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For immediate release: Apr. 2, 2002

Contact: Ruth Stevens (609) 258-5735, rstevens@princeton.edu

Two Princeton juniors win Truman Scholarships

Two Princeton juniors have been named 2002 Truman Scholars by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Rebecca Gifford and Daniel Pastor are among 64 students from 54 U.S. colleges and universities selected this year. The award recognizes their leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of "making a difference."

Each scholarship provides $30,000 -- $3,000 for the senior year and $27,000 for graduate school in preparation for a career in government or elsewhere in public service. 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.

Gifford, from Ellicott City, Md., is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. A graduate of Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., she served as a student member of the Maryland State Board of Education during her senior year. Since graduating, she has spent part of each spring and summer working as a staff member with Maryland Leadership Workshops Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive leadership training programs for students. In 2000, she became that organization's first director of leadership research, and this summer she will direct its senior high workshop.

At Princeton, Gifford has been a project coordinator for KIDPOWER through the Student Volunteers Council and a member of both the Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid and the Woodrow Wilson School Student Advisory Committee. Last summer, she was a Princeton Project 55 public interest intern with the SEED Foundation, an organization that created and operates a residential charter school in Washington, D.C.

Gifford intends to pursue a joint graduate degree program in law and public policy, focusing on issues of education, health and labor in urban areas. Eventually, she hopes to work on education and social policy reform in a school, nonprofit organization or government agency.

Pastor, from Plano, Texas, is majoring in politics with a certificate in Latin American studies. A graduate of Plano East Senior High School, he has studied in Madrid, Spain, and Munich, Germany, and is spending this semester studying in Chile. An elected member of the Council of the Princeton University Community and of the Undergraduate Student Government Senate, he has volunteered as a Spanish translator at the Princeton Medical Center's Low-Income Clinic.

Pastor has served as a research assistant to Princeton President Emeritus Harold T. Shapiro and was an intern with President Bill Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission, which Shapiro chaired. Last summer, he interned with Fundación Acceso, a nongovernmental organization focusing on economic development that is based in Costa Rica.

Pastor plans to earn a master of public affairs in international relations at a Latin American university. He also intends to earn a doctoral degree in political science, focusing on the 20th-century economic and political history of Latin America and U.S. involvement in its affairs. Ultimately, he hopes to pursue a career with the State Department in the foreign service.

This year's Truman Scholars were chosen from among 590 candidates nominated by 287 U.S. colleges and universities. They will assemble May 19 for a week-long leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., on May 26.

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