University of Alabama at Birmingham junior Kimberly Everett, 21, of Semmes, Ala., has been named a 2011 Harry S. Truman Scholar. She is one of 60 students selected from 54 colleges and universities across the United States to receive the honor, which was announced March 31.
The award is one of the country’s most prestigious national fellowships, given annually to college juniors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership potential and who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or other public service. It provides them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.
“Winning the Truman feels amazing,” Everett wrote in an e-mail from China, where she is studying. “I know what Charlie experienced when he first found the golden ticket in ‘Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ — stunned in disbelief, but overwhelmed with happiness. This is easily one the single greatest moments of my life.”
Everett is the eighth UAB student to win the Truman Scholarship; Logan Talbot received the scholarship last year. Everett is the only student from Alabama to win the scholarship this year. The merit-based Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 to undergraduate students pursuing graduate degrees. Recipients also receive assistance with career counseling, internship placement, graduate school admissions and professional development. Scholars are invited to participate in a number of programs, including Truman Scholar Leadership Week, The Summer Institute and The Truman-Albright Fellows Program.
“I am thrilled, both for Kimberly and that UAB again has a Truman Scholar,” says UAB President Carol Garrison. “Kimberly’s accomplishment is an honor for her and for the entire university. She exemplifies the quality of students we have at UAB, and her accomplishments reflect the academic programs we offer our students and the involvement and guidance given by our faculty.”
Everett is an economics major with a concentration in PPE – philosophy and political economy – a specific program offered by the UAB Collat School of Business and the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, and a minor in Chinese. She is a student in the UAB University Honors Program with an overall grade point average of 3.82. She is currently spending her junior year in China studying Mandarin and the Chinese economy on a Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program and the Institute for International Education. While abroad, she initiated a service project, the Intellectual Property Project, through which she seeks to inspire young Chinese students to develop their creativity and innovation ability.
Everett is pursuing a career combining economics and law; after completing a law degree with a focus on intellectual property and international law, followed by a master’s degree in public policy, she plans to work with the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service officer focusing on economics, she wrote in her scholarship application.
“From here I feel empowered to go forward with my ambitious career plans and confident that in the future, if I work hard towards a goal and have the right people to help me along the way, I can achieve anything I pursue in life,” Everett wrote after learning of her selection. “It’s a moment of clarity to reflect on what this achievement will mean for my future and leaves me with a deep appreciation for my UAB family, who helped me along every step of the way.”
Everett is a UAB University Scholar Award winner. She received the All American Best Witness Award from the American Mock Trial Association in March 2010. In 2009 she was selected as a Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition Top 5 finalist. She was chosen as a UAB Ambassador for 2009-10, one of 20 official hosts for UAB. She volunteered as a tax preparer for the United Way Income Tax Preparation Program in 2010 and for the Save First Tax Initiative in 2009. Everett was a School of Business Senator for the UAB Undergraduate Student Government Association in 2009. She was an analyst for the UAB Green and Gold Fund, a student-run investment portfolio, in 2008-09. She is the daughter of Richard and Clara Everett of Semmes.
Everett reflected on the honor and thanked her mentors at UAB: Nelleke Bak, Ph.D., director of National and International Scholarships; Michael Sloane, Ph.D., director of the University Honors Program; and William J. Rushton IV, Ph.D., associate director of the Honors Program.
“I hope that in the future I can help use this honor to positively impact someone else’s life and inspire them on to greater heights as well. I’d again like to thank Dr. Bak, Mike Sloane and Rusty Rushton for investing their time in me and allowing me to take advantage of one of life’s greatest opportunities,” she wrote.
Sloane says Everett has excelled in her honors and non-honors program courses and is well on the way to having an outstanding academic career at UAB.
“She is very invested in broadening her academic horizons,” says Sloane. “I look forward to great things from her in the years to come as she pursues her career.”
The Truman Scholarship Foundation selected the 60 Scholars from among 602 candidates nominated by 264 colleges and universities. The winners were announced March 30.
Congress established the Foundation in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd President. The Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The activities of the Foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury. There have been 2,790 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.
The 2011 Truman Scholars will assemble May 17 for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., on May 22, 2011. For a listing of the 2011 Scholars and more information on the Foundation, see www.truman.gov.