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OU Student Awarded Prestigious Udall Scholarship

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NORMAN — University of Oklahoma honors student Daniel R. Hayden has been named a 2018 Udall Scholar. The Udall Foundation Scholarship recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate a commitment to careers related to the environment or to Native American public policy or health care. Hayden is one of 50 nationwide selected for the honor.

“The university community is proud of Daniel,” said OU President David L. Boren. “His naming as a 2018 Udall Scholar is an outstanding achievement.”

A junior from Norman, Oklahoma, Hayden is pursuing a degree in plant biology with a concentration in biotechnology. He has conducted research on plant-fungal interactions with Laura Bartley, associate professor of plant biology in the OU College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Arizona and Cambridge University, England. His career goal is to become a science educator for Native American communities. He currently is the president of OU’s Botany Club, is a McNair Scholar and is involved in the American Indian Student Association and the Native American fraternity, Sigma Nu Alpha Gamma. He is a member of the Comanche Nation, and is also Mvskoke, Pawnee, and Alabama Quassarte.

A 16-member independent review committee selected this year's group of Udall Scholars on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care or tribal public policy; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement. The national scholarship competition is a conducted by the Morris K. Udall Foundation, which was authorized by Congress in 1992 to honor the late congressman from Arizona who promoted environmental issues and worked to strengthen Native American tribal self-governance. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the Scholar’s junior or senior year. Since the first awards in 1996, the Udall Foundation has awarded 1,624 scholarships totaling $8,440,000.