Junior Abby Schletzbaum started out in a different major, but the Truman Scholarship finalist wasn’t satisfied with the lack of real-world application from her classes. So she switched to Public Administration. And Math. And International Studies.
Abby plans to apply her triple major toward a career in emergency management, particularly in incorporating scientific knowledge into hazards mitigation, as well as disaster recovery policy and practices in domestic and international settings.
“I am studying math because I want to have technical/scientific knowledge to make informed policy decisions as an emergency manager, and the public administration and international studies degrees are to help my capacity as an international humanitarian worker,” she said.
As Abby considered the best place for her multilayered interests to flourish, she found that her experiences outside of the classroom - studying abroad and being involved in clubs – assisted her in understanding what she wants to do for a career.
“I have always been strongly engaged in nonprofit work and wanted to explore a career in nonprofit management. Public administration seemed like the most obvious fit for these goals,” she said. “The School of Public Affairs and Administration has some of the most personable instructors that I have had in my time at KU, and I feel like the classes are much more focused on teaching valuable content than teaching to a test.”
Abby’s passion and hard work have landed her a spot as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 award for students who plan to go into public service. The program is highly competitive, and Abby is one of 197 college juniors from 130 U.S. colleges and universities who have been selected as finalists for 2016.
“If I were to receive the Truman scholarship, it would be a great way to communicate the policy problems I want to address, and call attention to the important issues in emergency management,” she said.
Abby during her study abroad in Nepal