'A great success story' - Albuquerque Journal

‘A great success story’

UNM-Gallup student Cobin Willie, right, poses with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., during an awards ceremony in Tucson for the prestigious Udall Scholarship, named after Morris and Stewart Udall in the extended family.

The University of New Mexico-Gallup recently announced that Cobin Willie, a level 2 nursing student, is the first student from the school to be awarded the prestigious Udall Scholarship, named after Morris and Stewart Udall in the extended family.

Willie also is currently the only recipient from New Mexico for this academic year, according to a news release.

A member of the Navajo Nation from To’hajiilee, he was picked from among 437 applicants from 209 schools.bright spot

The scholarship, sponsored by the Udall Foundation, pays tribute to Morris and Stewart Udall, who spent their careers working on initiatives that impacted Native American self-governance, health care and environmental issues.

“I was initially intimidated by such heavy requirements (in the application),” Willie said in a statement. “The standards were very high, but the blessing of the process was that it made me think about priorities and career goals. I initially was going into community paramedics, but as a result of going through the application process, I felt I was guided towards nursing and art therapy.”

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., represented his family at the Udall Scholarship orientation, which took place in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this month during which he gave a lecture to the scholars on the importance of arts in communities.

Willie is proud of his school, and feels comfortable with the size of the UNM Gallup campus and the support he is receiving.

“I don’t feel like this would have happened to me anywhere else,” he said. “I loved representing a small school.”

Willie, already an emergency medical technician, is also just a few credit hours away from receiving an associate degree in emergency medical services, according to a news release.

Dr. James Malm, UNM-Gallup chief executive officer, congratulated Willie.

“We are so proud of Cobin and his accomplishments,” he said in a statement. “He is a great success story and illustrates many of the reasons students thrive at UNM-Gallup. We will continue cheering him on as he achieves his educational and professional goals.”

For more information about the Udall Foundation, visit https://www.udall.gov/AboutUs/AboutUs.aspx.

 

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