Coast Guard Academy
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: April 2, 2010
Contact: CGA Public Affairs
Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Melissa McCafferty received the 2010 Truman Scholarship this year. She is the third consecutive person from the Academy to receive the Truman scholarship, an unprecedented accomplishment.
The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, priority admission, supplemental financial aid, leadership training, graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Melissa was informed of the news in late March by Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. She began working on the scholarship in the fall of 2009 under the guidance of Professor Zapalska, director of the Academy Honors program, and Professors Youngman and Ringel, also both with the Adademy. The application consisted of 13 short essays and four letters of recommendation. By the end of the application, Melissa had received help during her mock interviews from several of the civilian and military faculty and staff throughout the Academy. Melissa applied from her home state of Michigan.
In February, McCafferty was notified that she was a finalist and would be interviewed in Chicago, Ill., with 12 other finalists from the Midwest region. After arriving in Chicago, McCafferty had dinner with all of the finalists in downtown Chicago where she was able to meet with past Truman Scholars and talk about her future in public service. The interview was held in the Chicago Federal Reserve with a panel consisting of prominent business and government figures from the Midwest as well as Frederick Slabach, the executive secretary of the Harry S. Truman Foundation. Other finalists included students from Northwestern University, Bryn Mawr College, Georgetown University and Princeton. Of the twelve finalists, two scholars were chosen. One was from Illinois with McCafferty being the other from Michigan.
McCafferty is a Government major with a dual concentration in public policy and international affairs. She was born in Lansing, Mich., and raised in Newberry, Mich. She came to the Coast Guard Academy because she wanted to serve her country and humanity. The Coast Guard was a natural fit for her desired educational and life goals, helping to prepare her for a life in public service through law and politics.
McCafferty intends to pursue a joint MPP/JD degree at the Harvard School of Law and Kennedy School of Government focusing on political advocacy and leadership while specializing in law and governance. By studying at Harvard, she hopes to offer her expertise to address future policy and legal concerns in the U.S. Coast Guard and beyond. This summer, McCafferty will attend the Truman Scholar Leadership Week at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. While there she will meet the other 2010 Truman Scholars, staff and public servants, work on community service and public policy projects and learn about different graduate school programs.
Guest post from RADM J. Scott Burhoe, Superintendent, U.S. Coast Guard Academy:
I am proud to announce that Second-Class Cadet Melissa McCafferty, a Government major from Newberry, Mich, was just awarded a Truman Scholarship as part of the 2010 selection process. She is the third Coast Guard Academy recipient in the past three years (with Lt. j.g. DeCarol Davis receiving the honor in 2008 and Cadet Alex LeKander in 2009). This is truly an amazing accomplishment reflecting the talent in our Corps of Cadets and the rigor of our academic and cadet programs.
Truman Scholarships are awarded based on the student's commitment to public service, record of leadership and likelihood of success in the graduate school program proposed by the student. This year the Truman Scholarship Foundation received 576 applications from 245 colleges and universities. About 1 in 10 applicants receive a scholarship.
It is also worth mentioning that last month Cadet McCafferty took home the Regional (Top) Attorney Award at the American Mock Trial Association's All-East Regional Tournament. Each year this event, held at the University of Maryland's School of Law in Baltimore, fields teams from the likes of Georgetown, George Washington, American, Johns Hopkins and William and Mary.
Melissa was also a key player on the Bears Woman's Rugby Team, which had an overall season record of 6-0 last year losing only to their arch-rival MIT in the last game of the season.
Congratulations Melissa. Go Bears!
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