Chuck Rowling, a junior at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the son of Jim and Janet Rowling of Kearney, has been awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Out of 590 finalists from across the nation, Rowling is one of only 64 students chosen to receive the scholarship this year and the only Nebraskan. He is the second UNK student in three years to receive this award. UNK graduate Clayton Thyne of Julesburg, Colorado, received the Truman Scholarship in 2000. Rowling will receive $3,000 to finish his undergraduate studies and $27,000 for graduate school. He will also be invited to participate in the Truman Scholars Leadership Week and will receive enhanced access to highly competitive graduate programs. Rowling will officially receive the award in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 26, 2002.
“We are delighted for Chuck and pleased that the Truman Scholarship Program recognized again the academic excellence and leadership potential of our students,” said Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston. “Chuck Rowling is an excellent communicator who has taken superb advantage of many university opportunities to develop his leadership skills. In addition, he possesses that moral compass that leads him to serve humankind and his fellow students in several public service venues. These traits reflect positively on the high value of the undergraduate residential experience offered at UNK,” said Chancellor Johnston.
The mission of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship is to recognize college juniors with leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in service to the public.
Truman Scholars must have extensive records of community and public service, must be committed to careers in public service and must have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills. Truman Scholar candidates submit three letters of recommendation addressing the areas of public service, leadership and academics. James Scott, professor and chair of the political science department said, “I am extremely proud of Chuck. He worked very hard to prepare a high quality application and worked even harder for the rigorous interview in Denver. Chuck has always been careful and extremely thorough in all he does. He has a real sense of public service and wants his life to make a difference in other people’s lives.”
Rowling has a double major in political science and history. He will join UNK Associate Professor Laurence Becker in the Ivory Coast, Africa, this summer for a research project entitled “Processes of Change in Agricultural Systems: Impacts of Interventions in Ivorian Rice Cropping.” The project will combine Rowling’s knowledge of the French language, political science and agriculture and is funded through the National Science Foundation.
Rowling interned for Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey in Washington, DC, in 1999. He has also served as president of UNK’s Locke and Key Society, vice president for Mortar Board, and as a College Fellow for the department of history. He is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations and wants to work on issues related to the developing world.
Rowling said, “Because of people like Dr. James Scott, Dr. Joan Blauwkamp and Dr. Larry Becker, and others in the political science department, I was well prepared going into the interview. When I arrived at UNK I had no idea the vast number of opportunities available to me. I want to thank the faculty for opening new doors and helping me to explore my potential.”