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Brian Conlon, a senior, is one of fifty students nationwide who have been awarded the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care.

Conlon, who is majoring in honors environmental studies and German, will receive up to $5,000 from the Udall Foundation and will travel to Tucson, Arizona, in August to receive his award and meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, Native American health care, and governance.

Conlon, of Johnson City, Tennessee, is a co-president of Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK). He is involved in SPEAK’s campaign for bottle deposit recycling legislation in Tennessee and environmentally responsible investment of UT’s endowment. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Conlon performed research on climate change adaptation and the US Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Conlon intends to pursue a higher degree in environmental policy research renewable energy after doing research abroad.

“Before commencing formal graduate studies, I intend go to Germany for energy research or spend time weatherizing low-income homes with the federal Weatherization Assistance Program. After graduate school, I plan to obtain a position at a research institute or university where I can address environmental issues with an interdisciplinary approach,” Conlon said.

A fourteen-member independent review committee selected this year’s group of Udall Scholars on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native American health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; academic achievement; and record of public service.

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intending to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to American Indian students pursuing tribal public policy or health care careers. For more information, visit the Udall Foundation website.

For guidance on applying for the Udall Scholarship, contact UT’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships at

C O N T A C T :

Christine Copelan (865-974-2225,