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Head of the Class

Photo of Truman Scholar Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener

A 3.9 GPA and an unwavering commitment to public health helped junior Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener win a prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. A political science major in the School of Public Affairs, Stefanik-Sidener is AU’s 17th Truman scholar and the eighth in the last six years.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven, Stefanik-Sidener has raised $55,000 for diabetes research, founded a diabetes advocacy organization at AU, and served as director of the student government health department. The Ohio native, who’s interned with the American Diabetes Association, has her sights set on law school.

Also among this year’s 60 national Truman Scholars are two Washington Semester students. Eric Dailey of Rhodes College is currently enrolled in AU’s Transforming Communities program, while Shoshana Shapiro-Baruch of Kenyon College participated in the same seminar last semester.

Established by Congress in 1975 as a living memorial to our 33rd president—who expressed no interest in a marble memorial—the Truman scholarship honors students with a commitment to public service. Winners receive $30,000 for graduate school and leadership training. They also join an elite group of politicos, journalists, advocates, and academics that includes Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano and former political advisor and current journalist George Stephanopoulos.