Nine African Americans Awarded Truman Scholarships

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has announced the selection of the 2014 Truman Scholars. Each Truman Scholar is awarded up to $30,000 for graduate study. They also receive priority admission to several top-tier graduate schools, have career and graduate school counseling opportunities, and are fast-tracked for internships within the federal government.

Truman Scholars must be U.S. citizens and be in the top 25 percent of their college class. They must express a commitment to government service or the nonprofit sector.

This year, 59 Truman scholars were selected from 655 candidates nominated by 294 colleges and universities. This year’s winners will assemble for a leadership development workshop at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, in late May.

Of this year’s 59 Truman Scholars, it appears that nine are African Americans.


(L to R) Top row: Teresa Danso-Danquah, Salima Eotka, and Robert Fisher. Middle row: Amber Rose Johnson, Pierre Joseph, and Emmanuel Pressley. Bottom row: Karimah Shabazz, Cicely Shannon, and Taylor Ulmer.

Teresa Danso-Danquah is a junior at Cornell University majoring in industrial and labor relations with minor concentrations in Spanish, law & society, and inequality studies. She has served as an intern on disability policy for a U.S. Senate committee.

Salima Eotka is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. A junior at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Eotka is majoring in urban studies, political science, and French. She plans on a career in urban development, with a concentration on city residents in the developing world.

Robert Fisher is a junior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he is majoring in political science and history. He is the president of the university’s student government association and serves as a student representative on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Amber Rose Johnson, from Providence, Rhode Island, is a student at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She is majoring in American studies and Africana studies. In 2010 she earned the title of Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Pierre Joseph is a student at Amherst College in Massachusetts. He is majoring in political science with a concentration in urban policy. After graduating from high school in Springfield, Massachusetts, he spent a year interning with Senator John Kerry before enrolling at Amherst.

Emmanuel Pressley is the first student from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, to be awarded a Truman Scholarship. He is majoring in politics and justice studies. Pressley was the first African American male to be named valedictorian of his high school in Hemingway, South Carolina. He plans to attend law school.

Karimah Shabazz is a junior at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York. She is majoring in sociology with a concentration in Africana studies. At Bard she co-founded the mentoring, tutoring and scholarship program Building Up Hudson. She plans on a career dedicated to closing the educational achievement gap.

Cicely Shannon is a student at the University of Arkansas. She is majoring in economics with a concentration in international economics and business. Shannon is involved with student government as the director for campus diversity. She plans to pursue a career focused on financing sustainable development projects.

Taylor Ulmer is a junior at Spelman College in Atlanta, where she is majoring in anthropology and sociology as well as international studies. She plans to work on educational reform programs both internationally and in her home town of Chicago.


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