Yale junior interested in policymaking is named a Truman Scholar

Makayla Haussler ’19
Makayla Haussler ’19

Makayla Haussler ’19 has been selected as one of 59 Truman Scholars in the 2018 cohort.

Candidates for the Truman Scholarship go through a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. In 2018, there were 756 candidates for the award nominated by 313 colleges and universities. The 194 finalists for the award were interviewed in March and early April at one of 16 regional selection panels.

They scholars will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on May 27. Recipients of the Truman Scholarship receive $30,000 toward graduate school and the opportunity to participate in professional development programming to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership.

Haussler is the only Nebraskan in the Class of 2019 at Yale, where she studies American politics, urban studies, and the politics of inequality. She has coordinated legislative advocacy and communications strategy for the Yale College Democrats, taught international relations to New Haven high school students, worked on reproductive justice issues with Planned Parenthood, and managed a campaign for the local city council.

Last summer, Haussler returned to Nebraska, where she organized community members to save the Affordable Care Act and researched the relationship between immigrant communities and labor unions in the state's rural meatpacking towns. She is especially interested in comparative social policy, health care policy, and reproductive justice issues. She hopes to pursue a J.D. and work as an attorney and policymaker, using the nation’s legal system to expand protections for reproductive rights and achieve universal health care.

Rebekah Westphal, director of Yale’s Office of Fellowship Programs, said she was “absolutely delighted” for Haussler, adding, “This is such a well-deserved recognition of her commitment to public service.” Westphal said that all of Yale’s nominees this year “were of outstanding caliber.”

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 to be the nation’s living memorial to President Harry S. Truman. The foundation has a mission to select and support the next generation of public service leaders. Since its creation, the Truman award has become one of the most prestigious national scholarships in the United States.

Students interested in the Truman scholarship or other opportunities may seek advice from the Office of Fellowship Programs in the Center for International and Professional Experience (CIPE). The annual process for juniors opens every September with deadlines in mid-November.

Visit the Harry S. Truman Scholarship website for more information.

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