March 31, 2011
Ayodele Oti ’12 (City) Named 2011 Truman Scholar
Ayodele Oti '12 (City), a Colin Powell Fellow who is also enrolled in the CUNY BACCALAUREATE for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies program, has been named a 2011 Harry S. Truman Scholar.
“Ayo is an extraordinary young woman who lives the Macaulay mission — seeking knowledge and experience that will help her meet the world's great challenges," offered Dean Ann Kirschner of Macaulay Honors College. “Ayo is the fifth Truman Scholar in Macaulay’s brief, ten-year history, and we share in her family's pride in her accomplishments.”
“We extend warmest congratulations to the two new and talented Truman winners, who join five other outstanding CUNY recipients that received this prestigious award since 2005,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein of The City University of New York. “They are all exceptional and well-deserving and bring honor and recognition to themselves, their families, and the world-class faculty of their home colleges and programs.”
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. It is one of the most competitive national scholarship programs, awarding between 60 and 65 scholarships annually to a field of 600 – 700 nominated candidates. Selection is based on a combination of career and graduate study interests, community service and academic achievement.
About Ayodole Oti
“I am excited to be one of the representatives from City College and I look forward all the opportunities being a Truman Scholar will afford me,” said Ms. Oti, who is majoring in International Environmental Public Health and Human Ecology and has a 3.94 GPA. “But most of all, I am thankful for all of the people who have helped me get this far.” She is spending the spring semester in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, studying Spanish, marine biology and Latin American history and culture as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar.
Born in Tallahassee, Florida, Ms. Oti entered City College with a full-tuition scholarship as a Macaulay Honors College University Scholar. Her public service interest was evident from her freshman year, when she among 48 participants in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Public Policy and Leadership Conference. Ms. Oti later did a summer internship in Washington, through CCNY’s Rosenberg/Humphrey Program in Public Policy.
Her interest in historical ecology took her to the Caribbean Island of Barbuda in January 2010 and Iceland in July 2010, the latter with support from a National Science Foundation grant to participate in an archaeology field school. Ms. Oti is also a Goldsmith Scholar, a Lisa Goldberg/Revson Scholar, a Starr Scholar, a Rangel Scholar and a Colin Powell Fellow.
“As a student who is interested in the environment, particularly with regard to sustainable development and public health, I wanted to explore past human-environment interactions to see what lessons I could possibly learn to help with the future,” she said. The daughter of a Nigerian father and American mother, Ms. Oti’s career goal is to work for a nonprofit dealing with international development in Latin America or Africa.
Ms. Oti’s mentors are Dr. Jack Caravanos, associate professor of environmental and occupational health services at Hunter College, and Dr. Marina Fernando, professor of sociology and director of international studies at CCNY.
Other recent Truman Scholarship winners from City College are: Don Gomez, in 2009, David L.V. Bauer, in 2008, and Claudio Simpkins in 2005. Mr. Bauer became a Rhodes Scholar the following year. Recent Truman Scholars from other CUNY colleges are Ryan Merola, from Brooklyn College, who won in 2006, and Christine Curella, from Hunter College, who won in 2007.
About the Truman Scholarship Foundation
The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as a living memorial to Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. Its mission is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.
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