Layton Lamsam was the only Osage to apply and be selected as a 2013 Udall Scholar.
“I’m really excited,” said Lamsam, 21. “It will not only be a great way to learn more and get more involved in health care in Indian Country, but a great way to make connections.”
Lamsam, a senior at Stanford University majoring in biology, is one of 50 students from 43 colleges and universities selected this year. Overall, there were 488 candidates nominated by 230 schools.
“Forty-two scholarships were awarded in the Environment category; four in Health Care; and four in Tribal Public Policy. Tribal public policy and health care scholars are members of six different tribes,” according to a press release.
The 2013 Udall Scholars will travel to Tucson, Ariz., in August to receive their awards, participate in a case study exercise, network and meet community leaders as well as policymakers.
“Anytime you can get together with people that are going into the same field as you is an exciting thing,” Lamsam said. “Plus to be able to sit down and talk about issues related to your field is great.”
Lamsam first heard about the Morris K. Udall and Steward L. Udall Foundation during his freshman orientation. He said it was the only scholarship opportunity that caught his attention.
Since he could not apply as a freshman, he filed it away until his sophomore year.
“When I applied as a sophomore I knew I could apply twice,” Lamsam said. “I wanted to get this scholarship and I knew I was going to do everything possible to get it.”
He was not selected his sophomore year and admits he was discouraged. However, since Lamsam was determined to get the scholarship he applied again.
“When I was selected this year, I was very happy,” he said.
Layton’s mother Teresa Trumbly Lamsam, who also serves on the Osage News Editorial Board, said she and the rest of the family are also very happy for him.
“As a family, we were the teary-eyed kind of happy when Stanford selected him as its nominee,” said Trumbly Lamsam. “Then, when he was named one of the national scholars, my immediate response was just to thank and thank God.”
Trumbly-Lamsam is also proud that Layton can add this to his list of accomplishments.
Layton co-chaired the Stanford Powwow in 2012, established the Indigenous Health Week speaker series at Stanford, and is the president of Stanford’s Natives in Medicine.
He will also be teaching the Rural and Native American Health Disparities during the 2013 winter quarter.
The last Osage to be named an Udall Scholar was Raymond “Studie” Red Corn in 2007.
Red Corn has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kansas and is delighted to see another Osage be named an Udall Scholar.
“I think the Udall program will be a great experience for Layton,” Red Corn said. “While Layton’s interest fills an obvious need in Indian Country, they are only a niche in academia.”
“Udall provides the connections to make things happen in that niche that are not otherwise available within one university,” he added.
For Red Corn, everything he learned at the conference in Arizona has helped him over the years and has added perspective to his research as a graduate student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
“I have no doubt Layton will make connections, between people and ideas, that will further himself, and the lives he works to improve,” Red Corn said.
Lamsam encourages other Osages to apply for the Udall Scholarship and scholarships in general.
“It has been a huge blessing for me and scholarships are something that are out of sight, out of mind … But they are something Osages can get a lot of use out of, ” he said.
This summer Lamsam will be studying for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), applying to 14 different medical schools and working on his research in T-cell immunology.
He will be graduating in June 2014 with his bachelor’s degree in biology.
Lamsam plans to become a physician and develop technology and policy that can improve healthcare delivery in Indian Country.
For more information about the Udall Scholarship and other programs offered by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, go online to www.udall.gov