Malual is the first Emmanuel student to ever be recognized in this way, and she will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study.
According to the Foundation’s website, the Foundation selected “62 exceptional college students from 55 colleges and universities” for the 2020 class of scholars—less than 10 percent of the 773 applications from 316 colleges and universities received during this cycle. Students were selected based on their records of leadership, public service and academic achievement. In 2020, Emmanuel is one of four institutions to have a Truman Scholar for the first time, and Malual is one of just 12 scholars who attend a private liberal arts institution.
An international studies major and a resident assistant on campus, Malual played a key leadership role at the College during one of the most significant periods of student activism in recent memory. She served as one of the authors of and advocates for a document produced by the Black Student Union entitled “We the Students: A Call to Action.”
As a high school student, Malual was inspired by an aunt to think about how to resolve divisions between Sudanese living in the United States, as well as in Sudan itself. Understanding that expatriate communities often have a significant influence on their countries of origin, she hopes to make the Sudanese community in the U.S. a model of conflict resolution that will resonate back at home in Sudan.
“She has been particularly interested in empowering young Sudanese women and girls to participate in peace efforts,” said Dr. Laurie Johnston, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of Fellowships, in her endorsement letter for Malual’s application. “She founded Sudo, an organization for young Sudanese women in Maine, as a first step towards that goal.
“Some students might respond to these challenges by going to law school, but Dina is clear that her interests lie elsewhere. She wants to think more creatively and holistically about public policy challenges, and feels that the law is too narrow an approach. She has identified an excellent public policy administration program at UMass Amherst that will equip her to be an effective policy advocate but will also give her the skills she will need as she scales up Sudo, her emerging NGO. Dina’s drive and keen intellect will surely serve her well in this program.”
Created by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s official living memorial to our thirty-third president and The Presidential Memorial to Public Service. Their mission “makes us a beacon for public service for young people across the United States. Our vision is of a country that deeply values public servants.”
Prominent Truman Scholars in government service include former Arizona Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (1977), former Secretary of Education John King (1995), former National Security Advisor Susan Rice (1984), Congressman Tom Malinowski (1985), Congressman Ted Deutch (1986), Congressman Greg Stanton (1990), Congressman Dusty Johnson (1998), Congressman Andy Kim (2003), Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (1994), former Ambassador Darci Vetter (1995), former Ambassador Michelle Gavin (1995), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (1981). Truman Scholars lead at all levels of government and throughout the nonprofit sector.