LAWRENCE — Six students at the University of Kansas are nominees for Udall Undergraduate Scholarships, which recognize students who demonstrate leadership, public service and commitment in the fields of tribal public policy, Native health care or the environment.
- Mallory Copeland, a junior from Topeka majoring in environmental studies and Chinese
- Tomas Green, a junior from Lynnwood, Washington, majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in public policy
- Marisa Mitchell, a junior from Salina majoring in environmental studies and English
- Cassaundra Pino, a sophomore from Albuquerque, New Mexico, majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology and sociology
- Emily Reno, a junior from Lawrence majoring in environmental studies and minoring in Spanish
- Toni Rufledt, a junior from Weston, Wisconsin, majoring in psychology and sociology
The Udall Undergraduate Scholarship is a federal scholarship that honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, two former Arizona congressmen whose careers had an effect on American Indian self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.
The Udall Foundation administers the program. This year, the foundation will award 60 students with scholarships of up to $7,000 each, access to the Udall Alumni Network and a four-day scholar orientation in Tucson, Arizona. Students must be nominated by their university to apply, and universities are limited in the total number of nominations they can make.
“It’s exciting to have such excellent candidates with a range of interests and involvement in their chosen fields,” said Anne Wallen, assistant director of national scholarships & fellowships at the KU Honors Program, which oversees the nomination process. “They are all strong representatives of the way KU educates future leaders.”
More information on each of the nominees is below.
Mallory Copeland, of Topeka, graduated from Shawnee Heights High School. She is the daughter of Natalie and Tom Copeland of Topeka. Copeland is a candidate in the environmental field. She has been involved with the Environmental Studies Student Ambassadors, the Student Environmental Advisory Board and Environs. A recipient of the Freeman Asia Award and the Foreign Language Area Studies scholarship for both summer and the academic year, Copeland spent the summer studying in China. She has participated in Alternative Breaks and is currently working as a legislative intern. Copeland is a member of the University Honors Program and was selected as a sophomore for the Global Scholars Program.
Tomas Green of Lynnwood, Washington, graduated from Meadowdale High School. He is the son of Guy and Aina Green. He has been involved with several organizations at KU, including the KU Student Senate, the Student Environmental Advisory Board and the University Honors Program. Off-campus he has worked with the Willow Domestic Violence Center and the Citizens Climate Lobby. Green was selected as a KU Man of Merit by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and has received a Self Engineering Leadership Fellowship.
Marisa Mitchell of Salina graduated from Salina South High School. She is the daughter of Mark and Kathleen Mitchell. Mitchell participated in the Stewards first-year leadership program, the National Environmental Justice Conference, and she has conducted independent research on emissions standards. She is currently studying abroad at the University of Oxford in England; she previously participated in KU study abroad programs in Great Britain and Costa Rica. A member of the University Honors Program, Mitchell was selected as a sophomore for the competitive University Scholars Program.
Emily Reno of Lawrence graduated from Free State High School. She is the daughter of Greg and Tammie Reno. Before coming to KU, Reno earned an associate’s degree and a Sustainable Agriculture Certificate from Johnson County Community College. She has been active in JCCC’s Student Sustainability Committee and the Slow Food movement. Her involvement at KU includes the Multicultural Scholars Program, the McNair Scholars Program and the University Honors Program.
Toni Rufledt, originally of Weston, Wisconsin, is a graduate of Newman Catholic High School. She is the daughter of Susan Rufledt of Lawrence. A descendant of a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, she is a candidate in the Native health care field. Rufledt is a member of the McNair Scholars Program and has been active in undergraduate research. She is a Multicultural Student Ambassador for KU and a regular volunteer with the Lawrence Community Shelter.
Cassaundra Pino of Albuquerque, New Mexico, graduated from Albuquerque High School. She is the daughter of Karen McMahon and William Pino II. A member of the Pueblo of Acoma, Pino is a candidate in the tribal public policy field. She is a member of the First Nations Student Association, the University Honors Program and the KU women’s swim team.