University of Minnesota student named prestigious Udall Scholar
April 1, 2011
Siri Simons, a junior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has been awarded a 2011 Morris K. and Stuart L. Udall Scholarship in recognition of her commitment to the environment. A graduate of Forest Lake Senior High School, Simons is enrolled in the University Honors Program and is pursuing a bachelor of science in environmental sciences, policy and management through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. She intends to work in the field of sustainable agriculture. Simons hopes eventually to direct an environmental non-profit organization that fosters collaborative relationships with farmers, consumers and government officials to achieve support for organic farming and soil and water conservation through policy change.
Simons is a founding member and leader of the student organization Campus Beyond Coal, which advocates for the university to transition off fossil fuels. She has interned at Frogtown Gardens, a local nonprofit that is working to establish an urban farm site in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, and at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in Fairbanks. This semester Simons is studying abroad in Kenya on the Minnesota Studies in International Development program.
Simons is the second U of M-Twin Cities student to receive a Udall Scholarship, following Erick Boustead in 2007. Naomi Wente, a student at the University of Minnesota, Morris was selected as an Honorable Mention this year. Three past students from the U of M-Twin Cities have received Honorable Mentions, including Andrew Pearson and Bridget Ulrich in 2009. Students from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and the University of Minnesota, Morris have also been honored with Udall Scholarships in past years. Udall Scholars receive a scholarship of up to $5,000 and participate in Udall Foundation activities, including a four-day Scholars Orientation in Tucson in August. Established by the United States Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation is dedicated to educating a new generation of Americans to preserve and protect their national heritage through scholarships and other programs focused on environmental and Native American issues. It honors brothers Morris K. Udall and Stewart Udall for their lifelong public service. Approximately 80 Udall Scholars are selected nationwide each year.