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Schletzbaum announced as finalist for Truman Scholarship

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas students, both of whom are from Kansas, are finalists for Harry S. Truman Scholarships.

The national awards provide up to $30,000 for graduate study and are given to college juniors for outstanding leadership in public service.

This year’s KU finalists:

  • Shegufta Huma, from Bel Aire, majoring in political science
  • Abigail Schletzbaum, from Lawrence, majoring in global and international studies, public administration and mathematics.

The awards are highly competitive, with only about 60 Truman Scholars named nationwide each year.

Students are evaluated on a number of different criteria, including an extensive record of campus and community service, commitment to a career in the nonprofit and advocacy or government sectors, communication skills and a high probability of becoming a “change agent,” and a strong academic record with likely acceptance to the graduate school of the candidate’s choice.

“We’re very proud of these two finalists,” said Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships for the KU Honors Program, which coordinates nominations and supports students during the application process. “Abby’s leadership in international emergency management and Shegufta’s work in student government and her commitment to social justice demonstrate the variety of opportunities to develop into a leader as a student at KU.”

Since 1981, 18 KU students have become Truman scholars.

Finalists participate in regional interviews in March and early April, and the 60 or so Truman Scholars will be announced in late April.

More information about KU’s finalists is below:

Shegufta Huma of Bel Aire graduated from Wichita East High School. She is the daughter of Mohammad Anwar and Anjuman Ara of Bel Aire. Huma’s involvement at KU includes Student Senate, the Women of Color Collective, the Muslim Student Association and Margaret Amini Scholarship Hall. A member of the University Honors Program, she was also selected for the prestigious University Scholars Program in 2015. She is currently interning in Washington, D.C., with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Abigail Schletzbaum of Lawrence graduated from Free State High School. She is the daughter of Paul and Stacy Schletzbaum of Lawrence. Schletzbaum’s involvement at KU includes Open World Cause and the Center for Community Outreach. She is on the board for the United Way of Douglas County and has volunteered with organizations like the Willow Domestic Violence Center and Catholic Charities. A member of the University Honors Program, she studied abroad in Nepal in spring 2015. She is currently interning with the Douglas County Emergency Management department.


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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