MEDIA: April Seehafer, WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program, 509-335-8239, seehafer@wsu.edu

PULLMAN, Wash.—Future policymaker, environmental engineer, and attorney Alyssa Norris, a junior at Washington State University, is one of 199 students from 136 colleges selected to interview as a finalist for the prestigious, nationally competitive Truman Scholarship, the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program announced.

Majoring in civil engineering with an environmental emphasis, Norris is from North Pole, a Fairbanks suburb in central eastern Alaska. Issues in her home state inspired her career goal to influence and lead policies and practices dealing with energy, its cleanliness and reliability, environmental and public impacts, and costs. Receiving the Truman Scholarship would help pay for graduate education and leadership training, followed by required public service work for three to seven years following graduation.

Norris’s resume includes years of experiences in civic service, scientific research, volunteer, and government areas. Since enrolling at WSU in 2013, she has been a student government representative, a team member on numerous engineering projects, and a student researcher. She was in summer 2016 an intern for the U.S. Dept. of Energy; in 2015 a researcher and fellow with the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program; and in 2014 one of WSU’s first Fulbright UK Summer Institute Undergraduate Fellows, studying at the University of Bristol.

“There were 768 students from 315 institutions applying for a Truman this time, and WSU is pleased that Alyssa was among those selected for a March or April interview with the selection committee,” said April Seehafer, director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program.

“Alyssa will know by April 21 if she is one of the 55-60 students chosen to be the next Truman Scholars. We support her all the way, and wish her the very best.” She added that if selected, Norris will be WSU’s third Truman Scholar, and the first since 1990.

The Distinguished Scholarships Program, part of WSU Undergraduate Education, has worked since 2011 with students seeking a variety of high-caliber scholarships that include the Fulbright, Goldwater, and Udall. More than 100 WSU students and alumni who have received these and other awards are feted in the WSU Distinguished Scholars Gallery, in the Compton Union Building on the Pullman campus. Seehafer, and a large contingent of advisory board and committee members, advise, mentor, and prepare students considering and applying for these awards that boost their educational experience and add to their professional and career objectives.