Duke student becomes university’s 50th Truman Scholar

Duke University junior Maya Durvasula is among 62 students selected as 2017 Truman Scholars.

Durvasula, a Robertson Scholar from Albuquerque, New Mexico, studies economics, with a minor in mathematics and a certificate in politics, philosophy and economics. She’s been involved with research through the Duke-UNC Initiative on Poverty and Inequality and the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. During the 2017-18 academic year, she will serve as president of the Duke Partnership for Service and co-editor-in-chief of the Duke Political Review.

“Maya has a real commitment to using her exceptional academic and social skills to make the nation a better place for those who are not as fortunate as she is. She does this not out of guilt, but out of a sense of responsibility,” said Robert Korstad, a professor of public policy and history at Duke.

To win one of the scholarships, students are selected based on their records of leadership, public service and academic achievement and their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. The Truman Scholarship Foundation received 768 nominations from 315 colleges and universities.

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

With Truman funding, Durvasula hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in economics, with an emphasis on development.

“I am honored to have been selected as a Truman Scholar and thrilled to be joining a community of compassionate, engaged people who have devoted their careers to figuring out how best to ‘do good,’” she said.

To date, 50 Duke students have received Truman scholarships since the program was initiated in 1977.