Meet UConn’s 2021 Udall Scholarship Nominees


UConn 2021 Udall Nominees
UConn’s 2021 nominees for the Udall Scholarship (l to r): Sage Phillips and Sena Wazer.


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.  In 2021, the Udall Foundation anticipates awarding 55 scholarships of up to $7,000 each.  The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.  UConn may nominate up to four candidates in for the Udall Scholarship in each category.  Internal applications for nomination are generally due in early January.  The following students were UConn’s 2021 nominees for the Udall Scholarship.


Sage Phillips (CLAS ’22), from Old Town, ME, is a junior double-majoring in political science and human rights with a minor in native American & indigenous studies at the University of Connecticut. As a young panawáhpskewi (Penobscot) woman of the Wabanaki people, Sage hopes to pursue a joint program receiving a J.D. and M.A. in American Indian Law. Sage is the Founding President of the Native American & Indigenous Students Association and the Student Coordinator for Native American Cultural Programs (NACP) at UConn. She hopes that through her efforts to expand NACP to become a Cultural Center, she paves the way for UConn as a land-grant institution to work towards reparations for CT Native youth. Rewarded for her work surrounding leadership, Sage was selected as a member of the Leadership Legacy Experience, recognizing the University’s most exceptional student leaders. Currently, she is a Co-Lead on a grant titled “Bridging the Gap: Assessing the Needs of Native Students in America’s Higher Education” and a Coordinator for UConn’s Indigenous Nations Cultural and Educational Exchange youth mentorship program. Both grants focus largely on land reassessment and opportunities for Native youth at UConn in hopes to get the University to be at good relation with the land it stands upon.  


Sena Wazer (CLAS ’22), from Storrs, CT, is a junior majoring in environmental studies. She currently co-directs Sunrise CT, a hub of the national Sunrise Movement, which is a youth led movement fighting to “stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.” As co-director, Sena helped organize the September 20th and December 6th, 2019 youth climate strikes at the CT State Capitol in Hartford. In early 2020, she was also the lead organizer for the Sunrise CT youth lobby day at the CT state legislature, which brought over 150 students to the Capitol. Over the summer of 2020, Sena chaired a subcommittee on the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, and phonebanked for candidates who ran for state legislature. Recently, she helped organize and facilitate the first Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Youth Climate Summit. Sena was also chosen to be a part of the 2021 Leadership Legacy Cohort at UConn. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a joint Law degree and Master’s degree in environmental management, and run for office. She is passionate about climate justice and social justice, and wants to bring that passion into politics.


To learn more about these and other nationally-competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships and click “Talk to an Advisor.”

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