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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University students have been nominated for Morris K. Udall Scholarships: Emily Tummons, Leawood; Emily Patton, Prairie Village; and Mark Sowers, Spring Hill.

The Udall scholarship is worth as much as $5,000 and is awarded to as many as 80 students each year. Scholarship recipients must be seeking either a career related to the environment or be a Native American or a Native Alaskan seeking a career in health care or tribal policy. Udall scholars will be announced April 6.

Tummons is a junior in biological systems engineering. She has been researching the population decline of the Yosemite toad, specifically focusing on the effect that climate change has had on the population because of decreases in the annual snowfall in the Sierra Nevada in the last decade. She is continuing a Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer project that she did at the University of California-Merced with Eric Berlow, director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute Yosemite Field Station. Tummons is a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Golden Key international honor society. She is a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and a participant in the sorority's intramurals. She has received the Medallion Scholarship, Beckman Memorial Scholarship, the Regan Scholarship and College of Engineering scholarships through the Kansas State University Foundation. A 2007 graduate of St. Teresa's Academy, she is the daughter of Philip and Louann Tummons, Leawood.

Patton is a junior in anthropology and psychology with a secondary major in natural resources and environmental sciences. She has done research at the El Zota Biological Field Station in Costa Rica. Last summer, she studied the behavior and ecology of capuchin monkeys in the region. She is a member of the K-State Honors Program, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Smurthwaite Scholarship/Leadership House and the 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. A 2008 graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, Patton is the daughter of Leon and Connie Patton, Prairie Village.

Sowers is a junior in biology. He has done research at the Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Last summer, he participated in field research on African elephants for the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. He has been involved with the K-State African Studies Center and is a member of the K-State Honors Program. At K-State, he is studying the bison at the Konza Prairie. He is a Presidential Scholar and has received the Nancy Landon Kassebaum Scholarship, Civic Leadership Scholarship and Mark Chapman Scholarship. A 2008 graduate of Spring Hill High School, Sowers is the son of Paul and Diana Sowers, Spring Hill.

K-State students have earned 21 Udall scholarships, which makes K-State third among state universities in the Udall scholarship competition.