Coon nominated to receive Udall Scholarship

March 14, 2012
Sophomore Jaime Coon of Hamilton has been named the CMU 2012 Udall Scholar nominee in recognition for her dedication to environmental issues and her demonstrated commitment to a career in the environmental field. 
The Udall Foundation was created in 1992 by the U.S. Congress as a tribute to Morris K. Udall for his 30-year career in the House of Representatives.  Congress later amended the name to include Morris’ brother Stewart L. Udall in recognition of his years of public service. 
The foundation awards $5,000 scholarships to outstanding college and university sophomores and juniors planning careers related to environmental or Native American policy.  Scholars will also be invited to participate in a special assemblage of policy makers and community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health and governance in Tucson, AZ.
An Honors student and Centralis Scholar, Coon’s primary interests are ecology and sustainability.  Her major is pre-graduate biology with a solid foundation in ecology.  Her minor is global justice with an emphasis on the importance of taking action.  She and her interdisciplinary team of CMU advisors created this diversified but focused undergraduate program of study in preparation for her desire to pursue a PhD as a research ecologist in order to utilize scientific knowledge for environmental and social activism.
Coon is engaged in both social and biological research, journalistic writing, public service and social action.  She is participating in the New Venture Competition as future CEO of Energize Education!, which is partnering with the Great Lakes Institute for Sustainable Systems to provide energy audits to underprivileged public school districts. She is also a student researcher in the phylogenetics lab studying and collecting genetic and physical data to analyze the possibility of multiple species of anole lizards under the direction of assistant professor Kirsten Nicholson in the Department of Biology and Natural History.
Coon volunteers at the Wildlife Recovery Association, a birds of prey rehabilitation nonprofit organization, where she assists with statewide wildlife education programs and birds of prey rehabilitation.  She also volunteers in natural history education programs at the Chippewa Nature Center. 
Coon’s interdisciplinary advisors are Brigitte Bechtold, professor and chair of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work; Phame Camarena, director of the University Honors Program; Amy Ford, assistant professor in the English Department; Kirsten Nicholson; and Charles Novitski, associate professor in the Department of Biology.
The foundation will announce this year’s Udall Scholars in April.