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Two BYU undergraduates receive $30,000 Truman scholarships

Two Truman Scholarships of $30,000 each were recently awarded to two undergraduate students at Brigham Young University.

Ryan Keller, 23, a junior from Salt Lake City majoring in philosophy, and Peter Stone, 23, a junior from Modesto, Calif., majoring in political science both received the scholarship.

"The Truman Scholarship is one of the most prestigious national scholarships in America, so we are thrilled to have two of our students selected," said Sven E. Wilson, a BYU professor of political science.

"Peter Stone and Ryan Keller are both students who have outstanding academic records, a strong record of public and community service and are extremely knowledgeable about current affairs."

Keller is the president and founder of Students Against Violence, a statewide, student-run organization that seeks to keep Utah college campuses free of firearms. In addition to English, he currently speaks four other languages and is studying a fifth. After graduation, Keller plans to attend graduate school in international relations/economics and eventually law school.

"I feel extremely honored to be selected as a Truman Scholar. I've gained immensely from the Truman application and interview process and discovered a number of my passions in life and made decisions on how I will utilize these passions to effect positive change in the future," Keller said.

Stone plans to work in Washington, D.C., after he graduates and then attend law school to focus on health or public interest laws. He has already had internships in Washington, D.C., with Newt Gingrich's office.

"I feel a great responsibility to live up to the expectations that accompany this recognition," Stone said. "I feel very honored to be associated with the Truman name and foundation, and I feel very fortunate to receive such substantial assistance in my graduate studies and career in public service."

In past years, around 70 candidates have been selected from hundreds of applicants. The Truman Scholarship Foundation awards college juniors with a merit-based grant for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

Recipients must demonstrate exceptional leadership potential, have an extensive record of public and community service, and be committed to a career in government or elsewhere in public service. A Truman Faculty Representative must nominate each candidate.

Writer: Liesel Enke

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