One of the Best Consecutive Records in the Nation

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive and prestigious federal scholarship granted to U.S. college juniors for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service. The scholarship is in the amount of $30,000 toward a graduate education. According to the Washington Post, the Truman Scholarship's "sole aim is to pick out people with potential to become leaders—then provide support to help them realize their aspirations." Congress created the scholarship in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd president of the United States. Instead of a statue, the Truman Scholarship is the official federal memorial to its namesake president.

The Hinckley Institute is the University of Utah's designated entity for preparing and nominating Truman Candidates. For more information on applying to the Truman Scholarship, contact the Hinckley Institute at 801-581-8501.

To view and download a sample of the Truman Scholarship application, click here.

Truman Information Session—October 6, 12:00–1:00 PM

Candidate Applications due to Hinckley Institute—December 11 

Truman application:  current resume, current transcripts (all institutions of higher education attended),  Three letters of recommendation, Application Form and Policy Proposal. 


Tianna Tu announced as 2014 Truman Scholar

Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced the University of Utah’s Tianna Tu as one of 59 students selected as a 2014 Truman Scholar.  Tu was chosen from an original pool of 655 applicants from 294 colleges and universities across the United States. The University of Utah is the only school to have produced a Truman Scholar in seven of the last eight years.

“The University community applauds Tianna Tu’s tremendous achievements,” says University of Utah President David W. Pershing. “The Truman Scholarship honors the finest students in the nation. As the Truman Foundation has recognized, Tianna is outstanding in every way. We are honored to have her represent the U.”

As an Eccles Distinguished Scholar, Tianna exhibits exceptional academic abilities by maintaining an impressive 3.99 GPA while pursuing Dual Honors Degrees in Political Science and International Studies. She has served three Hinckley internships, working for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, as an intern for the Utah State Legislature with the House Minority Leader, and as an intern for the U.S. State Department International Organization Affairs, Human Rights Council in Washington, DC. Tianna is an accomplished writer and currently serves as a co-editor for the Hinckley Journal of Politics, which will feature her work, “Fulfilling Global Maternal Health Obligations: A Rights-Based Approach.”

While her academic record is strong, it is Tianna’s extensive community involvement and leadership experiences that truly set her apart. She has served as a University of Utah and Honors College Student Ambassador, Honors College Legal Scholar and Community Leadership Scholar, Associated Students of the University of Utah Assembly Vice Chair and Government Relations Board Member, co-founder of the Utah Transparency Project promoting citizen engagement, University of Utah coordinator for the statewide Education First initiative and petition drive, co-coordinator of the University of Utah Girl Rising project, and volunteer for the Utah Asian Association Women’s Reproductive Health Workshop. She works as an analyst at Leavitt Partners. Notably, drawing from her own community experience in which higher education was not the norm, she organized an extensive mentoring program for underprivileged high school girls to encourage them to attend college and apply for scholarships; in this capacity she has mentored more than 250 students who have gone on to excel at the college level.

As the daughter of a Vietnamese boat refugee, Tianna has seen first hand how human rights abuses and the ravages of war can leave individuals and communities broken for generations; this unique background has inspired her to dedicate her life to promoting change in areas relating to democracy, development, and international policy. Her Truman Scholarship Policy Proposal advocates for human rights integration in the Post-2015 UN Millennium Development Goals agenda.

Commenting on her selection, Tianna stated, “I am incredibly thankful to have been selected as a Truman Scholar, and I attribute so much of this recognition to the dedicated faculty and staff at the University of Utah. It is an honor to be recognized among so many other talented candidates. I am excited to continue my journey of public service, and hope my selection empowers other young leaders to aspire for greatness and pursue seemingly unachievable goals.”

After graduating in May 2015, Tianna will pursue a joint J.D. / M.B.A. degree, followed by a career in international development. Tianna’s diverse academic, community, and political experiences have given her the tools to be an agent of change when it comes to advocating for women’s empowerment, gender rights, and policy related to East Asia.

Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute, who received the Truman Scholarship while he was a University of Utah student in 1990 said: “Tianna is worthy of this honor in every way; as a Truman Scholar, she will represent the Hinckley Institute and the University of Utah with distinction. Now with the merit and opportunities attributed to Truman Scholars, she will be that much more effective in advocating for human rights.”

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the thirty-third president, Harry S. Truman. The Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service.  The prestigious scholarship provides each recipient $30,000 for graduate study as well as priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special fellowship opportunities within the federal government.  Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.

Each year, thousands of students across the nation apply for the Truman Scholarship at their respective universities.  Each university is allowed to nominate up to three students from their university.  This year, the Truman Foundation received 655 applications from 294 colleges and universities. The Committee selected 204 candidates from 138 colleges and universities as Finalists.

Selection panels interview finalists from a three to four state region and generally elect one scholar from each state and one or two at-large scholars from the region.  Each panel typically includes a university president, a federal judge, a distinguished public servant, and past Truman Scholarship winners.  Tu is one of 59 scholars selected from this year’s 204 finalists.

There have been 2,965 Truman Scholars selected since the first awards were made in 1977. The 2014 Truman Scholars will assemble May 22nd for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and they will receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 25, 2014.

The Hinckley Institute is also the University of Utah representative for this prestigious national scholarship competitions. Twenty-five students from the University of Utah have been named Truman Scholars, including Hinckley Institute Director Kirk Jowers.


Previous Truman Scholars 

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Ashley Edgette (2012) was announced as the 2012 Truman Scholar from Utah, making the Hinckley Institute of Politics the only institution in the nation to produce a scholar in each of the last six consecutive years

Ashley Edgette exhibits outstanding academic abilities by maintaining a 3.86 GPA while pursuing dual honors degrees in political science and environmental studies as well as a minor in French. She has received several academic achievement awards, including the Utah Compact Civically Engaged Student Award, and is an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Sustainability Scholar, a Lowell Bennion Service Learning Scholar, and an Honors College Social Justice Scholar. Ashley has served two internships through the Hinckley Institute of Politics, working first as an intern with the Mestizo Arts and Activism Collective in Salt Lake City, Utah. In this capacity, Ashley mentored local high school students as they engaged in the legislative process by tracking bills, lobbying, researching, and reporting at the Utah State Legislature. Ashley also served as a Government Relations Intern with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, D.C. During this internship, Ashley helped organize a national, statewide, and local letter campaign to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and food stamps from becoming block granted, led a research investigation on the educational and nutritional benefits of vegetable gardens at elementary schools, and lobbied ranking Senate staff members to advocate for vulnerable American families. 

After graduating in May 2013, Ashley plans to study the intersection of community development, sustainable food systems, and social justice through city and metropolitan planning. Her previous work also includes organizing two community-school gardens at Title I elementary schools in Salt Lake City and serving as an editor of the Hinckley Journal of Politics. In her spare time, she is a skier, writer, reader, gardener, community organizer, baker, artist, and outdoor enthusiast. Ashley’s Truman Policy Proposal addressed the issue of community food security by increasing funding for USDA Community Food Projects and integrating them into Title I elementary schools. 

Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute, who received the Truman Scholarship while he was a University of Utah student in 1990 said: “Ashley truly is a well-deserving Truman Scholar who will represent the Hinckley Institute and the University of Utah with distinction. She has built a strong legacy of public service, is committed to serving others, and focused on solving problems. Now with the distinction and opportunities attributed to Truman Scholars, she will be that much more effective in advocating for and serving vulnerable American families.” 


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Brandon Peart (2011) interned at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs. In this capacity, Brandon was involved in the U.S. response to the liberation of Libya by encouraging the U.S. business community to expand operations and support the war wounded in Libya. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellow-ship Foundation named him one of 20 undergraduate students nationwide to receive the 2011 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which provides support for Brandon’s undergraduate and graduate studies as he prepares to enter the United States Foreign Service. As part of the Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Summer Institute and the Pickering Fellow-ship, Brandon will return to the Department of State in the Office of Terrorism Finance and Sanctions Policy next summer. He additionally served Hinckley Internships with Peter Corroon for Governor, the Woodrow Wilson 


Cody Scott Rogers (2010) is a first-year student at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he is further developing interests in public official corruption and election law. Prior to graduating from the University of Utah in 2011, Cody served a Hinckley internship in Brussels, Belgium, with the U.S. Mission to NATO. Cody also completed an internship with Senator Bob Bennett, and worked in the Senator’s office for three years as a staff assistant, office manager, and state scheduler. “I have very little doubt that I would not currently be studying at UVA had it not been for the Truman,” Cody said. “Beyond just being a nice recognition the entire process focused my energies and brought perspective on what it is I want to do with my life.” 


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Patrick Reimherr (2009) graduated from the University of Utah in 2010 with degrees in political science, economics, and Spanish. He served Hinckley Internships with Christian Burridge’s congressional campaign, Representative Ralph Becker, and the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C. Patrick is currently a Truman-Albright Fellow and Social Science Research Analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. 


Ingrid Price (2008) just graduated from Stanford Law School. She completed several Hinckley Internships as an undergraduate student, working with U.S. State Department Mission to N.A.T.O. in Brussels, Belgium; the U.N. Foundation in Washington, D.C., with the Better World Campaign; and Ralph Becker’s mayoral campaign. Before attending law school she obtained an M.Phil. in international relations at the University of Cambridge. She will be working as a summer associate with Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York and interning in fall of 2012 in Washington, D.C., with Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. 


Bryson Morgan (2007) graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2011. He is currently an Associate at Caplin & Drysdale in Wash-ington, D.C., where he advises clients on election, campaign finance, pay-to-play, lobbying, and governmental ethics laws and regulations. As an undergraduate student at the Univer-sity of Utah, Bryson completed Hinckley internships with State Representative Karen Morgan and the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C.; he was also student staff at the Hinckley Institute. While attending Harvard Law School, Bryson served as a legal clerk to the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics and was an intern at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.