Four SRSU grad students receive Scudday Endowed Scholarship

ALPINE — Four Sul Ross State University graduate students are the recipients of the 2020 James F. Scudday Endowed Scholarship.

The scholarships are $1,000 grants offered annually to SRSU graduate students conducting research in the Chihuahuan Desert region, with preference given to applicants conducting research in vertebrate biology.

This is the first year four scholarships have been awarded, as opposed to the customary two issued annually, according to Lisa Gordon, executive director of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (CDRI).

“We’re always impressed with the quality of the applications, and this year, it was virtually impossible to select only two recipients,” Gordon said.

This year’s scholarship recipients are: Rachel Bittner, Alex Chavez, Leah Bakewell and Jacob Locke.

James F. Scudday, Ph.D. (1929-2009) was a CDRI co-founder and longtime professor of Biology at Sul Ross. Upon his retirement in 1995, he was named a distinguished professor emeritus by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, the board’s highest honor for retired educators. In addition to a full teaching load, Dr. Scudday conducted significant research, published in scientific journals, and prepared numerous comprehensive vertebrate surveys for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the National Park Service. During his SRSU tenure, Dr. Scudday directed more than 100 students in graduate programs and thesis projects. Many of his former students remained in close contact with him during the course of his lifetime.

The Dr. James F. Scudday CDRI Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 2010 in recognition of his many contributions to the field and his passion for teaching. Income from the fund supports scholarships, such as these four awards described herein, for Sul Ross graduate students. These scholarships are but one way CDRI fulfills its commitment to nature based education and the support of research of the Chihuahuan Desert region, as well as demonstrating the nearly five-decade connection between the CDRI and SRSU.