Emmanuel College junior Dina Malual has been selected as a finalist for the 2020 Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders.
Malual is the first Emmanuel student to ever be recognized in this way. This month, she will have the opportunity to be interviewed and compete for a $30,000 graduate school scholarship.
An international studies major and a resident assistant on campus, Malual played a key leadership role at the College during one of the most significant periods of student activism in recent memory. She served as one of the authors of and advocates for a document produced by the Black Student Union entitled “We the Students: A Call to Action.”
As a high school student, Malual was inspired by an aunt to think about how to resolve divisions between Sudanese living in the United States, as well as in Sudan itself. Understanding that expatriate communities often have a significant influence on their countries of origin, she hopes to make the Sudanese community in the U.S. a model of conflict resolution that will resonate back at home in Sudan.
“She has been particularly interested in empowering young Sudanese women and girls to participate in peace efforts,” said Dr. Laurie Johnston, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of Fellowships, in her endorsement letter for Malual’s application. “She founded Sudo, an organization for young Sudanese women in Maine, as a first step towards that goal.
“Some students might respond to these challenges by going to law school, but Dina is clear that her interests lie elsewhere. She wants to think more creatively and holistically about public policy challenges, and feels that the law is too narrow an approach. She has identified an excellent public policy administration program at UMass Amherst that will equip her to be an effective policy advocate but will also give her the skills she will need as she scales up Sudo, her emerging NGO. Dina’s drive and keen intellect will surely serve her well in this program.”
Created by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s official living memorial to our thirty-third president and The Presidential Memorial to Public Service. Their mission “makes us a beacon for public service for young people across the United States. Our vision is of a country that deeply values public servants.”
According to the Foundation’s website, the Foundation received 773 applications from 316 colleges and universities during the 2020 application cycle. Students were selected based on their records of leadership, public service and academic achievement. The Finalist Selection Committee selected 190 candidates from 136 colleges and universities as Finalists. These students will be interviewed in the coming weeks by the Foundation's Regional Review Panels. The 2020 Class of Truman Scholars will be announced by 9:00 pm EST on April 15th.