Ali Hussain '11 has been named a Harry S. Truman Scholar, one of 60 college juniors across the country selected as scholars in recognition of academic achievement, leadership and commitment to a career in public service. The award provides $30,000 for graduate study.
"Receiving the Truman Scholarship … would not have been possible without the amazing support Cornell offers to students seeking opportunities that give you invaluable work experience, such as the Cornell Urban Scholar Program I did last summer and the Cornell in Washington Program last fall," Hussain said.
Hussain is a College Scholar and government major who plans a career in international relations with a focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is a board member of the Islamic Alliance for Justice (IAJ), a campus organization committed to protecting civil liberties and developing interfaith dialogue, empowerment of Muslim women and the mobilization of responses to injustice. IAJ has chapters at several universities and affiliations with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the People for the American Way Foundation.
Hussain is also a national fellow for Young People Four, an initiative to develop civic leaders. He has conducted policy research for the ACLU's School to Prison Pipeline and worked for Rep. Keith Ellison (Democratic Farm Labor Party-Minn.) as a research assistant for the Committee on Foreign Relations and Financial Services.
At Cornell, Hussain is a member of the Telluride Association, the Cornell chapter of the ACLU and the Mortar Board Honor Society. His is also a volunteer for, among other organizations, the Loaves and Fishes feeding ministry.
Hussain's application was supported by letters of recommendation from faculty members Ross Brann, Near Eastern studies; Charles Geisler, development sociology; and John Nettleton, city and regional planning.
"Mr. Hussain is one of the most intellectually ambitious and accomplished among hundreds of intellectually gifted students I have known in 24 years at Cornell," said Brann, the Milton R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies. "His near perfect academic record and residence in Telluride House alone point to Mr. Hussain's intelligence and extraordinary promise as a critical thinker and leader. When we consider Mr. Hussain's academic distinction alongside his impressive record of community service and leadership activities, Ali's experience and contributions at Cornell appear all the more remarkable."
The campus endorsement committee included faculty members Kate Bronfenbrenner, Risa Lieberwitz, Helene Dillard, Ann Forsythe, Anne Lukingbeal and Alan Mathios. Faculty who helped Hussain and finalists John Ertl '11 and Thu Nguyen '11 prepare for interviews were Nicolas van de Walle, Bruce Tracey, Clare McMillan, Deanne Maxwell, Laura Lewis and Regina Duffey Moravek. Craig Jones of Cornell Career Services; Kristin Ramsay of the Cornell Commitment; Ellie Emery '10, last year's Truman Scholar; and community member John Suter also participated in the applicants' preparation.
The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd president. The foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The foundation is supported by a U.S. Treasury trust fund.