UK Junior Named Udall Scholar

By Bryan O'Loughlin, Whitney Hale

Sam Beavin, a University of Kentucky junior majoring in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry, has been awarded a Udall Scholarship of up to $5,000 for his senior year. Beavin is one of 50 students selected to receive the scholarship from a pool of more than 450 applicants.

The Udall Scholarships provide up to $5,000 to sophomore and junior level college students who have shown commitment to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care. Scholarships are funded by the Udall Foundation, an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992.

Beavin is the son of Gary and Tina Beavin of Louisville, Ky., and a 2010 graduate of St. Xavier High School.

The UK junior is excited about the opportunities that will stem from this endeavor. "I hope this will be an opportunity to bring together my interests in promoting sustainability with studying the effects of environmental degradation on human health," Beavin said.

The new Udall Scholar says he’s always been interested in science, but became particularly interested in environmental activism as a result of his studies at UK. "I’ve become much more involved with environmental activism during college, as I’ve learned more about the pressing issues affecting Kentucky and the immediate campus community."

Beavin and the rest of the 2013 Udall Scholars will convene Aug. 7-11, in Tucson, Ariz., to be recognized for their achievements and receive their awards. They will also have the chance to meet policymakers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance.

A UK Greenthumb and UK SACS (Students of the American Chemical Society) officer, Beavin is also a Patterson Scholar and a Gaines Fellow. In addition to his biochemistry studies, Beavin is also pursuing a minor in mathematics. A member of UK's Honors Program, he plans to attend medical school after graduation, pursuing a dual medical degree and master's degree in public health that would enable him to study the impact of environmental pollution on community-wide health.

Beavin applied for the Udall Scholarship through the UK Office of External Scholarships. The Office of External Scholarships (OES), part of the Division of Undergraduate Education, assists current students and recent alumni in applying for scholarships, fellowships and awards funded by sources outside the university. Specifically, OES helps students strengthen an application, develop a personal statement, practice for an interview and provides other preparation activities for the scholarship application process. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to contact Pat Whitlow, director of the OES, and begin work with Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.

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