July 25, 2008

Student is first in Illinois to win prestigious award

by Laura Taylor

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale student Timasha Udugama is the 2008 Peter Buchanan Scholarship winner -- and he is the first student in the state of Illinois to claim the prestigious award.

The Association of Student Advancement Programs (ASAP) recently announced Udugama as the winner of the scholarship. Officials also told him that no past winners had come from Illinois schools.

“I was truly honored to find out that I won. The scholarship usually goes to students at Big Ten schools,” said Udugama, a senior majoring in physiology.

Udugama’s award proves his determination and enthusiasm for the University. An international student from Colombo, Sri Lanka, he is president of the SIU Student Alumni Council, the Student Orientation Committee staff and a Student Life Advisor Team Captain. He also serves on the Sri Lankan Students Association, two honors societies -- Alpha Lambda Delta and Sigma Alpha Lambda, two national honor societies, and he has accumulated more than 400 community service hours during his time at SIUC.

ASAP is an association of student organizations and has a presence at more than 300 institutions of higher education. The association’s mission it to enrich student advancement programming. The Peter Buchanan Scholarship goes to students who show commitment and support for their colleges or universities, maintain leadership roles, receive honors and positively influence their peers.

In addition to the scholarship award, Udugama receives a stipend to cover the costs of attending the ASAP Network Convention. The 2008 convention is set for July 31 through Aug. 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Udugama receives his award during the convention.