CSU students named Udall Scholars

Colorado State University students Katie Johnson and Kiloaulani Ka’awa-Gonzales have been named 2017 Udall Scholars. The juniors — both of whom also received this honor last year — were selected from 494 candidates nominated by 224 colleges and universities.

Udall Scholars receive up to $7,000 for their junior or senior year, and are selected on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care, or Tribal public policy. The Udall Foundation also considered leadership potential, public service and academic achievement.

Kiloaulani Kaawa-Gonzales
Kaawa-Gonzales wants to help improve the cultural connection in environmental jobs in Hawaii.

Ka’awa-Gonzales, a junior in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology in the Warner College of Natural Resources, received his award in the environment category. Johnson, a junior studying anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts, received the award in the tribal public policy category.

Francis Commerçon, a junior pursuing a double major in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Biological Sciences, received an Honorable Mention. He is an Honors student, a Boettcher Foundation Scholar and a Truman Scholar.

Katie Johnson

Johnson, a member of Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, is active in CSU’s Native American Cultural Center and the Anthropology Club. She is the recipient of a Native American Legacy Award and has helped repatriate native artifacts at Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico.

Katie Johnson Katelynne
Johnson has helped repatriate native artifacts at Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico.

She had an internship last fall with Village Earth, which helps communities, including tribes, to connect to resources that promote self-determination. Johnson hopes to one day work for the U.S. National Park Service.

Kiloaulani Ka’awa-Gonzales

Ka’awa-Gonzales hails from Moloka’i, Hawaii, and has worked with The Nature Conservancy Land Trust. He wants to help improve the cultural connection in environmental jobs in Hawaii; this means, among other things, that he’d like to see more native Hawaiians in these jobs.

Ka’awa-Gonzales works as a resident assistant at CSU. He was recently named a Truman Scholar and is also the recipient of scholarships from Nordstrom, Coca-Cola and Ka Hikina O’Ka La.

Fifty students from 42 colleges and universities were named Udall Scholars this year. As part of the Udall program, the CSU students will participate in a Scholar Orientation in August in Tucson, Arizona. Scholars work together on a case study, learn new ways to collaborate, and build community with each other, Udall alumni, and professionals working on environmental and tribal issues.

About the Udall Foundation

Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation is a federal agency that 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. The agency honors the legacy of Morris K. Udall’s 30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Interested in learning more about this program, and how you can be nominated? Contact Mary Swanson, associate director, Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry, The Institute for Learning and Teaching.