Two Ball State students win prestigious Udall scholarships

Topics: Scholarships, Honors College, College of Architecture and Planning

April 9, 2007

Naomi Lewis
Two Ball State students in the Honors College and studying landscape architecture have earned prestigious Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarships.

For winning, Lauren DuCharme of Lafayette, Ind., and Naomi Lewis of Charlestown, Ind., each will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an invitation to attend a scholar orientation weekend in Tucson, Ariz., this summer. The honor resulted in the pair demonstrating their commitment to careers related to the environment.

DuCharme is thankful to have help paying her college bills and already is looking forward to the conference's training and networking opportunities.

"It is nice to be recognized for the work I have already done addressing environmental issues and to receive support to pursue these activities further," DuCharme said. "Not only has the Udall scholarship contributed to paying for my education, but the summer conference will be an opportunity to connect and engage with other like-minded students and professionals."

Lewis likewise feels extremely honored to be selected. Although, she said, the award also comes with a certain amount of "weight."

"I am excited to represent Ball State, but I also feel a sense of responsibility," Lewis said. "The selection committee has put its faith in my generation to find ways to live sustainably. I am very grateful that the Udall Foundation has created opportunities like these scholarships to encourage young people to succeed, and I believe I can rise to the challenge this honor presents."

In addition, Ball State's Mona Luxion, a senior from Chicago, was one of 50 students included by the foundation in its honorable mention category.

Ball State undergraduates have earned three Udall scholarships in the last three years. Kyle Lueken was the first Ball State student to win a Udall scholarship in 2005. Lueken also majored in landscape architecture and was a student in the Honors College.

"We have excellent students, and this type of national award is really strong testimony not only about our students' credentials, but also the support our faculty provide through encouraging students to apply for this caliber of award," said Malcolm Cairns, chairman of the landscape architecture department. "I've contacted Kyle, our first Udall winner, and let him know he is now a member of a very elite group of Ball State students."

Typically, only about a dozen colleges and universities have more than one winner in a single year, said Barb Stedman, Ball State's scholarship and fellowship coordinator.

"Having three winners in the last three years is proof of the strength of environmental scholars and leaders that we're preparing at Ball State," she said.

The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and the Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation honor the work and vision of Congressman Morris K. Udall, who was committed to increasing awareness of the nation's natural resources and championing the rights of American Indians and Alaska natives.

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