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Kellcee Baker is UMM's first Udall Scholar

Posted by Jesh Livstrom '10, Roseville on Tuesday, May. 6, 2008

Event Date/Time: Monday, Sep. 15, 2008
End Date/Time: Sunday, May. 17, 2009

University of Minnesota, Morris sophomore Kellcee Baker is the first ever UMM student to be selected as a Udall Scholar by the Morris K. Udall Foundation. She is one of 80 students from 64 colleges and universities selected this year.

Udall scholars, who will receive up to $5,000 for one year, are chosen based on their commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal policy, leadership potential and academic achievement. The 2008 Udall Scholars will be recognized August 2-6 in Tucson, Ariz., where they will meet policymakers and community leaders.

Congressman Udall was a House Representative known for his impact on Native American’s rights and using his congressional leadership to strengthen tribal self-governance.

Baker was selected because of her impressive community involvement and leadership experience. Among her many achievements while at UMM, Baker is the treasurer of Circle of Nations Indian Association and was previously the secretary. She was also a student representative on the search committee for selecting UMM’s vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean and is a member of the Morris Campus Student Association.

Baker aspires to be a clinical psychologist working primarily with Native youth and plans to pursue a doctorate in this field with the intent of working one-on-one with young people. Her goal is to work with Native youth in particular—who are in high risk situations facing issues of race, poverty and education limitations—to help them develop strong self esteem and the skills necessary to manage conflict within their lives.

“I consider myself lucky to be among those that have received the Udall,” Baker said. “It is a great gift. I appreciate the support I have been given and the opportunities yet to come from receiving this scholarship.”

Associate Professor of Political Science and Academic Center for Enrichment Director Paula O’Loughlin added, “We are tremendously proud that Kellcee Baker has been recognized as a 2008 Udall Foundation scholar and is UMM's first ever Udall award recipient. She is an exemplary student and future leader with a clear commitment to bettering mental health care services for the Native American community. Like the goals of the Udall Foundation, a commitment to both the needs of the Native American community and to our environment are central to UMM so it's fitting that a UMMer becomes a Udall scholar.”

For more information about UMM's Academic Center for Enrichment, visit ACE.