The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Truman finalists announced

Three Texas A&M students have been chosen as finalists for the Truman Scholarship Foundation, which seeks college juniors with exceptional leadership potential and commitment to careers in public service.
Derek Mercer, Sarah Rubenstein and Adam Williams, are among the 212 finalists selected for scholarships in this year’s competition
“The Truman Foundation asks universities to nominate four students. The preliminary application process begins with eight to 10 students who submit an application including awards won, career aspirations, influences in their lives, and a policy proposal,” said Marcella F. Ellis, student development coordinator for the Office of Honors Programs and Scholarships.
Of the four finalists from A&M, the three were invited to continue in the process with an interview in Dallas this week with a regional selection panel made up of past Truman scholarship winners, university presidents and senior public servants.
For finalist Derek Mercer, a political science major whose aspirations to be a foreign officer for the Department of State in the developing countries of Africa or South America fulfill the “likelihood of making a difference” requirement for the scholarship, the interview process was more bearable than expected.
“The interview was a good opportunity to talk about who I am as a person,” he said.
As a military brat living overseas for the first decade of his life, Mercer knew that he would return because he wanted a career where he could live abroad and be a part of other cultures.
Besides co-leading a freshman Bible study and playing violin for a local trio, Mercer interned in Washington, D.C. with the Department of State for foreign service and plans to intern in Singapore as part of the LT Jordan Institute program.
“These finalists are fascinating individuals already and having experience in the public service area, actually living it will make them more attractive candidates,”said Don Curtis, former director in the Honors Program. “They are bright, shining lights at A&M.”
Rubenstein, a junior with a double major in political science and psychology, hopes to work for either the U.S. Department of State or Defense.
Williams, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in English, plans on a career in the Central Intelligence Agency, specializing in international security policy.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is officially the federal memorial to 33rd President Truman and was established in 1975 by Congress.
Each scholarship awarded provides $30,000 to each student, $3,000 for his senior year and $27,000 for graduate study. Other aspects of the scholarship include supplemental financial aid at several premiere graduate institutions, leadership training, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.
A Typical candidate is a person those who wants to work in the public sector for the military or the government, and are excellent students who want to make a difference in society and the world, Curtis said.
Rubenstein and Williams were unavailable for comment.
Scholarships will be awarded on March 21.

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