were selected from nearly 500 nominees.
Berg has served as vice president of the Student Planning Association and is a member of the University Honors Program. As secretary of Students for Environmental Action, she is working to communicate about the university's many green initiatives. For her undergraduate research project, Berg is analyzing bicycling infrastructure as well as other forms of transportation infrastructure at U.S. universities to understand the influences on transportation modal rates.
"Bicycling is better for the environment, healthier for students and takes up less land and resources so I want to find ways to increase biking in college communities," Berg said. "Things like pedestrian malls — like the two that K-State recently added — and bicycle boulevards — like the few in the historic part of Manhattan — are a start to a more bicycle-friendly community. This scholarship will help me do more to encourage cycling and other green initiatives."
Whitney has served as treasurer of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society; president of the K-State Library Ambassadors; and a member of the Multicultural Business Student Association, College of Business Association Study Abroad Advocates and the University Honors Program. In addition to the back-to-back Udall honorable mentions, she's received a Koch IMPACT Scholarship and a Putnam Scholarship. The daughter of Nathan and Patricia Whitney, she is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Berg is the 23rd Kansas State University student to earn a Udall Scholarship and Whitney is the 13th K-Stater to earn honorable mention since the award was established by the U.S. Congress in 1992. Kansas State University students interested in applying for the Udall Scholarship next year are encouraged to contact Jim Hohenbary at firstname.lastname@example.org 785-532-3422.