Meet UConn’s Nominees for the 2015 Truman Scholarship

Each year, universities may nominate up to four juniors to compete in the prestigious Truman Scholarship competition for high-achieving students dedicated to careers in public service.  For more information about UConn’s nomination process and the scholarship itself, click HERE.  Nominees are selected for their strong academic records, demonstrated commitment to public service and exceptional leadership skills.   Also vital is the support of  faculty mentors and professionals in their chosen fields.

This year our nominating committee selected three outstanding candidates who will have until February 3, 2015 to complete the national application.  Finalists will then be invited to a regional interview in March, with results to follow.  Good luck to all!

2015 Truman Scholarship Nominees

Abdullah Hasan (CLAS ’16), from Danbury, CT, is an honors student double majoring in political science and women’s studies, with a minor in human rights.  Abdullah has interned for the Center for American Progress and served as the Mid-Atlantic Campus Organizer advocating for conflict-free mineral trade from eastern Congo.  He has also interned for the ACLU’s National Security Project, where he served to research and analyze declassified NSA, FBI and DOJ documents.  He is also conducting his own research around the construction of Muslim masculine identities in primary Islamic texts and within a post-9/11 surveillance culture. A member of UConn’s Special Program in Law, he seeks to earn a law degree and work to protect civil liberties. Currently, he is President of the Mock Trial Society and a Founder of the Undergraduate Political Review.  He has served as a CLAS Senator within the Undergraduate Student Government, a writer for the Daily Campus and a member of the Women’s Association for Freedom, Love, and Equality as well as a member of the Global Leadership Commission.  In fall 2014, he was the Alan R. Bennett Honors Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science.  In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he works part-time for AnswerMed Telecom. A New England Scholar and recipient of a UConn Leadership Scholarship, Abdullah has also been awarded a Balanced Man Scholarship, a 2014 Islamic National Scholarship, as well as the Irving Smirnoff Award from the Department of Political Science.  Most recently, he was selected as a University Scholar, UConn’s highest academic distinction.

Jasmine Alexander-Brookings (CLAS ’16), from Bowie, MD, is an honors student with an individualized major in Urban Youth Development and a minor in Africana Studies.  She is President and Founder of the UConn Hip Hop Collective for Education and Activism and a coordinator and Co-Founder of the annual UConn Hip Hop Summit. A former Vice President of UConn’s NAACP chapter, she is currently the CFO for Sankofa, which works to raise awareness around African American studies.  She serves as a residential tutor and counselor for UConn’s First Star Academy for High School Enrichment, volunteers for the HuskySport Community Health and Wellness Youth Development Program, and served as an intern for the UConn Summer in London Youth Development Program. Jasmine plans to earn a master’s degree in public administration, focusing on poverty, education and social welfare, and aspires to lead a community-based organization dedicated to engaging, educating and empowering urban youth.  Last spring 2014, she participated in the Impact Delta Leadership and Social Change Development Series. Jasmine is also a tour guide for the Husky Ambassadors Program and the Honors Initiative for Prospective Students, among other activities, and has served as a Resident Assistant at the Storrs campus.  She is a recipient of a UConn Leadership Scholarship and the Ladies of Imani Scholarship for Excellence.

Emily Kaufman (CLAS ’16), from Portsmouth, RI, is an honors student double majoring in human rights and cognitive science. An Executive Board member of the CLAS Student Leadership Board, she is serving as chair of the Student and Alumni Relations Task Force. She is also a UNESCO Student Ambassador of Human Rights and leader of the Visualizing Human Rights at UConn Project, which is gathering visual interpretations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from faculty and students for an exhibit in spring 2015.  She spent spring of her sophomore year studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where she was also an intern for Treatment Action Campaign, a non-profit dedicated to campaigning for access to HIV/AIDS and TB treatment.  Funded by a U.S. Department of State Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, Emily was also selected among Gilman recipients to be a travel correspondent, submitting weekly articles and photos for a classroom in the U.S. Emily has also travelled to Sydney, Australia to represent UConn at the 2014 Universitas 21 Conference on the “Shaping of Future Cities.”  In 2013, she participated in the Universitas 21 Conference on human rights hosted by the University of Connecticut.  Since October 2013, she has served as Student Assistant for Programs at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, assisting with a variety of research projects and events. Last summer, she worked as a policy intern for the Mental Health Consumer Advocates of Rhodes Island where she researched the relationship between violence and mental health and governmental policies.  She plans to earn a master’s in public policy with particular interests in corporate social responsibility and climate policy.  Ultimately, she aspires to work for an organization that advocates for human rights and policy reforms that influence the practices of multinational corporations.  Emily has received the Study Abroad Global Citizenship Award, is a recipient of funding from UConn’s Human Rights Institute and was recently selected as part of UConn’s 2015 Leadership Legacy cohort.