Undergraduate Academic Affairs

May 23, 2018

Two UW undergrads receive the Udall Award

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Photo of Ashley Lewis and Alishia Orloff

Udall scholars Ashley Lewis (left) and Alishia Orloff (right).

Juniors Ashley Lewis and Alishia Orloff will join 50 students from around the country as Udall Scholars. A competitive award, the review committee selected this year’s scholars from 437 nominees based on the student’s commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care or tribal policy, as well as their leadership potential, public service and academic achievement.

The scholarship provides each student with up to $7,000 for use on tuition, room, board or supplies. The Udall Foundation also hosts a five-day orientation in Tucson, Arizona. There, scholars will meet each other and program alumni, complete a case study and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance.

For both Lewis and Orloff, this scholarship aligns closely with their career goals.

Ashley Lewis

Photo of Ashley Lewis

Udall Scholar Ashley Lewis

Hometown: Elma, WA
Graduation: 2019 (projected)
Major: Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Communications

“Being named a Udall scholar for the second time provides more opportunity to strengthen tribal nations and to protect resources of the Pacific Northwest, I couldn’t be more proud to be among a group of people that are committed to changing our world.”

Business owner and outdoor enthusiast Ashley Lewis is eager to protect the outdoors she loves so much. As a female Native American fishing guide, she is eager to show the world that leaders come in all forms. Through her fishing business, she has become a leading voice in the community: as a brand ambassador for Shimano, and as a contributor to ESPN’s show “The Outdoor Line.” Connections to her community are strong. As an active member of the Quinault Indian Nation, Lewis is dedicated to working with her tribe to advocate for our natural resources. She also volunteers with The Fallen Outdoors, where she supports American Army Veterans’ rehabilitation through connecting with nature.

The combination of her passion for the outdoors, with her drive to protect our Northwest environments, prompted her to return to college. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree, with the long-term goal of earning a master’s in aquatic and fishery sciences. Professionally, she plans to work in public policy, where she can help strengthen Pacific Northwest fisheries, and show that investing in outdoor spaces benefits the larger community.    

Alishia Orloff

Photo of Udall Scholar Alishia Orloff

Udall Scholar Alishia Orloff

Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Graduation: 2019 (projected)
Major: Environmental Science and Resource Management

An active researcher, Alishia Orloff has a strong interest in terrestrial and riparian environments. Fascinated by the interdisciplinary processes that drive our environments, Orloff is dedicated to continuously learning more about these complex ecosystems. Throughout her research, Orloff has partnered with the University of Minnesota Duluth, Ojibwe Resource Management and the Tulalip Tribes. Orloff believes the management of natural resources affects each person’s daily life. She views helping people understand the source of these resources is crucial to protecting the environment. Recognizing the importance of community involvement, she currently volunteers as a Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED) executive, where she promotes sustainability on campus, and as a native plant nursery volunteer, where she cultivates native plants.

In the future, Orloff aspires to earn a doctoral degree and become a leading researcher at an organization that proactively engages the community to preserve our natural resources.

“The Udall award serves as a recognition of my stewardship in the environment with a specific focus in traditional ecological knowledge thus far. Through this award, I can more vigorously develop a stronger connection to protecting our natural resources and serving the communities that are impacted. I am greatly appreciative of this opportunity to collaborate with other great stewards from around the nation and work together to broaden our understanding and exposure of environmental and social issues.”

Learn more about scholarship opportunities at UW

The Udall Scholarship application process is supported by the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards (OMSFA), a UAA program. OMSFA works with faculty, staff and students to identify and support promising students in developing the skills and personal insights necessary to become strong candidates for this and other prestigious awards.