Elon junior a finalist for Truman Scholarship

Amy Mullan is competing for a highly competitive national fellowship awarded each year to those with goals of working in public service or government. Winners will be announced in April. 

An Elon University student has been named a finalist for a 2017 Truman Scholarship, a prestigious national fellowship awarded each year to college juniors with goals of working in education, government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors or elsewhere in public service.

​Amy Mullan, a junior public health and policy studies major, is a finalist for an award that funds up to $30,000 for graduate study. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation received 768 applications from 315 colleges and universities.

Winners will be announced April 14, 2017. The foundation awarded 54 fellowships last year.

In addition to the monetary award, Truman 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.

The Foundation, established by Congress in 1975 as a memorial to the 33rd president, awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The foundation has named more than 3,000 Truman Scholars since the first awards were made in 1977.

Mullan is dedicated to addressing social and economic barriers to food sovereignty and nutritional knowledge. She serves as a leader for Campus Kitchen, an organization dedicated to addressing food insecurity in Alamance County. In this role she harvests produce at Loy Farm, manages volunteers and educates the community about these initiatives. Under her leadership, the harvest of Loy Farm and the resulting food donations to Campus Kitchen grew from 996 pounds to 3,128 pounds in a single year.

While at Elon, Mullan has focused her research on understanding the influences of society and culture on infant feeding practices. She has sought to identify and implement strategies to address the barriers to breastfeeding among resettled refugee mothers in North Carolina. She’s an Elon College Fellow and is the recipient of Elon’s Lumen Prize, a $15,000 award to support her research. As a Lumen Scholar, Mullan has been mentored by Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology.

Following graduation next year, she hopes to pursue a master’s of public health with a concentration in maternal and child health.

Mullan said the process of applying for the Truman Scholarship encouraged her to think critically about her future academic and career goals. Along with helping fund her work toward a graduate degree, the scholarship would help her develop leadership skills “and meet others who are passionate about changing the world,” Mullan said.

“If I receive this scholarship, I will be exposed to the issues that those in my cohort are passionate about,” Mullan said. “I will have more freedom to select a graduate school that is best suited for my academic and career development.”

Mullan is the daughter of Robert and Marion Mullan of White Hall, Maryland.

Breanna Detwiler ’09 was the first Elon University student to win a Truman Scholarship. She received the honor in 2008. To learn more about the Truman Scholarship and other nationally competitive awards, visit the National and International Fellowships website.