April 20, 2004

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

KU junior from Olathe wins Udall scholarship

LAWRENCE -- Trisha Shrum, a University of Kansas junior who plans a career as a policy adviser for environmental issues, has won a Morris K. Udall Scholarship. 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.

More than 500 university students competed nationally for the 80 scholarships. The Morris K. Udall Foundation in Tucson, Ariz., announced the winners for 2004 on April 19.

Majoring in biology and environmental studies with a minor in economics, Shrum is the daughter of Ron and Sue Shrum of Olathe and is an Olathe South High School graduate.

Shrum is the 10th KU student to win a Udall scholarship since 1998.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said, "I join her teachers and parents in congratulating Trisha. She represents the outstanding students at KU who will be among those working to provide leadership in our communities in a few years."

Shrum 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 in Indiana and plans to participate in research projects at the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica in spring 2005.

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.

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.

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.

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