WSU junior recognized by Udall Foundation

Alyssa NorrisPULLMAN, Wash. – Alyssa Norris, a WSU junior in engineering and an Alaska native, has received a nationally competitive Udall Foundation honorable mention award in its environment category.

“The Udall nod validates Alyssa’s commitment to the environment and her work toward a career addressing issues on a local, national and global scale,” said April Seehafer, director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program, part of WSU’s Office Undergraduate Education. “Alyssa’s personal and professional accomplishments as a WSU student have prepared her very well for this latest and well-deserved honor.”

Norris is the first engineering major to land a Udall award at WSU.

Aligned with career goals

A civil engineering major from North Pole, Alaska, Norris has studied, pursued projects and initiatives, and won awards and an internship related to the environment. She intends to further seek a master’s/juris doctor joint degree emphasizing environmental resources.

Her goal is to be a political leader who will draft public policies and legislation encouraging clean and renewable energy while protecting the environment and people who live in rural communities.

Numerous awards and positions

“I am committed to helping solve the energy issues we face, and being recognized by the Udall Foundation just motivates me to keep working harder,” said Norris.

“This summer I plan on going home and sharing my passion and experience with Alaskan students through the STEM-Enrichment Alaska program.”

As a freshman, Norris received a Fulbright U.S.-U.K. Undergraduate Exchange Award for summer study at the University of Bristol in England. She also has been a Mount Vernon Leadership Fellow and a U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) Education Scholar, and won the Western Region Energy Co-op Award for leadership.

She served as president of the local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers; senator and officer for the Associated Students of WSU (ASWSU); president of the Startup WSU entrepreneurship club; design coordinator of a concrete canoe competition team of the American Society of Civil Engineers; and member of several environment and engineering groups. She worked on WSU’s solar decathlon project. For the DOE, she measured the effects of renewable energy distribution through the U.S.; her investigation was published as an internal white paper and referenced in the second edition of the DOE “Quadrennial Energy Review.”

For more information about the Udall and other nationally competitive awards, see