TTU biology student wins prestigious national Udall Scholarship

A Tennessee Tech University biology major is the university’s first to be awarded a prestigious national scholarship for students who will pursue careers related to the environment, Native American or Alaskan health care or tribal public policy.

Cristina M. Carbajo, a senior from Oak Ridge who is planning to follow a career in hydrogeology, is one of only 80 recipients nationwide to earn a scholarship from the Morris K. Udall Foundation.

The award marks an historical accomplishment for TTU, says Leo McGee, associate vice president of Academic Affairs.

Carbajo was one of 436 students nominated from 211 different colleges and universities for this year’s scholarship competition.

Like the majority of nominees, she’s studying a field related to the environment. “I hope to conduct research that will identify alternative solutions to building dams that will environmentally and economically extend the current water supply,” she said.

Fourteen nominees were Native American or Alaska natives preparing for careers in health care, and 15 were Native American or Alaska natives intending careers in tribal public policy.

Out of the 80 scholars chosen, only two others were from Tennessee.

The Morris K. Udall Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to promote excellence in national environmental policy. It’s named in honor of a 30-year member of the United States House of Representatives whose career was characterized by a commitment to preserve the nation’s natural environment.