Truman scholarships go to Arts & Sciences juniors

Arts & Sciences juniors A.J. Singletary and Paul Moinester have been awarded 2007 Harry S. Truman scholarships.

Truman Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference.” The program is open to juniors interested in public-service careers. Each scholarship provides $30,000 toward two or three years of graduate study.

(from left) Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton presents the book “Beginning a Great Work: Washington University in St. Louis 1853-2003” to juniors Paul Moinester and A. J. Singletary as gifts in recognition of their being named Truman Scholars, on Monday, March 26, in the chancellor’s office. The 65 scholars in the 2007 class were selected from among 585 candidates nominated by 280 colleges and universities. Washington University is one of only eight colleges to have more than one student selected in 2007.

The 65 Scholars in the 2007 class were selected from among 585 candidates nominated by 280 colleges and universities. Washington University is one of only eight colleges to have more than one student selected for 2007; only the University of Chicago, with three scholars this year, had more.

Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, along with leadership training, career and graduate-school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

Singletary, a Danforth Scholar, is an earth and planetary sciences major, minoring in environmental studies and ballet. He helped found the Roosevelt Institution, a national public policy think tank. He also served as a volunteer and then intern at the St. Louis Science Center, designing a ‘carbon footprint calculator’ and leading workshop presentations.

Among his many other activities, Singletary is a resident advisor and undergraduate student representative on the Washington University Board of Trustees. He is active in Volunteers for Environmental Restoration, Development, and Education, a service group that teaches environmental science at St. Louis public schools.

He will travel to India this summer with the university’s Village India Program, teaching a course to local students and performing research on environmental concerns afflicting rural Andhra Pradesh. He plans to get a joint master’s degree in public policy and environmental science, and would like to operate at the interface of policy and science, specifically working on environmental problems that affect the developing world.

“I feel honored to receive the Truman Scholarship,” Singletary said. “I realize the diverse strengths of Truman Scholars and their capacity to make a difference in the future, and I am incredibly humbled to be included among their ranks. I am grateful to the Washington University community for its support through the process. The opportunities provided to me here have been numerous and lasting, and I am grateful.

Moinester, a native of Memphis, Tenn., is majoring in political science and in environmental studies, both in Arts & Sciences. As president of Student Union and speaker of the Congress of the South 40, he worked to unite the campus environmental movement, lobby the administration for large-scale environmental change, and create a committee that educates students about how to live sustainably.

A former captain of the men’s varsity soccer team, Moinester also is the founder of several campus environmental groups, including the Hybrid Living Sustainability Committee and the Green Council.

Moinester plans to apply for an internship with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute as part of Truman’s 2008 Washington Summer Institute. He currntly plans to pursue graduate degrees in public administration and in agricultural, environmental and nutritional science.

After graduation, he has an interest in working with the GrassRoots Action Center for the Environment, an organization that focuses on creating a sustainable American food system by educating consumers about sustainability issues and mobilizing them to oppose corporate farming.

Eventually, he’d like to be a Washington representative for a nonprofit environmental group, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environmental branch.

“Paul and A.J. both have leadership experience and abilities far beyond their years,” said Ian MacMullen, Ph.D., assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“It is often hard to remain optimistic when contemplating the colossal environmental challenges we face in the next few decades, but it is a real comfort to know that people with the commitment and political acumen of Paul and A.J. will spearhead the response to those challenges. I congratulate them both; they represent the very best of Washington University.”