College of Wooster junior Christina Bowerman is a finalist for a Truman Scholarship.

College of Wooster junior Christina Bowerman is a finalist for a Truman Scholarship.


Christina Bowerman among the Finalists for a Truman Scholarship

College of Wooster junior hopes possible selection will help her prepare for life’s work

February 28, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Christina Bowerman has a clear vision of her calling in life, and she is hoping that a Truman Scholarship will help her to realize that dream. A junior women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and religious studies double major at The College of Wooster, Bowerman learned last week that she is a finalist for the highly selective award from the Harry S. Truman Foundation, which could result in a scholarship of up to $30,000 for graduate school.

“I really wasn’t expecting to get this far,” said Bowerman, a resident of Walnut Creek, Calif., who chose Wooster, in part, because its affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. “It’s a very competitive process. You are judged on your home region, which means I was competing against students from California and Hawaii.”

In addition to the stipend for graduate school, the Truman Foundation provides assistance with career counseling, internship placement, graduate school admissions, and professional development. Candidates must be in their junior year of college and possess exceptional leadership potential as well as a commitment to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service for at least seven years.

“I want to work in community centers with queer and religious youth to bridge the gap that exists between the two identities,” said Bowerman. “I think the two identities can and should work together.”

Bowerman advanced to the finals on the strength of a strong policy proposal, which is a key component of the application process. “I wrote about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has been proposed in every Congress except one since 1994 but has yet to pass,” said Bowerman. “I suggested that the bill should continue to be proposed and should add protections for those who are transgender so that the bill can be a fully inclusive document.”

Bowerman will have an opportunity to make her case in person when she meets with a panel from the Truman Foundation on March 16 in San Francisco. After deliberation, the final selection of winners nationally (about 60 from a pool of more than 600) will be announced on March 30.

"Christina is an outstanding Truman candidate,” said Bas van Doorn, assistant professor of political science at Wooster. “She combines passion, intelligence, leadership skills, and an already impressive record of service. I am confident she will embark on an impressive career in public service."

Bowerman’s commitment to this cause has been nurtured and strengthened during her first three years at Wooster. “The College has given me many different outlets,” she said. “I’ve been able to take a diverse set of classes, play clarinet in the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, and work at the Office of Interfaith Campus Ministries, which has exposed me to a number of different faith traditions. Wooster was definitely the best decision I could have made.”