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Merrick McMahon receives honorable mention in national Udall Scholarship competition

Merrick McMahon, a 2018 graduate of Minot High School in Minot, recently was recognized by the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship competition for his leadership, public service and dedication to tribal public-policy issues and tribal health., according to information provided by UND.

McMahon, a junior at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, earned an Honorable Mention in the nationwide contest. His selection makes him only the third student at the university ever to have won an Honorable Mention in the competition.

McMahon also has won other honors as a UND student, including a Cobell Scholarship. This competitive, merit- and need-based scholarship is available to college students who are enrolled members of a U.S. federally recognized tribe, enrolled in full-time study and seeking a degree.

Among McMahon’s other awards is a Sunflower Award from Trinity Health in Minot, where he has worked as a certified nursing assistant. The Sunflower Award recognizes the compassionate care and extraordinary services provided by Trinity Health’s CNAs.

The Udall Foundation honors the legacies of former U.S. Rep. Morris K. Udall and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, brothers whose concern for Native American issues and the environment resulted in many federal reforms. The foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who share the Udall brothers’ passion for and dedication to those issues.

McMahon is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. He is a biology student with minors in chemistry and psychology with a professional health science emphasis. He is studying to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for the Indian Health Service to improve the quality and number of available health care providers to Native Americans.

“As an honorable mention, Merrick has shown a real talent for making a significant and substantial impact in Native health care,” said Dr. Yee Han Chu, academic support and fellowship opportunities coordinator for the university.

“Merrick demonstrates impressive focus on his goal of becoming an oral surgeon for the Indian Health Service. His intrinsic motivation in his pursuit exemplifies the best among strong college students.”

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