CU Student Chayla Rowley Wins National Udall Scholarship

Published: April 27, 2010

Chayla Rowley, a junior in civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder who plans to work with tribal nations to provide healthy water supplies, has been awarded a national Udall Scholarship.

The $5,000 scholarship from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is awarded to U.S. sophomores and juniors with a commitment to careers related to the environment, Native American health care or tribal public policy. She will be recognized at an August ceremony in Tucson, Ariz., attended by policymakers and community leaders.

Rowley built and operated a small-scale water treatment system through her lab work in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at CU-Boulder. Her fieldwork has included measuring the velocity of rivers, testing for chlorophyll and analyzing macro-invertebrate samples in lakes and documenting both the vegetation that surrounds bodies of water and the impact of humans on the environment. In the future, Rowley plans to work with tribal nations in water resource management.

"I want to address the ongoing lack of potable water and waterborne diseases experienced by many tribal nations by developing an educational foundation that raises awareness and connects tribes to funding opportunities," said Rowley. "As the foundation progresses and tribes are able to sustain healthy water supplies, they will then be encouraged and provided the tools for assisting Third World communities with similar challenges. "

Another CU-Boulder student, Bryant Mason, who is a junior in environmental studies, received an honorable mention from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. He will receive a $350 honorarium. Bryant plans to focus on global environmental challenges in his career, developing solutions through social entrepreneurship by applying innovative thinking to market principles.

"Having two CU students recognized by the Udall foundation is a wonderful testament to our students' commitment to work on environmental issues, human health and community development," said Deborah Viles, top scholarship director at CU-Boulder. "Chayla and Bryant have shown exemplary skills and dedication as students and they will undoubtedly make significant contributions to society in their careers."

A 14-member independent review committee selected this year's Udall Scholars out of 537 eligible applicants. Eighty recipients from 63 colleges and universities were selected and another 50 students from across the nation were given honorable mentions. The foundation was established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 and has awarded about 1,120 scholarships in the history of the program.

For more information on the Udall Scholarship and this year's recipients visit

Chayla Rowley, a junior in civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been awarded a Udall Scholarship. Rowley’s studies at CU-Boulder have focused on water resource management, an area she plans to pursue with tribal nations. (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)