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University Relations

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Feb. 21, 2005
Contact: Sue Lorenz. KU honors program, (785) 864-4225, or Mary Jane Dunlap, University Relations, (785) 864-8853.

KU nominates 4 students for Truman Scholarship competition

LAWRENCE -- Four University of Kansas students have been nominated to compete for a 2005 Truman Scholarship. The national scholarships provide up to $30,000 for college students preparing for leadership in public service.

KU's nominees are Madeleine Baker of Huntsville, Texas; Irene Beeman of Manhattan; Emily Howard of Dodge City and Steven Munch, Bellevue, Neb. All plan to graduate KU in 2006.

A selection committee is reviewing applications from about 600 candidates for the Truman Foundation in Washington, D.C. Approximately 200 nominees will be named finalists on Feb. 22. Those finalists will compete for up to 75 scholarships that will be announced on March 29.

Beginning this year, Truman Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds.

Regional panels interview the finalists and make recommendations for the 75 scholarships available nationally. Truman Scholars are chosen on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of "making a difference." Candidates must be planning careers in public service and must propose a solution to a public policy issue as part of their application.

Since 1981, 15 KU students have become Truman scholars. The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 and made its first scholarship awards in 1977.

KU's 2005 nominees, their academic interests and achievements, leadership activities, policy proposals, parents' names and highs schools are included in the following brief biographical sketches:

  • Madeleine Baker is majoring in political science and environmental studies. Baker is working as an intern this spring with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and plans to begin a congressional internship this summer. Her career goals include working in public policy development and analysis to protect the environment. She would use a Truman Scholarship to pursue a master's in public policy. She is a National Merit Scholar and a Kansas Asia Scholar.

    Fiona Yap, KU assistant professor of political science, has recommended publication of a paper that Baker and two student colleagues wrote on the political economy of China. Baker addresses her policy proposal to Karl Mueldener, director of the water division in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She offers a solution to reducing agricultural runoff in the Kansas River when funds are limited. Baker is the daughter of Gary and Kathleen Baker of Huntsville, Texas, and is a graduate of Cedar Falls High School in Iowa.

  • Irene Beeman is majoring in sociology and will be among the first students to complete a minor in KU's relatively new peace and conflict studies program. She plans to seek a master's degree in peace studies. She works as a lab and field assistant for the Kansas Biological Survey and has worked with the Wadeable Streams Assessment Project of the Environmental Protection Agency. One of her career goals is to create and inhabit an environmentally sustainable model house. In Lawrence, Beeman is working with three co-ops to develop a shared organic garden. She is a University Scholar, a program recognizing the top 20 sophomores at KU. Beeman offers two policy proposals to the water administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to decrease and restore dead zones or oxygen-depleted zones in the Mississippi River basin. Her proposals emphasize creating the greatest environmental benefit with the least social and economic costs. She is the daughter of Richard and Sylvia Beeman and is a Manhattan High School graduate.

  • Emily Howard is working on dual degrees in sociology and in journalism. She plans to earn a law degree and a master's of international affairs focusing on labor and employment and inequality issues. She would like to serve in a federal agency designing policies that will foster a healthy economic environment for job seekers, wage earners and retirees. She works with the Topeka Housing Authority and with the Kansas Energy Council. As an Alternative Break coordinator at KU, Howard has designed curriculum for 80 participants and is preparing to measure its effectiveness. In Dodge City, as a member of the 2002 Kansas Community Leadership Corps, Howard organized a Spanish film festival, a literacy event for children and taught a computer class. Howard is a Gates Millennium Scholar, an SBC Foundation Scholar, a Kansas/Asia Scholar and a Korean American Foundation Scholar. Her policy proposal is for economic development in Western Kansas and is addressed to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Howard offers three suggestions for increasing wind energy development. She is the daughter of Scott and Dana Howard, Dodge City, and is a Dodge City High School graduate.

  • Steven Munch is majoring in sociology and history. He plans to earn a law degree and a master's degree in sociology with a goal of working in community development or policy formation. As KU Student Body President, Munch is working on a promise to stabilize tuition costs for incoming freshman for four years. Last fall, he assisted in organizing a Civic Literacy Week and registered a record 4,000 voters on campus for the 2004 election. He is a National Merit Scholar and a University Scholar. His policy proposal focuses on school finance and is addressed to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. He urges the governor to form a coalition of lawmakers, community leaders and administrative officials to assess expansion of legalized gaming in Kansas as a source of revenue. Munch is the son of Mike and Joli Munch, Bellevue, Neb., and was valedictorian of his Bellevue East High School class.

To compete, candidates must be full-time students in the upper fourth of their class and have grade-point averages of at least 3.0. They also must be U.S. citizens or nationals. Students must compete for a KU nomination in order to pursue the Truman Scholarship.

Truman Scholars are eligible to receive $30,000 for graduate studies. Scholars in master's degree programs planning to receive degrees in one to two years are eligible to receive $15,000 per year. Scholars in graduate programs requiring three or more years of academic study are eligible to receive $15,000 for the first year of study and $15,000 for the final year of study. Scholars may attend schools in the United States or in foreign countries.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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