A KU junior becomes the 10th student at the university to be awarded a Truman scholarship since 1981.
Jennifer Ford was both tired and elated today about her latest academic accomplishments.
Ford, a Kansas University junior from Lawrence, was pulled from bed at 5 a.m. today for initiation into an honor society.
"It's one of those great traditions that should be abolished," she quipped.
One tradition she doesn't want eliminated is the annual Harry S. Truman scholarship contest.
After all, KU officials announced today that Ford has been awarded one of the $30,000 scholarships. She was KU's only Truman finalist this year.
"I've worked for this my whole life," she said. "The goals of the Truman reflect my personal goals."
Ford's career goal is to foster community-based solutions to social issues.
"They empower people by allowing them to play a part in the solution of their problems," she said.
The scholarship provides $3,000 for Ford's senior year at KU. After graduation in 1995 with degrees in political science and religious studies, she plans to do volunteer work, perhaps at a homeless shelter.
"I'll spend a couple years in the trenches," she said.
Then she plans to go to graduate school, where the Truman scholarship will provide $27,000 for graduate studies. Her goal is to obtain a master's degree in public policy, with an emphasis on nonprofit organizations.
Ford has volunteered or participated in more than 40 Lawrence and KU organizations.
She is the only KU student to have been elected to the Douglas County United Way's board of directors. She also serves on the board of directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates and is a volunteer for Project Acceptance.
In addition, she serves on the Lawrence Recycling and Resource Conservation Advisory Board.
Another area Truman scholarship finalist, Baker University student Heather Randall, was not among those awarded scholarships, a Baker spokesman said today.
Randall was the first-ever finalist from Baker.