Shiloah Coley, a junior at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has been named a Truman Scholar, an award given to college juniors for leadership in public service which provides a scholarship for graduate study.
One of the most prestigious scholarships in the country,
Coley intends to pursue a doctorate in sociology, researching the impact art programming, access to arts education, and public art practices have on low-income communities of color, according to UW News.
“I was blessed to have such an incredible arts education growing up, and I know there are so many kids who don’t,” Coley tells UW News. “For me, the challenge was, how can art be a form of service? How can I figure out how to use my talents as an artist and take them back to the community?”
Congress created the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation in 1975 to be the nation’s living memorial to President Harry S. Truman. Its mission is to select and support the next generation of public service leaders. The award has become one of the most prestigious national scholarships in the United States, and candidates go through a rigorous selection process.
Coley is one of 62 winners chosen this year from 840 candidates nominated by 346 colleges and universities. Students were selected based on their records of leadership, public service
Claudia Koechell of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Mackenzie Berry, of Louisville, Kentucky, were both also finalists from UW-Madison.