Undergraduates capture prestigious Goldwater, Truman awards

Killian McDonald is the second Clemson student ever to be named a Truman Scholar.

Killian H. McDonald

Clemson students have demonstrated to the nation this year that their education has prepared them to compete with anyone in the country. This year, two students were awarded Goldwater Scholarships and another was the second Clemson student ever to be named a Truman Scholar.

Killian H. McDonald of Columbia, a junior political science and women’s leadership double major, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar. McDonald is Clemson’s first Truman Scholar since 1979 and the second Clemson student ever to receive the award.

The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious, highly competitive graduate scholarship program for aspiring public service leaders in the United States. Sixty-two Truman Scholarships were given this year to college juniors who are planning careers in public service, according to Ricki Shine, director of major fellowships for Clemson. The 2017 Truman Scholars were selected from among a near-record number of applications, with 768 applications and nominations from 315 colleges and universities — the highest number in the scholarship’s history.

As a Truman Scholar, McDonald will receive a scholarship to be used toward graduate school, along with opportunities to participate in professional development programming and internships to help her prepare for a career in public service leadership.

“I am so excited to have been selected as a Truman Scholar,” McDonald wrote. “This scholarship reaffirms and supports my goal of entering public service and fighting for women’s rights. It is an honor to be a part of the Truman community and connect with mentors who can help me become a great public servant.”

Two students, Caitlin Seluzicki and Jessica Zielinski, have been awarded Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, considered one of the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate awards. Another, Bridget Luckie, received an honorable mention.

The Goldwater Scholarship is the premiere undergraduate award in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded 240 scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States. An additional 307 nominees received honorable mentions. The scholars were selected from a field of 1,286 students nominated by campus representatives from among 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide.

Seluzicki, a microbiology major, and Zielinski, a biochemistry major, will receive one-year scholarships that will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500. Though Luckie will not receive any funds, she will share in the prestige. Goldwater scholars and honorable mentions often go on to win numerous distinguished awards during their collegiate careers.

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