Savannah Baber, a Wake Forest University junior, is the University’s first recipient of the Udall Scholarship, provided by the Morris and Stewart Udall Foundation.
The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.
Baber is majoring in English and political science/ international affairs. She plans to attend law school with the goal of advocating on behalf of tribal land and environmental stewardship.
“My mother is from the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and my father is from the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia,” Baber said. “They were intentional about raising me to have a meaningful connection to both communities, and that has informed my passion for tribal policies and issues. I am so excited to pursue a career in the field of tribal public policy and law because I know it will directly benefit my tribal relatives.”
In 2018, the Udall Foundation awarded scholarships to 50 sophomores and juniors from 42 colleges and universities. This year’s scholars were selected from among 437 candidates at 209 colleges and universities.
Last fall, Baber was an intern with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, while participating in the University’s Wake Washington, a semester-long study away program combining internship and academic experiences in the nation’s capital.
“My experience in Washington allowed me to imagine ways in which I can use Constitutional law to the benefit of tribes and Native American people.” Savannah Baber ('19)
“I am thrilled, but not surprised, that Savannah won the Udall Scholarship,” said Katy Harriger, political science professor and faculty director of the Wake Washington program. “Savannah is an outstanding student who has demonstrated through her internship and studies that she is serious about issues of tribal sovereignty.”
Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships, fellowships, and internships for study in fields related to the environment and to Native Americans and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and Tribal public policy; provides funding to the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy to conduct policy research and outreach on the environment and related themes and to the Native Nations Institute for research, education, and outreach on Native American and Alaska Native health care issues and Tribal public policy issues; and provides assessment, mediation, training and other related services through the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.