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Plan II Honors Student, Lauren Koehler, Awarded 2007-2008 Truman Scholarship

Tue, April 3, 2007

Lauren Koehler, a senior Plan II Honors major, has earned a 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. During the past 10 years, at least one University of Texas at Austin student has received the national honor. (Nine were Plan II Honors majors.)

Madeleine K. Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced today 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 major, who is earning additional majors 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 as a Plan II Honors major 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.

Contact: Lauren Koehler Senior, Plan II Honors Program 512-495-4520

Plan II Honors majors who received Truman Scholarships:

2007: Lauren Koehler

2006: Manasi A. Deshpande

2005: Lauren G. Gilstrap and Rebekah Perry

2003: Heidi Boutros

2002: Alexandra Chirinos

2001: Richa M. Gulati

2000: Sara C. Galván

1998: Marianna Vishnevetsky

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