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KNOXVILLE — Samuel Jordan, a junior in forestry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been named a 2009 Morris K. Udall Scholar.

Samuel Jordan
Samuel Jordan
The Udall Scholarships honor sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment, as well as Native American and Alaska Native students who are committed to careers in tribal public policy or Native health care. This year, 80 scholars and 50 honorable mentions were chosen from a nationwide applicant pool of 515.

Each scholarship provides up to $5,000 for one year.

Jordan is the president of SPEAK — Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville — and he credits that organization with shaping his commitment to the environment.

He will be traveling to New Zealand this summer and will be finishing his undergraduate work at Massey University. He will come back to the U.S. in August to receive his award and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance during the Udall Scholars Weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

After graduation, Jordan plans to join the Peace Corps before beginning graduate work in forestry. He hopes to learn about the forestry needs in tropical island nations before entering the Peace Corps since much of the work the organization does is in those areas.

Jordan is a graduate of Siegel High Scholl in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Morris K. Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1992 to honor Congressman Udall’s legacy of public service. Udall served in the House of Representatives for three decades. His love for the environment resulted in numerous pieces of legislation, chief among them the Alaska Lands Act of 1980, which doubled the size of the national park system and tripled our national wilderness. Udall also championed the rights of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, using his leadership in Congress to strengthen tribal self-governance. The foundation’s education programs are supported by a trust fund in the U.S. Treasury and contributions from the private sector. The Udall Foundation also includes the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, which assists in resolving conflicts related to the environment, public lands and natural resources.

Jordan was assisted in his application by Anne Mayhew, director of the Office of External Scholarships, the office which helps students apply for nationally competitive scholarships, including the Udall.

For more information about the Udall scholarship competition and other nationally competitive awards, please visit the Office of External Scholarships Web site at

For a listing of the 2009 Udall Scholars and Honorable Mentions and more information on the foundation and related programs, visit


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,