UNL Truman Day Nov. 8 to include workshop, award presentation

Released on 11/02/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

WHERE: Kauffman Academic Residential Center and Nebraska Union

Lincoln, Neb., November 2nd, 2010 —

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will hold a day of workshops Nov. 8 devoted to helping students compete for nationally competitive scholarships. Truman Day will culminate with UNL being recognized as one of two 2010 Honor Institutions by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

The workshops will be led by UNL alumni and current students who successfully completed the application process. They include Truman Scholars, Truman finalists, a Marshall Scholar, a Goldwater Scholar and one alumnus who won both the Truman Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship. All were scholarship winners or finalists within the last 10 years.

The recognition as an Honor Institution is an award from the Truman Foundation. The award acknowledges institutions that encourage their students to pursue public service careers and that successfully help their students win Truman Scholarships. The Truman Foundation awards scholarships to college juniors who want to have careers in public service.

The award will be presented at a luncheon by Frederick Slabach, the executive secretary of the Truman Foundation. Chancellor Harvey Perlman will accept the award on behalf of the university.

The 45-minute workshops will include a presentation by the scholars and finalists and will give students a chance to ask questions about the application process. The workshops will serve as a guide to understanding the complexity of the application process and as a confidence boost for students considering applying.

"I hope that they learn that it's possible to win these," Laura Damuth, director of undergraduate research and fellowship adviser, said. "We have the students to prove it."

All recent UNL Truman winners or finalists are coming to campus for the event and the workshops. They are:

* Megan Spilinek Schmid, originally from Weeping Water, won the Truman Scholarship in 2003. Today, she is an active duty Air Force officer and is attending law school at Villanova Law School. She lives in Eastampton, N.J.

* Aaron Eske, originally from Lincoln, said his experience as a Marshall Scholar was "life-changing." Eske won the Marshall Scholarship in 2006 and was a Truman finalist. The Marshall Scholarship finances graduate students to study in the United Kingdom in the field of their choice. Eske is now a senior account executive at a public relations firm that specializes in working with nonprofit clients like the American Heart Association. He is living in Washington, D.C., and just finished writing a book.

* Bobby Jacobberger, originally from Omaha, won the Goldwater Scholarship in 2010 and was a Truman finalist. The Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to promising scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Jacobberger is a senior at UNL majoring in chemical and biomolecular engineering, and will graduate in May.

* Sarah Fech, originally from Omaha, was a Truman finalist in 2008. She credits the application process in making her decision to go to law school instead of graduate school or a Ph.D. program. Fech is in her second year of law school at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.

* Jonathan Jones, originally from Fremont, said the Truman experience was "critical" for his personal and professional growth. His additional Fulbright experience pushed him towards policy school, he said. Jones won the Truman Scholarship in 2004 and a Fulbright Scholarship in 2005. Today he is a master of public policy student focusing on social policy and international security policy at the University of Chicago.

* Adam Morfeld, originally from Sioux Falls, S.D., was a Truman finalist in 2008. Although he did not win the scholarship he used his Truman policy proposal to create Nebraskans for Civic Reform, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advocates for civic education and election reforms. Morfeld is in his second year of law school at the University of Nebraska College of Law.

* Emily Snodgrass, originally from Lincoln. was a Truman finalist in 2006. Snodgrass did Teach for America in Baltimore, Md., while she earned her master's degree from John Hopkins University. Last summer she worked as a literacy specialist for TFA in New York City, after working in the Baltimore City Public School System as a reading specialist for elementary and middle schools last year. This year, she is working at a charter school in the same school district.

* Angela Clements, originally from Elmwood, said she is grateful she attended a public university for her undergraduate education. She said she thinks public schools like UNL can bring "a unique perspective" to the national scholarship application process. Clements won the Truman Scholarship in 2001. Clements is an attorney and legal fellow at the Berkeley Law Center on Health, Economic and Family Security where she works on federal law and policy related to work-family issues. Next year, she will work at a law firm in San Francisco.

* David Solheim, originally from Norfolk, was a Truman finalist in 2008 and after graduating with a bachelor's degree in international studies and economics, he is studying for his law degree at the University of Nebraska College of Law.

* Matthew Boring of Lincoln won the Truman in 2010 and is a senior trumpet major at UNL.

Workshops begin at 9 a.m. with a plenary session for faculty, staff and students at Kauffman Great Hall, followed by workshops in the afternoon at the Nebraska Union.

UNL was named a Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation Honor Institution in June, in recognition of the university's outstanding record of support for Truman Scholars. Each year the Truman Foundation selects two institutions for its honor award. The award recognizes an institution's active encouragement of students pursuing careers in public service, effective promotion of the Truman Scholarship program, and sustained success in helping students win Truman Scholarships. The other 2010 honoree is Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards 60 to 65 merit-based scholarships each year to college juniors to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public service.

WRITER: Christine Scalora, University Communications