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Two students win Udall scholarships

May 9, 2018 By Parker Schorr

Two UW–Madison students have been named 2018 Udall Scholars in recognition of a record of public service, academic achievement, leadership potential and a commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care, or Tribal public policy.

Kelsey Lutgen

Leah Johnson, a junior from Wayzata, Minnesota, and Kelsey Lutgen, a junior from of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, are among 50 students from 42 different universities nationwide who received the scholarship. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year, and both UW scholars will be using the money to help pay for tuition.

Johnson is double-majoring in biochemistry and environmental studies with a desire to find policy solutions to environmental injustices. She is also the Sustainability Chair for Associated Students of Madison and works as a Student Lead for Recreational Sports.

Leah Johnson

She recently co-founded an organization called Campus Leaders for Energy Action Now, which brings environmental student leaders, community members, and administrators together to collaborate on efforts to implement clean energy on campus.

Lutgen is a political science major with certificates in American Indian studies and environmental studies and is passionate about how law and public policy can be tailored to serve the unique healthcare needs of Native communities. As the student recruitment and outreach assistant at the Native American Center for Health Professions, Kelsey helps recruit Native pre-college and health professional students to the University of Wisconsin.

The breadth of her on-campus involvement includes membership in the undergraduate Native student organization Wunk Sheek, Indigenous Law Students Association, and the Chancellor’s Scholars Program. After graduating in Spring 2019, Kelsey plans to pursue degrees in law and American Indian public health.

Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships, fellowships, and internships for study in fields related to the environment and to Native Americans and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and Tribal public policy.