Minden native named Truman finalist

Dr. William O’Brochta, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dr. Les Guice, President, Ethan Jeffus, Truman Finalist and Kristi Stake, Coordinator of Competitive Scholarships.

A Minden native was recently named a Truman Finalist. Ethan Jeffus is a Political Science major and student in the Honors Program at Louisiana Tech and one of four state finalists for the scholarship, a highly-competitive national scholarship program that seeks to identify and support outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in public service.

“I have a deep background in volunteerism,” Jeffus said. “I plan on going to law school after undergrad and work with non-profits and use legal knowledge to fight against hunger insecurity.”

While Jeffus did not win the scholarship, being a finalist is an honor as Louisiana Tech has not had a finalist since 1977. There were only four from Louisiana.

“Out of all the applications they got from all the colleges, they narrowed it down to the top four,” Jeffus said. “We were the best of the best.”

During the interview process, applicants were narrowed to one from each state.

The application process is rigorous, and finalists are selected based on their academic achievement, leadership potential, commitment to a career in public service, and potential to make a difference in their communities and the world. Finalists are selected by a regional review panel, and then a national review panel selects the final scholars from among the finalists.

“Being named a Truman Finalist is a significant honor and a testament to a student’s hard work, leadership, and commitment to public service,” said Dr. Joe Koskie, director of the Honors Program. “It also offers valuable networking opportunities and access to a community of scholars and public service leaders.”

Jeffus has been inspired by Louisiana Tech classes such as Contemporary Problems in Government and Social Problems. He has been declared a Louisiana Ambassador by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, and has received proclamations from both Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker and late Minden Mayor Terry Gardner for his social initiatives, which include the “Little Free Pantry” that provides access to free food in 14 cities across Louisiana and “Warming Elderly Tootsies” provides new socks to nursing home residents.

“Being named a Truman Scholar Finalist is a great honor. I am beyond humbled to be chosen by the Truman Foundation and for the opportunity to represent the University on the national level,” Jeffus said. “I feel my experiences gained through leadership opportunities at Louisiana Tech have prepared me for this opportunity, and I look forward to continuing to represent my University and state of Louisiana.”

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