Micaela DeGruy, Harry S. Truman Scholar
Honors junior Micaela DeGruy was the third LSU Honors College student to be awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in four years. She hopes to help design cultural therapy centers in third world countries, to be operated by indigenous people.
The academic community has come to anticipate the inclusion of LSU alongside institutions like Harvard and Yale annually in competing for prestigious national fellowships, coming off a year in which LSU saw all four of its Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship nominees receive the award, its second Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner in three years and yet another of its students named to the USA Today’s All-USA College Academic Team.
Add Micaela DeGruy to that list of success. DeGruy was recently announced as a recipient of the 2009 Truman Scholarship, the third student in the last four years to do so while representing LSU and the Honors College.
“It was truly unexpected,” she said. “I still can’t believe it. To be included in a group of people like the previous winners is a true honor. They are incredible leaders and have true passion to make changes. I am humbled to be part of a group of scholars who are going to shake up the status quo.”
A mass communication and political science junior, DeGruy has extensive involvement on campus, including Volunteer LSU and as the Director of Students on Target with Student Government, overseeing 2008 Groovin’ on the Grounds.
Truman applicants are asked to outline a public service project they would like to implement as part of the application process. DeGruy’s policy proposal detailed a pilot program for a United Nations-funded counseling center for refugees.
DeGruy will be traveling to South Africa this summer to do missionary work. She is still undecided on a graduate school, but after graduating in December, she will use the Truman stipend toward her Master’s degree and Ph.D. in social work. She hopes to continue research in special psychological effects of political violence and to ultimately design cultural therapy centers in third world communities operated by indigenous people.
“I can’t wait to tell future Honors College students about the wonderful opportunities that the college offers,” DeGruy said. “The Honors College facilitates true growth and development. If you work hard every day for something you are passionate about, you will achieve greatness. And the most wonderful part about it is, you will achieve greatness not for yourself, but for the people you will impact.”