More than 225 institutions nominated students for a Udall Foundation Scholarship this year. Two University of New Mexico students stood out from their peers to receive the scholarship and an honorable mention.
Melodie Meyer, majoring in Native American Studies at UNM, was announced as a Udall Scholar. Meyer is the Vice-president of the KIVA Club, a member of Native American Indigenous Research Group and North American Indian Women’s Association.
She interned at the Laguna Education Department to develop a database to analyze education attainments of people from the Pueblo. Meyer also researched indigenous resource and land exploitation at the Laguna Environment and Natural Resources Department.
She would like to obtain a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and become a legal consultant for her tribe focusing on environmental issues and cultural repatriation.
Jones is a McNair Scholar working with Professor Kency Cornejo on the retention of cultural identity in Native American arts. He is a Native American jewelry artist in association with the Palace of the Governors Native American Art Program, Indigenous Fine Arts market, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Jones would like to obtain a Ph.D. in Art History to become an advocate for sovereignty and the protection of cultural identities such as Native American artwork.
Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships, fellowships and internships for study in fields related to the environment and to American Indians and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and tribal public policy. It provides funding to the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and to the Native Nations Institute to conduct environmental policy research, research on American Indian and Alaska Native health care issues and tribal public policy issues. The Foundation provides assessment, mediation, training and other related services through the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.
Since the first awards in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,524 scholarships totaling $7,740,000.
The 2016 Udall Scholars will assemble August 9-14, 2016 in Tucson, Ariz., to meet one another and program alumni, learn more about the Udall legacy of public service and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care, and governance.