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April 21, 2014

Sooner awarded Truman Scholarship

NORMAN — A University of Oklahoma National Merit Scholar and Honors student has been selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship.

Alexis Taitel won the prestigious award based on her leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of “making a difference.” She is the eighth OU student to be honored with the national award since 2003 and the 13th since the scholarship began in 1977.

“We are extremely proud of the award of a Truman Scholarship to Alexis Taitel,” said OU President David L. Boren. “She demonstrates the qualities of leadership and moral courage which the scholarship seeks to honor.”

Truman Scholarship recipients must be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector. Each scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study.

Taitel is the daughter of Lisa and Lewis Taitel. She holds a 3.88 grade-point average and is pursuing concurrent bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in international studies, with a minor in social justice. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in either public policy or public administration at the University of California, Berkeley or Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Taitel initially hopes to work for a nonprofit, such as the Polaris Project, which assists vulnerable populations, in particular sex trafficking victims. Ultimately, she hopes to direct an anti-trafficking, nonprofit organization with an emphasis on the after-care of victims. She will study at Kyungpook University in Daegu, South Korea, this summer and then spend the fall semester at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, to complete her master’s thesis. She plans to defend her thesis and graduate Summa Cum Laude, December 2014.

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