College student wins Truman ScholarshipBy Jennifer Vanasco
Third-year College student Elizabeth Evenson has been named a Truman Scholar, a distinction awarded to 90 or fewer American college students each year.
Evenson, a public policy major, will use the $30,000 award to pursue graduate studies in law and international relations. She is interested in a future career in international human rights law and as a policy maker in the U.S. government.
Evenson is both a feminist and president of the campus pro-life association, an unusual combination. As president of the Pro-Life Association, she has increased the organization's level of activity and visibility, bringing seminars on pregnancy and child-rearing to campus.
"I think that the challenges of becoming a parent can be more pronounced at an academic institution, where the vast majority of students don't have parenting responsibilities," Evenson said. "As a feminist, I care that women not feel coerced into abortion [because of a lack of other choices]. I hope that the Pro-Life Organization can help break down some of the barriers that prevent parents from completing their studies."
Evenson noted that she was concerned about discussing such political views in her application, but because "it's a scholarship for people who want to make a difference, I decided the whole point is to have a political viewpoint," she said.
Evenson is also a vice president of the University's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity, and an Assistant Resident Head for Vincent House in Burton-Judson Courts. She is a member of the University's chapter of Amnesty International and of the Political Union.
To become a Truman Scholar, Evenson submitted a public-policy analysis on war crime tribunals and a personal statement and also endured two interviews.
"Liz has a very strong sense of self. She is heading on a path of public service, and she will be successful," said Tim Blackman, College Adviser and head of Chicago's Truman screening committee.
He added, "As someone who's seen many University students go on to be Truman finalists, I think that their understanding of the world has been broadened and deepened by the University's general education requirement, and that's very attractive to the Truman Foundation."
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the official federal memorial to the 33rd U.S. President. The foundation awards scholarships to students who have outstanding leadership potential, plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service and wish to attend graduate school in preparation for their careers.