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One Year Later with Elizabeth Doyle, SoHE's Truman Scholarship Recipient

In addition to $30,000 toward graduate education, the coveted Truman award has given UW-Madison’s Elizabeth Doyle experiences that are positively impacting her life, education, and hometown of Verona, WI.

Elizabeth (center) with her policy group at William Jewell College.
Elizabeth (center) with her policy group at William Jewell College.

In spring 2015, CNPL major Elizabeth Doyle received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for undergraduates planning careers in public service leadership. Just a month after the award announcement, Elizabeth found herself at spending a week at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, gathering with the other 2015 scholarship recipients, living on campus, networking, meeting with former scholars, analyzing public policies, and volunteering.

“I didn’t realize what a robust community the Truman Foundation fosters,” Elizabeth states. “One of the most important factors in success in the public sector is having a network for sharing ideas and complementary services. I believe being a part of this community will be an invaluable asset as my career moves forward.”

Travel to the Truman Summer Institute

Elizabeth’s networking opportunities continue well into 2016. From June through July, she is attending the Truman Foundations’ Summer Institute in Washington, D.C., which includes an eight-week public service internship, seminars on national politics and policy making, meetings with former scholars and public servants, and scholar-led presentations. Her internship is with the nonprofit City First Enterprise. “They are a leading organization in supporting affordable housing and community based development in D.C.,” explains Elizabeth, who works on similar issues in her hometown of Verona, WI, where she serves as city council president and is on the Dane County Housing Initiative steering committee.

The experience will also be memorable for her family. Once school is out in Verona, Elizabeth’s mother and nine-year-old daughter will join her. “She is excited about the trip,” she states about her daughter, Zoe. “I’ll be busy during the week but in the evenings and weekends we’ll have time together to see museums and more of D.C.”

Studying Public Affairs at UW-Madison

Back in Madison, Elizabeth is working to complete her master’s studies at highly ranked Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. She envisions herself in the future working as a public servant in the state. “Despite opportunities to work on the federal level, I still believe I can make the greatest impact by staying in Wisconsin,” she explains. “The more experience I accumulate with local government, the more its importance is reinforced. The decisions made at this level have a profound impact on people’s daily lives. Many policies that are being perpetuated here do not serve the majority of residents and forsake long-term implications for short-term gains when it comes to housing, transportation, and education.”

Currently, Elizabeth is earning her Master’s degree in public affairs at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs and a Master’s certificate in business, environment, and social responsibility at UW-Madison’s School of Business. She graduated from UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology in late 2015 with a Community and Nonprofit Leadership Bachelor of Science and plans to walk in the spring 2016 ceremony. “My studies at the School of Human Ecology as well as the LaFollette School of Public Affairs have equipped me with the tools and perspectives necessary to address issues. Now all I have to do is find those in power with the political will to enact them.

From the Truman Scholarship Foundation website:

Elizabeth has had a passion for justice and equity from a young age. Dreams of making an impact on the lives of others and advocating for those without a voice came to fruition through her involvement in community organizing. The experience she gained through volunteering to further health, education, and political campaigns equipped her with the skills to be that advocate. Elizabeth lives in Verona, Wisconsin, with her partner, Thomas, and daughter, Zoe, where she serves as City Council President. She was elected to this position unanimously by her colleagues halfway through her first term as Alderperson making her the first woman in leadership in Verona’s history.

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