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Truman Scholar

Junior Kate Hannick awarded prestigious scholarship

Written by Dean Forbes
April 13, 2018

Kate Hannick, a Seattle University junior and economics and public affairs double major, has been named a 2018 Truman Scholar, one of only 59 selected this year by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

The prestigious academic award is given to undergraduates who are preparing for careers in public service. Truman Scholarship winners receive a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school and the opportunity to participate in professional development programs to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership.

Hannick serves as the civic engagement chair for the Student Government of Seattle University and volunteers with the YMCA to advise a group of high school students on government affairs and civic engagement. She is currently an intern in the office of U.S. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, where she assists in constituent casework related to immigration and health care.

She hopes to attend Georgetown University to earn a master’s degree in public policy. “I want to help craft and implement social justice-oriented policies for either a member of Congress, federal department or think tank,” she said.

As is his tradition for Seattle U Truman recipients, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., shared the news with Hannick during a surprise visit to her economics class on Tuesday. She is the only university student in the state of Washington to receive a Truman award this year.

“When Fr. Steve walked in I was kind of confused as to what was going on,” said Hannick. “When I saw Dr. (Bridget) Hiedemann, Dr. (Theresa) Earenfight, and Melissa Shade, who have been advising me through the whole Truman process, I think it finally hit me what was happening. When Fr. Steve made the announcement, I just started to cry.”

Hannick said, “I am so deeply grateful to everyone at SU who has helped in this process. One person gets this award but it's not because of just one person. There were so many who invested time and energy into this process.”

Hannick have been involved in student government for the past three years as first-year representative, executive vice president and then president. 

Academically, Hannick has been named to the President’s List every year. She does academic research with the Public Affairs program in the College of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Core Honors Program. In addition to interning with Jayapal, Hannick also worked in the offices of Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

Hannick is from St. Louis, and attended St. Joseph's Academy, a Jesuit school.

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. The Truman award has become one of the most prestigious national scholarships in the United States.

Annually, candidates for the Truman Scholarship go through a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. In 2018, there were 756 candidates for the award nominated by 311 colleges and universities, a record number of institutions. The 194 finalists for the award were interviewed in March and early April at one of 16 regional selection panels. The 59 new Truman Scholars will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on Sunday, May 27, 2018.