TU Junior Wins 2002 Truman Scholarship

Monday, March 25, 2002

Published on 3/25/02

Tina Tran, a junior at The University of Tulsa who is president of the Student Association and takes a personal interest in the fate of refugees around the world, has been selected as a 2002 Truman Scholar. Tran will receive a $30,000 scholarship for costs of her senior year and two years of graduate study.

Tran, a Broken Arrow native and daughter of Vietnamese refugees, is majoring in both economics and environmental policy. She plans to pursue graduate studies in international affairs and then earn a law degree, and she hopes to join the U.S. Foreign Service.

TU President Bob Lawless said he has known Tran since she was a freshman because she has been organizing campus events since she first arrived at TU. “She will be a great leader in the future. We are all fortunate that she is dedicated to public service.”

In January, Tran, who has been chair of TU’s College Republicans, combined the forces of the TU Student Association with the League of Women Voters to produce the 1st Congressional District debates on campus.

Tran is the fifth TU student to be named a Truman Scholar in the past seven years.

She is a member of TU’s Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge, a program that pairs students committed to scholarship and community service with faculty mentors. She studied the lending policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

A policy proposal she wrote as part of her application for the scholarship outlined a plan to link non-governmental organizations that administer refugee assistance programs with the U.S. State Department to ensure accountability and effectiveness.

Tran credits her success to her parents, Henry and Neri Tran of Broken Arrow. “My mother escaped from Vietnam so her children could experience opportunities she never had. She instilled in me the importance of academic excellence.”

Tran is one of 77 scholars chosen this year by the Truman Foundation from among 590 candidates nominated by colleges and universities across the nation. Scholars are chosen on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference” through public service.

The winners will attend a week-long leadership development seminar May 19 at Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and they will receive their awards May 26 at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo. Tran will also participate in the 2003 Washington Summer Institute offered to Truman scholars.

Tran has also received a 2001 Thomas R. Pickering U.S. Department of State Fellowship and a 2001 Ronald Reagan National Future Leaders Fellowship.

At TU she is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and was elected the 2001 Homecoming Queen. She also was a member of the women’s rowing team.

After graduating from Broken Arrow High School in 1998, Tran spent eight months working with the U.S. Consulate in Vietnam assisting American trade delegations. She also organized a backpacking trip for college friends to travel to an ethnic Khmer village in Soc Trang, Vietnam, and to meet her grandmother.