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Truman Nominees

Four Honors Students Chosen as LSU's 2018 Truman Nominees

Four Ogden Honors students have been selected as LSU’s nominees for the nationally competitive Truman Scholarship, awarded by the Harry S. Truman Foundation. All four students are LASAL (Louisiana Service and Leadership) Scholars in the Ogden Honors College.  Students must be selected through an internal competition at LSU, and each four-year college can nominate only four students to compete nationally.

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 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.

Madelyn Smith, of Lafayette, LA., is a junior studying Natural Resource Ecology and Management with a concentration in Conservation Biology and minors in Painting and Drawing. A Udall Scholar, Madelyn is the president and founder of the Student Sierra Coalition at LSU and recently self-published Louisiana Gone, a book of photography that documents coastal residents’ voices on their culture and land loss.  She is also a research intern with Coastal Voices, an audio documentary series that explores the relationships between people, land, and water in Louisiana. Madelyn’s policy proposal focuses on revamping the National Flood Insurance Reform Program. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a Master’s of Environmental Management with specialization in human dimensions at Yale University.

Emma Looney, of Lake Charles, LA., is a History and Political Science major with a concentration in public policy. President and founder of Bridge the Gap, an organization focused on the needs of older adults, Emma currently interns with the Office of Aging and Adult Services in the Louisiana Department of Health.  Her policy proposal focuses on the eradication of bed bugs through the implementation of a government tax credit for pest control providers. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a Master’s in Social Policy through the School of Social Policy and Practice and a Master’s of Public Administration through the Fels Institute of Government from the University of Pennsylvania.

Morgan Johnson, of Shreveport, LA., is a senior studying Political Science and Spanish.  A team leader for Spring Break International and a member of the Minority Women’s Movement, Morgan has also served as an ESL tutor for many years.  Morgan’s activism centers on criminal justice reform, specifically incarceration laws. In her policy proposal, Morgan calls for the state of Louisiana to adopt legislation that requires inmates who are sentenced to five years or more to be housed in state prisons, thus ending the existence of local for-profit prisons. After graduation, she intends to pursue a JD at the University of California in Los Angeles’ Law School, specializing in Critical Race Studies.

Kristen Vicknair, of New Orleans, LA., is a junior studying History and Political Science.  Kristen is a team member of Hogs for the Cause and a chief sponsor for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) through her sorority.  Passionate about combating racial tensions within Louisiana, Kristen looks to the criminal justice system as the place to start addressing these issues. In her policy proposal, Kristen advocates returning to the unanimous criminal jury verdict in Louisiana. After graduation, Kristen plans to attend the University of Virginia, where she would pursue a dual degree program, earning her Master’s degree in History and her JD.


LASAL — Louisiana Service and Leadership — is an Honors College program designed to produce leaders who are ready to use their knowledge and experience to help change Louisiana. LASAL Scholars are a select group of Honors students who are passionate about solving Louisiana's problems, from coastal erosion to poverty, education to health care. They are passionate about social justice and serving their community. LASAL Scholars may pursue any major because the program of study compliments any major. 

The Ogden Honors College Office of Fellowship Advising advises current students and recent graduates from all colleges at LSU as they apply for prestigious national and international fellowships.