UW News

May 8, 2020

Two UW juniors named Udall Scholars

UW News

Two University of Washington students have been named 2020 Udall Scholars. Sierra Campbell and Taylor Owens join only 55 students nationally to receive this prestigious honor.

UW Seattle junior Sierra Campbell is majoring in Education with a minor in Communities and Environmental Studies. She’s an enrolled citizen of the Apsáalooke Nation, and says it is important for her to pursue a degree and utilize it toward supporting Native American communities. She’s learned how to analyze data, interpret scientific findings and conduct quantitative research, which can be used to engage with environments under a Western science lens. Her career goal is to work in a health care position supporting the holistic well-being of Native American communities. She’s also interested in learning and working with communities on topics such as environmental justice and food sovereignty.

“I hope to reach these goals by working with communities in programs that address the holistic health and well-being of Native American youth by integrating cultural and environmental components,” Campbell said. “Throughout my life, I have been supported by various Native American communities and thus want to dedicate my professional career to do the same.”

UW Tacoma’s Taylor Owens is a Criminal Justice major, minoring in American Indian Studies, and a descendant of the Squaxin Island Tribe. She hopes to use restorative justice to strengthen Native American communities. For almost two years, she has been developing innovative public health programming as a tobacco cessation specialist for her tribe. She is also interning for the Department of Justice as a legal assistant focused on Indian Country cases. Seeing a need in her community, she has been organizing an annual Youth Education, Career and Recruitment Fair that connects Native youth to post-secondary education and career opportunities. After graduating from UW Tacoma, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration with the goal of working in tribal government.

The 2020 Udall Scholars have been chosen from 48 colleges and universities. A 16-member independent review committee selected this year’s recipients on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement. The review committee also awarded 55 honorable mentions.

Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the Scholar’s junior or senior year. Since the first awards in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,733 scholarships totaling $8,860,000.