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Three UW–Madison students were finalists for Truman Scholarship

April 28, 2021 By Doug Erickson

Three UW–Madison students were finalists this year for the Truman Scholarship, one of the most prestigious undergraduate honors in the country.

A total of 845 students were nominated by 328 colleges and universities — a record number of candidates. UW juniors Megan Mercier, Adrian Lampron and Tamia Fowlkes were among 193 finalists. The 62 winners were announced April 14.

“It’s an honor for a university to have three finalists for the Truman Scholarship,” says Julie Stubbs, director of undergraduate academic awards at UW–Madison. “It speaks to Adrian’s, Tamia’s, and Megan’s leadership qualities and their potential to make a difference on issues related to civil rights, civic engagement and transformative justice. It also reflects a culture of public service at UW–Madison and the enduring power of the Wisconsin Idea.”

The Truman Scholarship recognizes outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

More about UW–Madison’s finalists:

  • Tamia Fowlkes is from Milwaukee and majoring in journalism and political science, with certificates in gender and women’s studies and leadership. She serves as the Big 10 Voting Challenge intern for the Morgridge Center for Public Service, as an Andrew Goodman ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, and as a student council representative for the Associated Students of Madison. Driven by her passions for politics, education and youth activism, Fowlkes co-created The Student Civic Immersion Program, which aids high school students in crafting service projects centered around civic engagement and policy issues like environmental justice, racial equity, and voter suppression. She also co-hosts a podcast called Pod-Cast Your Vote.
  • Adrian Lampron is an organizer and advocate from Minneapolis, who uses they/them pronouns. Lampron studies history, political science, LGBTQ+ studies, and a bit of Spanish. They are privileged to have a community that supports them in being their true self and they feel driven to fight for the many trans people who do not. Lampron got their start interning for Phillipe Cunningham, who won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council in 2017 and became the first Black queer trans man elected to public office in the United States. Since then, Lampron has served as a student council representative, congressional office intern, graphic designer, and field organizer in Minnesota during the 2020 election. They’ve also founded a student political coalition, hosted a podcast about local government, and released 4 EPs. Lampron recently was elected the next chair of Associated Students of Madison, UW–Madison’s student council.
  • Megan Mercier

    Megan Mercier returned to UW–Madison in 2020 after 15 years away, during which time she became the founder of the Holism for All program aimed at connecting low-income families with affordable holistic healthcare options. Mercier, of Madison, is an advocate for victims of domestic violence, public speaker, author, filmmaker and mother to two daughters. She is majoring in social welfare and working on her next film project. Her focus is on establishing family law legislation that better protects victims of violence and their children from abuse, as well as on promoting policies of judicial accountability and community-led, transformative justice initiatives.

Recent winners of Truman Scholarships from UW–Madison include Tina Marshalek (2020),  Shiloah Coley (2019), Jordan Madden (2018) and Deshawn McKinney (2016). A complete list of UW–Madison winners and finalists can be found here.