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Richard Doty

Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2002

IU student wins $30,000 Truman Scholarship

Indiana University junior Sarah McCauley, a political science major from Panama City, Fla., has been selected to receive a $30,000 Truman Scholarship from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

McCauley is among 64 scholars chosen from nearly 600 candidates at American colleges and universities on the basis of exceptional leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of "making a difference."

She is the latest of several Truman award-winners from IU. Since the Truman Foundation awards began in 1977, the university has had 16 Truman Scholars, including 12 since 1990. IU was honored two years ago as one of five colleges and universities nationwide to receive the Truman Foundation Honor Institution Award in recognition of the university's encouragement of outstanding young people to pursue careers in public service and for its sustained success in helping students win the Truman awards.

IU President Myles Brand, in notifying McCauley of her selection, said, "Your commitment to leadership and public service is inspiring. We are honored by your achievements and wish you all the best as you continue to pursue your goals."

McCauley, who is spending this year studying at Oxford University in England, is a student in the IU Honors College and a member of both the Honors College Advisory Board and Honors College Extracurricular Board. Her academic honors include national freshman honor societies and membership in Golden Key. She received the Target "National All-Around Scholar" award, an IU Faculty Scholarship, and the Xerox Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Humanities.

McCauley, who plans on studying public interest law after graduation from IU, was a Founders Day speaker this past year while attending Oxford. Her IU activities include being a docent at the art museum, serving on the residence hall board of governors, and duties as a presenter at the 1999 International Peace Conference with the Dalai Lama.

She was the 1998-99 student body president at Bay High School in Panama City, and her community involvement activities and achievements in Florida have been extensive. She was the Bay County Woman of the Year, received the Outstanding Florida Youth Leadership Award from Florida Learn and Serve, and was named the Exchange Club Youth of the Year. She served on the governor's state tobacco board and was a student leader at the tobacco summit. She organized a program for disabled adults, a campaign on children's issues and made several presentations on anti-tobacco issues involving Florida youth.

McCauley was a founding member of the Bay County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a speaker and event organizer of Martin Luther King Day. She is active with the United Methodist Church and the Corporation for National Service. McCauley served as a teen court attorney with the District Juvenile Justice Council, was master of ceremonies for the Florida governor's children's memorial service, and served as a host/sister to 10 foreign exchange students.

Her media experience includes moderating a statewide Public Broadcasting Service program on tobacco, a debate between candidates for Florida Commissioner of Education, and a PBS series for youth. She served as an intern with C-SPAN and National Public Radio affiliate WKGC.

The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award offered to college juniors who want to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in government, the not-for-profit sector or other form of public service. The scholarship provides a $30,00 grant, with $3,000 for the senior year and $27,000 for graduate study in the United States or abroad in a wide variety of fields.

The award includes participation in the Truman Scholars Leadership Week, an intense week of personal, academic and professional development near Harry Truman's hometown of Independence, Mo., and a 10-week summer internship in Washington, D.C., where the scholars receive a behind-the-scenes view of policy-making, advocacy and the political process.

The Truman Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the official federal memorial to honor the nation's 33rd president. The foundation recognizes Truman's contributions to the nation, his commitment to public service and his interest in education. The agency, located in Washington, D.C., is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the president and Congress and endowed with a $55 million trust fund.

More details on the Truman Scholarship are available at the foundation's Web site at