KU junior named as finalist for Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas junior from Perry is a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Laura Phillips is majoring in classical languages and ecology, evolution & organismal biology. She will participate in an interview for the scholarship next month.

The prestigious national award provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. Recipients also get priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

The awards are given to college juniors for leadership in public service.

The awards are highly competitive. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation received 773 applications from 316 colleges and universities this year. From that pool, a committee selected 190 finalists from 136 institutions.

About 60 Truman Scholarships are awarded each year. Finalists will be participating in panel interviews in March and early April, with final scholarship announcements anticipated in mid-April.

The campus nomination process is coordinated by the Office of Fellowships, a unit of Undergraduate Studies. Students interested in applying for the Truman Scholarship in future years are encouraged to contact the office, which can nominate a limited number of students each year.

Since 1981, 20 KU students have become Truman scholars. Samuel Steuart was the most recent KU student to receive the honor in 2019.

More information about KU’s Truman finalist is below.

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips, of Perry, is the daughter of Jean Phillips and Steve Phillips. A graduate of Free State High School, Phillips is majoring in classical languages and ecology, evolution & organismal biology. Phillips has been a coordinator at the Center for Community Outreach for the Earth program since her freshman year. Phillips focuses on sustainable gardening and food security within the program. She has also worked for the Kansas Trails Council to help build and publicize hiking trails, with a focus on conservation and sustainable trail building. Phillips has spent several summers in the Rocky Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch, working on fire rehabilitation and forestry management, and leading backpacking treks for high schoolers interested in ecology. She has worked at the KU Monarch Watch Lab and recently began work on sustainable agriculture research with Maggie Warner, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.