Four Juniors Selected as Candidates for Nationally Competitive Truman Scholarship

Four Rhodes College juniors are competing for the 2021 Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders. They are Elizabeth Baldwin, Karim Garcia, Mariam Khayata, and Lauren Moore.

In 1975, the Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress as a federal memorial to the 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. It provides up to $30,000 to apply toward graduate school. The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive national award, and recipients must be nominated by their institution, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, demonstrate academic excellence, and be committed to careers in government or the nonprofit sector.

Elizabeth Baldwin is an English major from Mobile, AL, where she has worked as an intern with the Penelope House domestic violence shelter. In Memphis, she has worked as an intern for the Community Legal Center. Baldwin serves as a steering committee member for the Bonner Foundation’s “Know Your Issue” project, which provides her the opportunity to work with students from across the country on policy research. On campus, Baldwin is a Bonner Scholar, a diplomat, and captain and award-winning attorney in the Rhodes Mock Trial program.

Karim Garcia, an economics and international studies major who also is from Mobile, AL, participates in the Bonner Scholars Program, which promotes service at Rhodes. She has worked as an intern for the Bonner Foundation, as well as held business and data internships with KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools and Memphis nonprofit City Leadership. Garcia also is a diplomat on campus and founder of the Rhodes chapter of the multicultural Greek organization Lambda Pi Chi, which is part of the Latinx Student Association.

Mariam Khayata, an international studies and political science major from Memphis, TN, serves as secretary of Memphis nonprofit 901 Ummah. On campus, she serves as a Rhodes Student Government senator and chair of its diversity and inclusion committee. This past summer, she was a government affairs intern for the Council on American Islamic Relations, working to empower the American Muslim community politically. She also is a Clarence Day Scholar, dedicated to making a positive impact on Memphis

Lauren Moore, a political science major from Memphis, TN, is vice president of programming for Rhodes’ Culture of Consent. She is the junior class representative in the executive cabinet of Rhodes Student Government and has served as a senator. She also serves as a peer advisor and diplomat on campus.

Truman Scholars will be announced in the spring.

Past recipients of the Truman Scholarship at Rhodes include Thomas Mitchell ’18, Brooks Lamb ’17, and Frankie Dakin ’14.

Students interested in learning more about the Truman Scholarship application process and other nationally competitive postgraduate scholarships should contact Dr. Esen Kirdis, co-director of post-graduate fellowships at Rhodes, at