Published on 2/22/2021 10:15:28 AM
By Abigail Osborne with LAUNCH, a unit of Undergraduate Studies, Texas A&M University
Three Texas A&M students have been nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, an award from the Harry S. Truman Foundation that recognizes college juniors who aspire to work in public service. The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, and programming for the scholarship includes leadership training and other fellowship opportunities. Each year, 55 to 65 applicants are chosen from a pool of approximately 800 nominated students.
The 2021 nominees from Texas A&M are Anna Fedewa, Sean Thomas, and William Walford.
Anna Fedewa '22
Anna Fedewa is a junior interdisciplinary studies – special education major and psychology minor from Katy, Texas. She is concurrently pursuing a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the Bush School of Government & Public Service. Fedewa is the founder and president of the student organization Aggie ACHIEVEMates, which seeks to facilitate authentic friendships between students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the Aggie ACHIEVE program and fellow Aggies. Fedewa was also instrumental in helping develop Aggie ACHIEVE – Texas’ only four-year comprehensive transition program for young adults with IDDs. She is also active in numerous other campus organizations including the President’s Council on Climate and Diversity, the Student Government Sub-commission on Disability, and the Greek sorority Pi Beta Phi. Fedewa was selected for the Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) and served as the Public Policy Intern for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in Washington, D.C. She now works part-time with NDSS overseeing inclusive education programming as the Education Program Associate. She also won the Buck Weirus Spirit Award in 2020. Fedewa is interested in pursuing a Master’s in public policy or public administration, and desires to have a career in public service, hoping to one day work towards more equitable education policies and human rights protections for people with disabilities.
Sean Thomas ‘22
Sean P. Thomas is a senior English major and business minor from San Antonio, Texas. As a non-traditional student, Thomas spent eight years working between the restaurant and retail industries before beginning college in 2018. Aside from various roles that include management and trainer positions, he also spent time as a real estate agent, where his passion for public service started to take shape. Thomas has volunteered with Goodwill and Wreaths Across America, and as a student has contributed work to The Battalion, Texas A&M’s Disability Services, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Thomas is interested in pursuing a Juris Doctor and a Master’s in public policy, and he desires to have a career in public service assisting those affected by poverty, homelessness, and housing inequality. Thomas hopes to utilize his experience to work with Housing and Urban Development in the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
William Walford ‘22
William Walford is a junior forensic and investigative science honors major with a double minor in sociology and psychology and a certificate in ethical leadership. He is from Berlin, Germany, and spent the majority of his life living overseas due to his family’s military service. As the 31st member of his family to attend Texas A&M, being an Aggie is something Walford takes great pride in. He serves as the vice president for the Aggie Forensic and Investigative Sciences Organization and the scholastics sergeant within Squadron 20 of the Corps of Cadets. Walford is a leader in the Ormond R. Simpson Honor Society — the Corps’ tutoring service — working to help cadets achieve success within a rigorous environment. He is also an active member of the Pre-Law Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society. Walford interned with the United States Embassy in Berlin, Germany, and was selected to intern with the Dallas District Attorney’s Office in Dallas, Texas. In Spring 2021, he will intern with a juvenile defense attorney in Bryan, Texas. Motivated to revitalize public faith in the justice system, Walford will pursue a Juris Doctor at the University of Houston Law Center to pave the way to a career as a criminal defense attorney.
After reviewing applications, the Truman Selection Committee will choose 200 students as Finalists. Finalists will interview with a Regional Review Panel in Austin, Texas, in March. After interviewing, the Selection Committee will announce the 2021 cohort of Truman Scholars and invite students to attend a Leadership Week in Liberty, Missouri, home of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.
In the past 20 years, 11 Aggies have advanced to the finalist round. Omar M. El-Halwagi is the most recent Aggie selected as a Truman Scholar in 2011.
For more information on National Fellowships at Texas A&M University, please contact LAUNCH: National Fellowships at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://launch.tamu.edu/National-Fellowships.
More information about the Truman Scholarship, as well as the list of 2021 Truman Finalists – to be published on Feb. 19, 2021 – can be found at www.truman.gov.