Salmah Y. Rizvi, a Johns Hopkins University junior from Laurel, Md., is one of 65 students from 56 U.S. colleges and universities to be named a 2007 Truman Scholar. The prestigious annual award is for extraordinary juniors committed to careers in public service. The Harry S. Truman Foundation announced its latest group of scholars on March 27.
Each scholar receives $30,000 for graduate study and is eligible for priority admission and supplemental financial aid at premier graduate institutions. They also receive leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and access to special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills and be in the top quarter of their classes. Johns Hopkins most recent previous Truman Scholar was Sarah David, who received the award in 2006.
The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to America s 33rd president. Rizvi joins more than 2,545 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977. This year s winners will meet in May for a weeklong leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., on May 21. Information is available online at http://www.truman.gov.
Rizvi, 20, is a Hodson Trust Scholar at Johns Hopkins, majoring in international relations and anthropology. She would like to pursue a doctorate in law and a master's degree in public policy with a concentration in Islamic legal studies. Rizvi plans to continue translating and analyzing intelligence information with the Department of Defense, where she has spent the past three summers as an intern focused on language analysis. Later, she hopes to pursue a public service career with the State Department working on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
Rizvi is the co-founder and chair of VisionXchange, a service and international relief organization on the Homewood campus. The group's goal is "to raise a lot of money for good causes while having an awesome time as well." VisionXchange has hosted several fun, stunt-based events to raise money for charity, including Top Model contests to raise awareness about human trafficking; College Idol contests to address the child soldier situation in northern Uganda; "Shots for Shots," a basketball-themed fund-raiser pitting students against professors to benefit the Measles Initiative; and an attempt to set a new benchmark in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most couples on a simultaneous blind date. Rizvi is a former student representative on the university's Diversity Leadership Council, a former dancer on the Bhangra Dance team, and a former executive board member for the Johns Hopkins University Muslim Student Association and Foreign Affairs Symposium.
Last semester, Rizvi lived and worked in Washington, D.C., as an Aitchison Fellow. There, she served as deputy director for the International Consortium on Fundamental Rights, an initiative housed by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. Sponsored by the Institute, Rizvi traveled to Rome and helped to organize the 4th Annual Inter-parliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom. She has traveled extensively as a student ambassador promoting peace and stability and teaching international humanitarian law in such countries as Uganda and Iceland. As an active member of the Muslim American community, Rizvi has also interned for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, published a number of papers regarding Islamic politics, and volunteered with various Muslim organizations. She teaches Islamic history every Sunday at her local mosque, Idara-E-Jaferia Center in Burtonsville, Md.
Rizvi is the daughter of Syed-Anwar Hussain Rizvi and Shamoon Hassan Rizvi. She graduated from Atholton High School in 2004.
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