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UW-Madison students honored with Truman Scholarships, Udall nomination


University of Wisconsin-Madison News:

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has selected two University of Wisconsin-Madison students to receive the Truman Scholarship, an award given annually to undergraduates planning careers in public service leadership.

As Truman Scholars, Elizabeth Doyle, a junior from Verona, Wisconsin, majoring in community and nonprofit leadership, and Phoenix Rice-Johnson, a junior from Pahoa, Hawaii, majoring in political science and international studies, will each receive $30,000 for their graduate education, as well as professional development opportunities in leadership and public service.

Truman Award Winner with Dean ShimSoyeon Shim, dean of the School of Human Ecology, led a team of staff with balloons and “W” emblazoned cookies to surprise Doyle in class.

An adult returning student known for her initiative, motivation and leadership, Doyle’s concern for her daughter’s future motivated her to become involved in nonprofit work and government. She plans to pursue an MPA at UW-Madison’s LaFollette School of Public Affairs followed by a career in local politics. As the first woman president of the Verona City Council, she has already begun her journey.

John Karl Scholz, dean of the College of Letters & Science, surprised Rice-Johnson in her Hindi class, entering under the pretext that administrative review of the course had determined that an extra paper was needed for the students to receive full credit. To avoid the extra work, he said, the class could join him in enthusiastically congratulating the new Truman Scholar, who was moved to tears.

A dedicated student with a passion for public affairs, Rice-Johnson plans to pursue both a law degree and a master’s degree in government at Georgetown University, followed by a career in politics. She is particularly interested in issues of voter disenfranchisement and civic engagement.

This year, 688 candidates were nominated for the award by 297 schools across the United States. In late March and early April, regional selection panels interviewed each of the 200 finalists. The foundation selected 58 students for the award, which will be presented in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on Sunday, May 24.

Congress created the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation in 1975 to serve as the nation’s living memorial to President Truman. The foundation’s mission is to discover, encourage and support the next generation of leaders in public service. The Truman Scholarship is one of the most prestigious national awards in the country.

In addition, the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation recently announced the winners of the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship. The scholarships go to sophomores and juniors for their leadership, service and commitment to environmental issues or issues in American Indian communities.

One student from UW-Madison, Miles Tryon-Petith, received an honorable mention from the Udall Foundation. Tryon-Petith, a junior from Madison, Wisconsin, is majoring in geology, geological engineering and geophysics.

The Udall Foundation is a federal agency dedicated to promoting leadership, education, collaboration and conflict resolution in the areas of the environment, natural resources and public lands. The Foundation’s goals are to strengthen Native American nations, resolve environmental conflicts and foster appreciation and admiration for the country’s many natural resources.