The first Eastern student to received the Udall Scholarship, Sherwin Racehorse was awarded a national achievement of $5,000 for his senior year.
Racehorse is one of 80 students who was selected to be a recipient of the award. The scholarship is given to students commit-ted to careers in the area of environment, tribal public policy or health care.
Racehorse is studying urban and regional planning and has been in the field of planning for many years.
The Udall Scholarship is endorsed by Congress and is in memory of the late Morris Udall.
Racehorse, who is an outof-state student, receives nearly $10,000 in loans to pay for his education. The rest is paid for by grants. Racehorse made it a goal of his to be entirely loan-free for his senior year.
Dr. James Hallett, adjunct professor of biology and EWU representative for the Udall Scholarship, nominated Racehorse. Racehorse was competing against 585 candidates from 274 colleges.
“It wasn’t just me alone. I had to be nominated by the university. That’s an important issue,” Racehorse said.
A 14-member committee picks the scholars, based on their qualifications and commitment to their careers. Racehorse has a 3.8 GPA; he is the president of the American Indian business leaders, the president of the American Indian science and engineering society and is also on the board of the Associated Student Plan-ners. Racehorse believes that his grades and his civic engagement are what led to him become a recipient of the award.
“Immediately when I came to the university, I tried to get involved,” Racehorse said.
“Although Udall scholars must have GPAs greater than 3.0, greater attention is placed on their record of leadership and community service. Scholars must also be aligned with one of three areas of study,” Hallett said. “All students pursuing studies of the environment, broadly defined, and Native American students studying in the areas of native health and tribal public policy may be eligible to apply for the scholarship.”
While being a non-traditional student, Racehorse has gained much knowledge from participating in civic duties such as participating in committees that range from state to federal levels.
“I have a great deal of experience that is related to the Udall foundation,” Racehorse said.
Racehorse is the first student to pursue the Udall scholarship at Eastern.
In August Recipients of the Udall scholarship will meet in Tucson, Ariz., August 8 12. While there the winners will meet with leaders in the tribal health care and environmental fields. During this time, Racehorse will participate in meetings regarding tribal policy.
During the application process, Hallett and Racehorse developed a close relationship. Hallett is pleased with Racehorse being the first Udall scholar from Eastern. “Sherwin demonstrates all the qualities of an Udall Scholar: commitment to public service, leadership in his Tribal and campus communities and academic strength. I’m very pleased that he represents EWU as our first Udall scholar.”