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Two KU students named as finalists for Truman Scholarships

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas juniors are finalists for Harry S. Truman Scholarships, which provide up to $30,000 for graduate study.

The awards are given to college juniors for leadership in public service. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation reviewed more than 750 files from 313 institutions before selecting its finalists.

From that pool, the foundation chose 194 finalists from 137 institutions. Those students will now compete for about 60 awards.

KU’s finalists:

  • Hythem Abouodah, from Overland Park, majoring in chemistry
  • Kathryn Ammon, from Fort Worth, Texas, majoring in history, political science and women, gender & sexuality studies.

The foundation will interview finalists in March and April before announcing the 2018 Class of Truman Scholars in late April.

Criteria for the nominations include an extensive record of campus and community service, commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors, communication skills and a high probability of becoming a “change agent,” and a strong academic record with likely acceptance to the graduate school of the candidate’s choice. The campus nomination process is coordinated by the Office of Fellowships, a unit of Undergraduate Studies. Students interested in applying for the Truman Scholarship in future years are encouraged to contact the office.

Scholars receive 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.

Since 1981, 19 KU students have become Truman scholars. Taylor Zabel was the most recent KU student to receive the honor in 2017.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to President Harry S. Truman.

More information about KU’s finalists is below:

Hythem Abouodah, from Overland Park, is the son of Mohamed and Ola Abouodah. A graduate of Blue Valley West High School, Abouodah is a member of the University Honors Program and was selected as a sophomore for the competitive University Scholars Program. Abouodah has frequently served as a tutor, including with the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence and in the Kansas City Syrian refugee community. He has conducted research in the KU Baby Lab and participated in research internships at the University of Kansas Medical Center Hematology and Transplant Lab and Children’s Mercy Hospital. A certified nursing assistant, Abouodah has volunteered in a variety of hospitals and clinics, including at Nasser Hospital in Gaza.

Kathryn Ammon, from Fort Worth, Texas, is the daughter of Ann and Brian Ammon of Fort Worth and Karen Luellen of Allen, Texas. A graduate of Timber Creek High School, Ammon is a member of the University Honors Program, and she was selected as a sophomore for the competitive University Scholars Program and as a Hall Center for the Humanities Scholar. At KU, Ammon has served as president of Students United for Reproductive Justice and as a student facilitator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs' Colors of KU Social Justice retreat. In the summer of 2017, Ammon was a public policy intern for Planned Parenthood Great Plains. Ammon’s service experience includes volunteering for the Willow Domestic Violence Center and with KU Alternative Breaks. Ammon also holds on-campus jobs with KU Student Housing and as a mental health peer educator for KU Counseling & Psychological Services.

KU Today
Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty