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June 01, 2010

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WORCESTER, Mass. – June 1, 2010 – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) junior Linnea M. Palmer Paton has been named an Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention recipient in recognition of her commitment to environmental preservation. She is the first WPI student to be lauded by the independent federal agency, which recognizes sophomore and junior college students in the United States on the basis of their academic achievement and leadership, as well as their commitment to future careers related to the environment, Native American healthcare, or tribal public policy. This year, the Udall Foundation recognized 50 honorable mentions throughout the United States.

Palmer Paton is a civil engineering, and environmental policy and development double major, and hopes to pursue a career as a planner, focusing on conservation and environmental justice. A native of Sharon, Conn., she studied at the WPI Project Center in Morocco and recently screened a documentary film about the experience. In April, she presented the results of her analysis of "smart growth" policies and environmental justice in the United States at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Washington, D.C. For her senior civil engineering project this upcoming academic year, she will address methods to clean up a coal-ash spill in Kentucky. Aside from her studies, Palmer Paton is a regional coordinator in The Leadership Campaign, a grass-roots coalition that is committed to making Massachusetts a leader in the use of renewable sources of electricity and was a member of the international first-place team in the 2007 Canon Envirothon.

"I am honored to receive an Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention," Palmer Paton said. "WPI's flexible yet rigorous curriculum and its projects program have given me amazing opportunities. I am grateful to be a student at a university where studying abroad and helping solve the world's important problems are built into the curriculum."

About the Udall Foundation

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intending to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to Native American students pursuing tribal policy or health care careers. The Udall Foundation also offers a doctoral fellowship in environmental policy or conflict resolution and operates a Native American Congressional Internship program each summer in Washington, D.C., placing top college, graduate, and law students in Senate and House offices, the Executive Office of the President, and Cabinet agencies, where they learn firsthand how federal policies on tribal issues are developed. In 1998, the Foundation grew to include the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, created by Congress as the federal government's only program focused entirely on resolving federal environmental disputes.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. WPI's 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 20 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.