This week, Amanda Ward ’11 and John Monaghan ’11, finalists for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, had their last interviews in New York City.
Providing up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public services fields, the Truman Foundation selects between 60 and 65 college juniors in a nationwide search to find and recognize students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to a career in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service. The scholarship will provide students with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowships with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service. Many Truman Scholars go on to earn Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.
“Students undergo a rigorous, highly competitive application process, beginning at the campus level,” says Renee Nearpass, assistant director of health professions counseling and fellowship advising at the Salisbury Center for Career Services. “There were 576 applications from 245 schools nationwide in total, which were narrowed down to 176 finalists. Ten were selected in New York State, and John and Amanda are among them.”
Having spent the summer of 2008 interning at the Empire State Pride Agenda, Monaghan, a double major in political science and public policy, has plans to attend law school and hopes the legal training will serve him in his future goals of LGBTQ advocacy.
A double major in political science and international social justice, Ward helped spearhead the HWS Votes intiative over the past few years and has been involved in a variety of political and social groups on campus, including the HWS chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy and Amnesty International. With graduate school for public administration and affairs on the horizon, Ward hopes to go on to work in a capacity to design programs based on voter education and student activism in politics.
With assistance from three alums – attorney Andrew Gaines ’83 of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP; Dorothy Wickenden ’76, executive editor of The New Yorker; and Theodore Niedermayer ’84, managing director of Merrill Lynch & Co. – Monaghan and Ward were able to hone their interviewing skills in mock interviews before their final interviews with representatives from the Truman Foundation in New York City on Friday.
“John and Amanda have come a long way and done a huge amount of hard work and service,” says Nearpass. “The neat thing is that in addition to alums in New York, we’ve had a campus committee working closely with these students, including Judge Timothy Buckley and Councilwoman Jackie Augustine ’99, in addition to community partners and HWS faculty and administration.”
For more information on the Truman Scholarship, visit the Web site.