April 1, 2005
Ohio University juniors Sarah Sexton and Annie Valente have been named Harry S. Truman Scholars for 2005-06, putting them in the company of just 73 other college students nationwide. Recipients were announced March 28 by the Truman Foundation.
"I am very proud of our Truman Scholars," said Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, who met with Sexton and Valente on the day the foundation announced the winners and was able to share the news with Sexton personally. Valente learned of her award in a letter from Madeleine Albright, president of the Truman Foundation.
"Truman Scholarships are among the most prestigious in the country," McDavis noted, "and the success of Sarah and Annie in being named Truman Scholars is a wonderful reflection on our whole university community. It is especially notable that Ohio University was among only nine institutions, including the University of Chicago, Brown University and Cornell, that had two Truman Scholarship recipients."
Sexton is an Honors Tutorial College student majoring in political science with minors in Spanish and geography. A native of Athens, she is an active member of the Democratic Party and has served as an at-large member of Athens City Council since 2004. In that capacity, she helped create a student-tenants' union. She is vice president of the Athens Rotaract Club and enjoys Latin music, travel and dance.
She hopes to attend law school, concentrating on public policy and public interest law. Eventually Sexton intends to work in the public sector as an advocate for disenfranchised individuals.
Valente, of Solon, Ohio, also is an Honors Tutorial College student as well as a Grasselli Brown-Manasseh Cutler Scholar. The biological sciences major, who has a minor in Spanish, conducts research on tissue damage resulting from obesity and diabetes. An active volunteer in the community, she established a Circle K service club on campus and serves as president. Circle K International is a worldwide collegiate service organization affiliated with Kiwanis that promotes fellowship, leadership and service. She loves music, travel, snowboarding, playing the piano and being with friends.
Having completed internships with Cross Cultural Solutions in Lima, Peru, and the International Center at Children's Hospital Boston, Valente plans to pursue a medical degree and a master's in public health. She eventually hopes to work in the international public health field.
Honors Tutorial College Dean Ann Fidler said faculty play a vital role in the success of students such as Sexton and Valente.
"Professors teach, counsel, advise and mentor our students, supporting all aspects of their intellectual, professional and personal development," Fidler said. "Their dedication and commitment contribute immeasurably to our students' work and success in all their endeavors."
The Truman Foundation recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. Candidates for the scholarship are evaluated on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, dedicated volunteer work and a commitment to a career in public service.
Scholars receive $30,000 for graduate work, attend a Leadership Week with other Truman Scholars and participate in a summer internship program in Washington, D.C.
This year's 75 scholars were selected from more than 602 candidates representing 299 colleges and universities. The selection process requires a rigorous written application and, for finalists, a personal interview. Ohio University has had eight Truman Scholarship recipients since 1978.
Additional information on the Truman Scholars program, including a list of all winners, is available at www.truman.gov/.