Two Auburn University students named Truman Scholarship finalists

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Two Auburn University undergraduates have been named finalists for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of the nation's top academic awards.

Sara Rains of Brentwood, Tennessee, and Jessica Adams of Smiths Station, Alabama, are competing to be named among only 59 recipients nationwide. The winners will be announced in mid-April.

"We are so very pleased for these two Honors College students as they put their academic talents to work for the public good, epitomizing the land grant mission of Auburn University, and we wish them every success as they compete to be named 2015 Truman Scholars," said Melissa Bauman, director of the Honors College.

Rains, a member of the Honors College, is a junior double-majoring in nutrition and horticulture in the colleges of Human Sciences and Agriculture, respectively, with a minor in hunger studies. She is an Auburn University Global Challenge Fellow, a member of the Committee of 19, co-founder of the Auburn University ONE Campaign, a non-profit organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, an Undergraduate Research Fellow and student ambassador to Presidents United to Solve Hunger, or PUSH.

She plans to seek a position after graduation as a policy officer with the One Acre Fund in rural East Africa, a social enterprise that invests in farmers through training and market facilitation.

Adams, also a member of the Honors College, is a junior majoring in microbial, cellular and molecular biology in the College of Sciences and Mathematics with a minor in hunger studies. She is an IMPACT project coordinator, an intern with the Hunger Solutions Institute in the College of Human Sciences which is responsible for carrying out demographic research and program development, an Auburn University Global Challenge Fellow and co-founder of the campus chapter of Bama Covered, a health care educational network in Alabama, and director of the Smiths Station Bama Covered office.

After graduation, she will pursue graduate work in epidemiology and eventually a position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship, created in 1975 by an act of Congress, is awarded to select college juniors on the basis of four criteria: service on campus and in the community, commitment to a career in public service, communication ability and aptitude to be a "change agent," and academic talent that would ensure acceptance to a first-rate graduate school.

Scholars receive up to $30,000 toward their post-graduate education. In addition, they participate in leadership development programs and have opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.

"Sara and Jessica embody what the Truman Scholarship seeks to recognize," said Paul Harris, associate director of the Honors College. "Their leadership and numerous service activities are matched by their stellar performance in the classroom. It has been a privilege working with them and their faculty members throughout the scholarship application process."

The National Prestigious Scholarship office at Auburn University, located in the Honors College, works closely with students to identify and help them pursue prestigious scholarship national and international awards through information sessions and one-on-one support during the application process. For more information, go to

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.