KU junior from Topeka becomes university’s 20th Truman Scholar

photo by: Meg Kumin, KU Marketing Communications

At center, University of Kansas junior Sam Steuart, of Topeka, is one of is one of 62 students to receive a Harry S. Truman Scholarship this year, KU announced Friday, April 12, 2019. KU Chancellor Douglas Girod, far left, presented Steuart with the news at his office earlier in the week.

University of Kansas junior Sam Steuart, of Topeka, is one of 62 students nationally who have been awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Steuart becomes the 20th KU student to receive the scholarship since 1981, according to KU. The award includes $30,000 toward graduate studies, as well as the opportunity for leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government, according to the Truman Foundation. The scholarship was created by Congress in 1975 to support aspiring public service leaders, the foundation said.

Steuart is studying American studies and biochemistry while minoring in Spanish, and he is preparing to pursue advanced degrees in medicine and public health, according to the university. In a KU news release, he said he intends to become a physician who creates and advocates for policies that help ensure that all populations, especially low-income and at-risk children, have equitable access to health care and an education.

As part of his scholarship application, Steuart developed a policy proposal that would promote the implementation of more school-based health centers across Kansas, and he has already begun discussing the proposal with state health officials, according to the KU release.

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod surprised Steuart with the news this week during a visit to the chancellor’s office, which included balloons and congratulations from some of Steuart’s KU mentors.

“So many of us are tremendously proud of Sam and his many accomplishments, and he is certainly deserving of this national recognition,” Girod said in the release. “… I am confident he will go on to achieve his goals and make our Jayhawk community proud.”

Steuart and fellow KU junior Saif Bajwa, of Overland Park, were among 199 finalists this year from a pool of 840 candidates nominated by 346 colleges and universities, and Steuart was one of just 24 recipients from a public university, according to the Truman Foundation. The scholarship was last awarded to a KU student in spring 2017.

photo by: Contributed photo

Sam Steuart


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