Truman Scholar Earns National Recognition for Leadership and Volunteer Activities in Texas and Latin America

March 27, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—Lauren Koehler, a senior Plan II honors program student, has earned a 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. During the past 10 years, at least one university student has received the national honor.

Madeleine K. Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced today (March 27) the names of the 65 students from 56 U.S. colleges and universities honored for their leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of "making a difference." The Truman Scholars were selected from among 585 candidates nominated by 280 colleges and universities.

Koehler is a Plan II honors program student, who is earning additional degrees in government and Spanish. She maintains a 4.0 grade-point average while working 30 hours per week at the Benson Latin American Collection and as an Americorps tutor.

Koehler studies the complex political, cultural and economic causes of poverty and is committed to helping alleviate poverty in communities throughout Texas and Latin America.

As a literacy tutor in Americorps, she helped children learn English at Lucy Read Pre Kindergarten Demonstration School where she organized an English as a Second Language (ESL) class for the children's parents. She also worked to increase the size and instructional quality of the ESL program at Eastside Community Connection.

Fluent in Spanish, Koehler has tutored immigrants from Latin America and has volunteered for a Mexican government's clinic for indigent people in Guanajuato. In December, she observed the presidential elections in Venezuela.

Prior to enrolling at The University of Texas at Austin, she was ranked top of her class at Clear Lake High School in Houston. While in high school she worked 30 hours per week to support herself.

"Lauren is a remarkable young woman whom I have come to admire greatly," Larry Carver, director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program who coordinated the university's nomination, said. "There is an earned depth and seriousness to Lauren's commitment. She is an unassuming leader who possesses a genuine resolve to help people."

Each Truman scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also 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.

The 2007 Truman Scholars will meet for a leadership development program May 15 at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and will receive their awards at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., May 20.

View a list of the 2007 Truman Scholars.

For more information contact: Lauren Koehler, senior, Plan II Honors Program, 512-495-4520; Larry Carver, director, Liberal Arts Honors Program, 512-471-3458; Christian Clarke Cásarez, director of public affairs, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-4945.