Four Juniors Vie for National Truman Scholarship

collage of four Rhodes College students
clockwise from top left: Anna Yates, Maya Khalife-Hamdan, Stuart Keen, and William Courtney

Rhodes College juniors Anna Yates, Maya Khalife-Hamdan, Stuart Keen, and William Courtney are competing for the 2024 Truman Scholarship, a national, competitive, merit-based award offered to students who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in government, the nonprofit sector, or public service. It provides up to $30,000 to be applied toward graduate school.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established in 1975 by Congress as a federal memorial to the 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. 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.

More about this year’s Rhodes College nominees:

Anna Yates
Major: Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)
Hometown: Little Rock, AR

Yates is the Rhodes Student Government vice president and was a U.S. House of Representatives intern during the summer of 2023. On campus, she serves as a writing fellow and is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, the Reformed University Fellowship, and the Rhodes College Dance Company.

Maya Khalife-Hamdan
Major: International Studies and Spanish

Khalife-Hamdan works as a multilingual translator for the nonprofit organizations Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Literacy Mid-South. A summer 2023 Mertie Buckman International Intern, she worked in Santiago, Chile, as a researcher at the University of Chile Law School’s Human Rights Research Center. On campus, she works in the Language Learning Center as a French and Spanish tutor and is co-president of the Rhodes chapter of Amnesty International.

Stuart Keen
Major: Health Equity
Hometown: Memphis, TN

Keen is the recipient of a Posse Foundation leadership scholarship at Rhodes and was a 2023 fellow in the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, where he conducted research and presented “HIV Is Not Exclusive: Memphis And The Deep  South Must Fight Back.” He has served as an intern for Friends For life Studies, which is dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV and helping those affected by HIV/AIDS live well. As a Turley Fellow on campus, Keen is partnering with several nonprofits such as A Betor Way to put lifesaving medication in the hands of college students.

William Courtney 
Major: Political Science and Philosophy 
Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC

Courtney is a legislative intern for Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District. On campus, he serves as the student philanthropy coordinator for the Office of Development and vice president of administration for Rhodes’ Interfraternity Council. He also serves as the vice president of the Honor Council and is a member of the Rhodes Student Senate. In his spare time, he is an active member of the Epsilon Sigma chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity, and he is co-founder of the Whiteball Club. 

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