TU Student Wins 2001 Udall Scholarship

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

University of Tulsa sophomore Tim Swearingen, who hopes to lead national efforts to find new environmentally friendly water purification methods, has been awarded a Morris K. Udall Scholarship, one of 80 awarded nationally.

The Udall scholarship is given by the Morris K. Udall Foundation, an executive branch agency established to honor the late Udall’s 30 years of service in the House of Representatives, including his commitment to the preservation of the nation’s environment.

Each year the foundation awards undergraduate scholarships of up to $5,000 to American juniors and seniors in fields related to the environment and to Native American and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care or tribal policy.

Earlier this month, Swearingen was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the premier award for undergraduates in mathematics, science and engineering.

Swearingen, who is majoring in chemistry, is active in the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC), a TU program that offers highly motivated undergraduate students challenging research, advanced coursework and one-on-one mentoring with faculty.

As a TURC student, his research involves examining the use of titania aerogels -- highly porous solids -- for water purification. He also works as a technology transfer assistant in a project with TU’s Continuing Education office that helps independent oil producers keep their sites free of spills by following basic preventive maintenance tips.

Swearingen, who plans to earn a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry, says his career goal is to lead a federal government research group “to create and implement innovative water purification methods and guidelines that do not further pollute the environment.”

In 1998 he helped organize an annual event, “Clean-Up Duncanville,” in which he coordinated 200 volunteers who collected litter along his Texas hometown’s streets.

Swearingen, a 1999 graduate of Duncanville High School, is the son of Ray and Martha Swearingen of Duncanville, Texas.