IU Bloomington student Christine White named Truman Scholar

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Christine White, an Indiana University junior from Indianapolis, has been named a 2014 Truman Scholar. This marks the third consecutive year that an IU Bloomington student has received the prestigious award.

White is one of 59 Truman scholars from 52 colleges and universities announced today. The scholarships go to highly promising students hoping to improve the way government agencies, nonprofit organizations or educational institutions serve the public.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie surprised White with news of the award in a Skype conversation late Monday. She is currently studying at Complutense University of Madrid in Spain.

"I'm very pleased that Indiana University has once again been honored by the selection of one of its students as a Truman Scholar," McRobbie said. "Christine is well deserving of this award. Her academic accomplishments and her passion for learning, service and exploration make her an ideal candidate for the support the scholarship provides. I was delighted to surprise her with the news of her recognition and grateful that technology permitted me to do so while she is studying overseas."

A graduate of Indianapolis' Cathedral High School, where she was co-valedictorian, White is pursuing majors in political science, economics and Spanish and a minor in Near Eastern languages and culture in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Herbert Presidential Scholar and received the Political Science Department Patton Scholarship. A Hutton Honors College student, she has a 3.96 grade-point average.

She also studied at Pontifical Catholic University in Lima, Peru, and has studied and worked in several other Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

"Being named a Truman Scholar is an enormous honor, and I'm so proud to be able to represent Indiana University," White said. "The Truman scholarship is a unique opportunity -- it offers not only financial support, but also a community that mentors scholars throughout their professional development. I'm so excited to meet the other scholars and see how we can learn from each other, as well as our respective fields, in order to better address societal challenges."

In Bloomington, White has been a volunteer at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and worked with El Centro Comunal, where she tutored Latino youth, and Bienestar, for which she helped administer the Latino Health Assessment survey to local residents. She has worked as an outings leader for IU Outdoor Adventures and a sports supervisor for Campus Recreational Sports.

She was a public affairs intern with the U.S. State Department in Guatemala City, Guatemala, in the summer of 2013. She worked in the summer of 2012 with the sustainable development foundation Masaya sin Fronteras in Nicaragua, where she established a health education program for high school students in conjunction with a women's health clinic.

"Christine is a wonderful candidate for the Truman Scholarship," said Marjorie Hershey, professor of political science. "She has interests in a wide variety of public issues, and she lives her ideals. I participated in an issues forum that Christine had organized for the Hutton Honors College two years ago. She set up the event expertly and engaged quite a lot of Hutton students to debate these issues in a constructive and civil way.  I was impressed."

Judith Failer, associate professor of political science and chair of the IU Bloomington Truman Scholarship committee, said White "embodies two essential qualities of a Truman Scholar: She has the heart of a public servant and the tenacious intellect needed to accomplish her far-reaching goals."

Madeleine Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and former U.S. secretary of state, announced the 2014 Truman Scholars today. Each receives $30,000 for graduate study along with priority admission and additional aid at premier graduate schools. Congress established the program in 1975 as a memorial to the nation's 33rd president.

Previous Truman Scholars from IU Bloomington include Rahaf Safi in 2013 and Alicia Nieves in 2012. 

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