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K-State News
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Udall Foundation recognizes K-State junior for commitment to sustainability

Monday, May 8, 2023



MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University civil engineering student is one of 55 students across the U.S. to receive a 2023 Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.

Nicholas Saia, a junior from Olathe, has been awarded a $7,000 scholarship for leadership, public service and commitment to an issue related to the environment.

"Nick is K-State's 24th Udall Scholar, joining a long tradition of K-Staters whose commitment to environmental issues has been recognized by the foundation," said Beth Powers, director of K-State's Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. "Nick's engagement with environmental issues is exemplified by his work on sustainable transportation in the city of Manhattan. I hope that Nick's success helps other K-State students recognize their potential to take action and lead on topics of importance on campus and in society."

The national scholarship is for college students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care. The 2023 Udall Scholars were selected from nearly 400 nominees.

Saia is active in K-State's Student Governing Association, where he led efforts to increase support of Flint Hills ATA bus services on campus and create a sustainability action plan. He is a member of the University Honors Program and the Wildcat Wind Power student competition design team. His university honors include the Nancy Landon Kassebaum Award and the Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship.

The Morse family scholarship granted Saia an opportunity with the City of Manhattan to focus his energies on areas he is most passionate about: energy, transportation and sustainable development. Saia served as the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator and developed a proposal for a walking and biking safety action plan that made the city eligible for a $1.5 million federal infrastructure grant. 

Saia is a graduate of Northwest High School and the son of Shawn and Jennifer Saia, Olathe.

The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance and health care as well as the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

K-State students entering their sophomore or junior year in fall 2023 whose goals align with the Udall Foundation are invited to contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships regarding the next campus application process.

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Division of Communications and Marketing


Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships

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Nick Saia

Nicholas Saia is the 24th Kansas State University student to receive a Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.

Written by

Michelle Geering