WMU News

Senior honors student is WMU's first Udall Scholar

May 10, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- A senior honors student from Western Michigan University is the school's first recipient of a prestigious scholarship for environmental studies from the Morris K. Udall Foundation.

Heather Gott of Elwell, Mich., is one of 80 Udall Scholars from around the nation who will receive $5,000 for tuition, fees, books and room and board for the 2000-2001 academic year. An environmental studies and political science major and member of the Lee Honors College, Gott plans to undertake environmental or community volunteer work in Latin America following her graduation. She intends to someday earn a master's or law degree in environmental policy and work for a national nonprofit organization protecting communities from polluters.

Gott was nominated for the scholarship by Dr. John E. Martell, assistant to the dean of WMU's Lee Honors College.

"The Udall Scholarship is the nation's premier award for students of environmental studies and public policy," says Martell. "Winning this award places Heather among the best students in this field. She was an ideal candidate because of her superior academic achievements combined with a long history of commitment to environmental projects and organizations. And she radiates the ethical quality, political acumen and social commitment the judges of all prestigious scholarships look for in candidates."

More than 400 undergraduate students applied for Udall Scholarships this year. Other winners hail from institutions such as Harvard, Duke, Cornell and Georgetown universities. Gott is one of only two college students from Michigan to receive a 2000-2001 award.

Established by Congress in 1992 to honor the late Arizona congressman and his legacy of public service, the Morris K. Udall Foundation operates an educational scholarship program designed to provide opportunities for outstanding U.S. students with excellent academic records. Scholarships are granted to those who demonstrate a commitment to fields related to the environment, and to Native American and Alaska Native students in fields related to health care and tribal public policy.

For more information about the Udall Scholarships and Morris K. Udall, visit the Udall Foundation web site <www.udall.gov>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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