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Devon Wade Named 2010 Truman Scholar

Devon WadeThe Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has announced that LSU junior Devon Wade of Houston is among 60 students nationwide to receive the prestigious Truman Scholarship. He is the only student from Louisiana selected to receive the Truman Scholarship this year.

“We congratulate Devon Wade on being named a Truman scholar,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. “Devon is a shining example that LSU’s best and brightest students are able to compete and be recognized at the national level. We continue to stress that LSU is committed to excellence in everything we do, and Devon has given the entire LSU community another reason to be proud to be an LSU Tiger.”

Wade, a double major in sociology with a concentration in criminology and African & African-American studies, will graduate from LSU in December. While in high school, he earned college credit at Houston Community College and also spent a summer studying abroad at the University of Dar es Salaam in Africa.

“I am very excited and honored to receive the Harry S. Truman Scholarship,” he said. “The thing that I am most excited about is that they have recognized me as a ‘change agent.’ What I do in my community, I have been doing for many years, and I do it because I know that I am making a difference. 

Wade serves as a veteran representative and mentor for the organization No More Victims Inc., or NMVI, which aids children of incarcerated parents. Wade, whose own parents were incarcerated when he was growing up, hopes to use his personal and academic experiences to expand public awareness of the struggles of these children and further sociological understanding of the cycle that often leads these children to follow their parents into incarceration.

Wade, also a Ronald McNair Research Scholar at LSU, said that he is excited to be the first African-American student from LSU, as well as first student outside the LSU Honors College, to win the scholarship.

“This makes me happy because I know that it will send a message to all students that they can accomplish great things too with hard work and determination, but most importantly an enthusiasm for change,” Wade said. “The Truman is not so much about grades as it is about passion and determination for making a positive difference in your community.

“I would like give a special acknowledgement to the LSU Honors College for assisting me in this journey.”

After graduation, Wade plans to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology and focus on social phenomenon that plague urban or inner city children and families.

Wade joins five other LSU students who have received Truman Scholarships to date: Micaela de Gruy in 2009, Claire Kendig in 2008, Cynthia “CC” Dubois in 2006, Jacob Landry in 2005 and Allen Richey in 2003. In seven of the past eight years, an LSU student has reached the finalist stage of the Truman Scholarship process.

The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, along with 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. Scholars are invited to participate in a number of programs: Truman Scholar Leadership Week, The Summer Institute and The Truman-Albright Fellows Program.

The 60 Truman Scholars this year represent 54 colleges and universities across the United States. The recipients were selected from 576 candidates nominated by 245 colleges and universities. 

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd president. The mission of the Truman Scholarship Foundation is to find and recognize college students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

Truman Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of their receiving Truman funds. Part of the application process is for the students to create policy to address a current issue.

The LSU Honors College Office of Fellowship Advising was created to assist students in applying for prestigious scholarships and fellowships, such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Mitchell, Udall, Truman and Goldwater awards. Students interested in applying for these and other scholarship opportunities or for more information, contact fellowships@lsu.edu.

*From Ernie Ballard, LSU Media Relations.