Monday, June 14, 2021

UM Student Vying for Prestigious Truman Scholarship Nomination

Story contributed by Artez Gibson
Broadcast journalism student

Nearly 800 of the best students in the country applied and one student from the University of Mississippi made the cut for one of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships. Joshua Mannery, a political science and English major, has been selected as a 2020 Truman Scholarship finalist.

He is one of just 190 candidates selected nationwide for a shot at 60 scholarships, to which he says he’s honored. 

“Knowing that you impact people and making a place better than where you found it, it is an extreme and validating experience,” Mannery said.

His main focus has been on helping young people succeed.

“A lot of times it’s easy for us to focus on the present, but we may leave this world better or worse for what comes after us. We need to focus on the future, so youth development has always been a big thing for me.”

One of Mannery’s professors has long seen something special in him.

“He’s always thinking and analyzing his situation. He works out strategies for succeeding and he has a built-in feeling for community and a desire to help people,” said Aileen Ajootian, who teaches classics and art history.

Mannery feels that he’s having an impact on the university and says that others can, too.

“I want other people who look up to me to believe in themselves and know that they can be their own change agents. You don’t need a scholarship to be a change agent, and I don’t need this to continue to do what I’m doing. Whether I get the scholarship or not, I will still seek to make change in my community,” he said. 

Mannery is set for a final interview this month in Nashville. The winning scholars will be announced April 15.