April 1, 2004

Contact: Sue Lorenz, KU Honors Program, (785) 864-3374.

KU nominates 4 juniors for national Udall scholarship competition

LAWRENCE -- Four University of Kansas juniors are among more than 500 students nationally competing for only 80 Morris K. Udall scholarships. The scholarships provide $5,000 for students planning careers in fields related to the environment and for Native American and Alaska Natives seeking careers in fields related to health care or tribal policy.

Winners for 2004 will be announced later in April or early May.

Established by Congress in 1992, the scholarship program honors Congressman Udall and his legacy of public service. The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation in Tucson, Ariz., administers the program.

Nine KU students have won Udall scholarships since 1998.

Nominees must be college sophomores or juniors, demonstrate outstanding potential, and be studying the environment and related fields, or nominees must be Native American or Alaska Native college sophomores or juniors, demonstrate outstanding potential and be studying in fields related to health care or tribal public policy.

Two-year and four-year institutions may nominate a total of six students from either or both categories. Scholars selected during their sophomore year may be nominated again during the next year's competition.

KU's nominees are:

From Olathe
Trisha Shrum is a junior in biology and environmental studies with a minor in economics. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in environmental economics or policy and to seek a career as a policy adviser for environmental issues. She is particularly interested in the interaction between humans and water systems and has researched amphibians as indicators of the health of the environment. Last summer she worked with a Haskell Indian Nations University researcher studying collared lizards in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. She has been selected for a summer 2004 environmental biology practicum at the University of Notre Dame and in spring 2005 plans to participate in research projects at the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. As president of KU Environs, an environmental activist student group, Shrum has guided the development of the "Environmentally Conscious Consumer Guide," which rates companies and products for their impact on the environment. The guide will be distributed as part of campus Earth Day observances. As chair for the Inter-Organizational Committee for Campus Outdoor Recycling, Shrum has led plans to extend KU's recycling program by providing recycling bins outside as well as inside campus buildings. She works as a waitress while attending college. She is a National Merit scholar and attended Olathe South High School. Shrum is the daughter of Ron and Sue Shrum of Olathe.

From Partridge
Ruth Anne French is a junior in political science. After attending law school, French plans to go into environmental mediation privately or with a governmental agency emphasizing water and administrative law. She believes the need is growing for alternative ways to work out environmental claims besides litigation. French, whose parents farm in central Kansas, is particularly interested in water security in western Kansas. She works as a research assistant for KU law professors Sidney Shapiro and David Gottlieb preparing studies for the Center for Progressive Regulation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. She is writing an honors thesis on the effects of the Data Quality Act on the regulatory processes of the Environmental Protection Agency. This summer, French will work with Donald Worster, KU Hall distinguished professor of history, on the development of a course on agriculture in world history. A National Merit scholar, French also was a University scholar, an honor awarded to only 20 outstanding sophomores of all disciplines at KU. She is the daughter of Jim and Lisa French and is a Haven High School graduate.

From Wichita
Ashleigh Klingman is a junior with majors in environmental studies and Spanish and a co-major in international studies. Her long-term career goal is to promote environmental conservation and a more sustainable way of life in the 21st century through a nonprofit organization, the federal government or an international organization. Ultimately, Klingman wants to return to the university setting to teach. She has participated in research studies through courses in tropical ecology and oceanography through a study abroad program in Costa Rica. During spring break 2004, she worked as a site leader for an alternative break program at the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. With a minor in anthropology, Kingman is researching Native American philosophies of nature and their environmental impact. One of her great-great grandmothers was a member of the Cherokee Nation. At KU, Klingman is a Watkins-Berger scholar, a scholarship given to only 50 incoming freshman women. She is the daughter of Richard and Diane Klingman of Wichita and is a Wichita High School East graduate.

From Colorado Springs
Richard J. Mulhern is a junior in architecture. Mulhern plans to earn a master's degree in historic preservation with a career goal of working as a sustainable design advocate to help build economically, environmentally and socially responsible buildings. Mulhern transferred to KU from the Colorado School of Mines, where he studied engineering before changing majors. He is particularly interested in historical preservation to improve energy efficiency, air quality and daylighting in buildings. Applying his interest in energy-saving techniques to the campus, Mulhern promoted a community bike-share program and an alternative energy study as part of a campus political platform. Mulhern serves as a student senator for the School of Architecture and Urban Design. He is a member of the ROTC and has received an Air Force ROTC scholarship and an American Legion Military Excellence Award. As the 2004 recipient of the Donald P. Ewart Traveling Scholarship, he plans to study abroad next fall in Dortmund, Germany. While attending college Mulhern has worked part time as a dishwasher, a waiter and an architectural intern for a Lawrence museum. He also serves as a mentor for the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club. He is the son of George Mulhern of Colorado Springs and is a Cheyenne Mountain High School graduate.


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